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Italian rip-offs - but we're not having that experience.

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http://www.theage.com.au/travel/travel-news/rome-tourist-ripoff-four-ice-creams-82-20130507-2j4mj.html


There is often comment on how people feel they are "ripped off" in Italy. The ice-cream story is a case in point, and maybe they were charged an excessive amount. I don't know. In almost two months, I suppose that we have seen the other side of the story, people being very generous. Often it is small things, a euro here and there, a discount on the price of duck at a butcher, places where we have taken a glass of wine and a panini outside, but still charged the "al banco" price.

An article priced at 31 euro, but charged at 30. We have received the wrong change twice, one time 5 euro too little, the other time 10 euro too much. Hand back the excess 10, and gain some good karma and a friend.

Admission charges that seem almost trivial. Six euro for the Castelvecchio in Verona, a Chorus pass for 12, museum pass in Venice for 18 euro, I think. Yes, you will maybe see locals being charged less than you. That old guy who has been having his morning coffee in the same bar for a decade - let him sit outside in the sun and charge him the "al banco" price, a way of being kind and maintaining a community. The four local ladies probably won't be charged six euro per for the music at Quadris. Maybe they take coffee there every day.

Yes, prices are heavy in the Piazza, also a bit heavy in Piazza Bra' in Verona, heavy in front of the Pantheon. Prices are also given in every menu, although the service charge might not be well advertised (and often there is no service charge). I guess that rents and rates are heavy in the Piazza, ditto for the others, and one pays for the experience as well as for what you consume.

We have received poor food and grumpy service once or twice, the worst spritz in all of Venice for 4 euro, and you learn to avoid places like that. We have never been billed for things that we did not order, in spite of this being a practice that many people seem to experience.

And then, a couple of nights ago, after dining, "Would you like a coffee? It's on the house". We declined. So we were served a couple of glasses of limoncello.

On the house.

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