At the beginning of the month, four unsuspecting British tourists received a much heftier bill than they had expected for a few gelatos in Rome. Prices typically range between €2 - €4 for this tasty Italian speciality, but a price for a gelato at this gelateria near the Spanish Steps was €16. Multiply that by four tourists and suddenly the bill is worth more than a dinner for two and bottle of wine.
Without objecting too much, the tourists paid the bill and snapped a photo to pass on the warning to future tourists of Rome. In the subsequent fall out, the mayor of Rome has issued an apology on behalf of the city and Rome’s tourist sector has come under scrutiny. The situation has raised the question of whether or not businesses are scamming tourists to pay much higher prices than the goods are worth.
Because of examples like the €16 gelato, tourists must be aware of more than pickpocket gangs, street markets and large crowds of people. It turns out that you must also keep one eye out on the local restaurant and their prices. The number one takeaway from a story like this is to always ask for the price before receiving a service or product. Once the gelato has been ordered, there’s no way to take it back once the bill arrives.