Thomas Mann once described Venice as “half fairy tale, half tourist trap” – this description of the famous author should also apply to many other popular Italian vacation spots. For decades, tourists have had to be prepared to pay inflated prices if they are not careful.

But the number of tourist traps in Italy is apparently increasing: This summer, a particularly large number of cases of brazen rip-offs were reported, with which restaurateurs in particular stole money from vacationers. A popular trick: In restaurants and cafés, seemingly self-evident things have to be paid for. Many tourists only notice this when they pay the bill. Then it’s usually too late – if you don’t want to make a scene abroad.

A case from a café near Lake Como recently caused a stir. There, a waiter had charged two euros just for cutting a sandwich in half – the guests had wanted to share the snack. The affected customer posted a photo of the bill on Trip Advisor and wrote, “Unbelievable but true.” The cafe’s owner defended herself: “Any additional service must be paid for.” After all, a second plate had to be used, which then also had to be washed. “Having it in half took time, and work needs to be paid for.”

More examples are constantly being discovered. A young mother was also charged an additional two euros to warm up her baby’s milk bottle in the microwave. In the Liguria region, a mother ordered an extra plate for her three-year-old daughter so that she could try some of her pasta dish – here too two euros were due. For an empty plate mind you. The operators of the restaurant point out that the family of three sat at a table for four people, but only ordered food for one person. In addition, the extra fees are clearly indicated.

The Italian Ministry of Tourism expects that 68 million tourists from all over the world will come to the country this summer. This means that the level of the pre-Corona period has been reached again. The guests feel the price increases not only in gastronomy, but also in fuel and energy costs. The ADAC advises tourists to study the menu carefully and not to order anything without a price. If in doubt, always ask. But the Italians themselves are also suffering from the high prices. Many of them therefore prefer to spend their holidays abroad and go to neighboring, cheaper countries in the Mediterranean region – for example to Albania.

Quellen: CNN / Trip Advisor / “The Republic”

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