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Restaurant In Italy Is Under Fire From People Who Claim That They’ve Been Ripped Off After An Almost $500 Bill Goes Viral

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Some restaurant staff are hard-working, honest, friendly, and glad to welcome visitors from abroad to their city. And some staff are out to scam tourists and make a quick buck by lying to gullible travelers about how much they have to pay for food.

Restaurants in holiday-destination Italian cities are notorious for slapping tourists with jaw-droppingly huge and mind-bogglingly unfair bills. For a long time, tourists have been complaining about restaurants found near popular, crowded areas as scamming them out of their cash. The most recent example of this includes two Japanese tourists who were charged 429.80 euros (that’s almost 470 dollars) for ordering two plates of spaghetti, fish, and water at a restaurant in Rome.

Two Japanese tourists were ridiculously overcharged for eating at this restaurant in Rome

Image credits: Tripadvisor

Image credits: harukon_et

That slow-burning anger that you’re probably feeling inside at the restaurant staff as you’re reading this is a desire for justice. The restaurant in question is the Antico Caffè di Marte which can be found in central Rome, near Hadrian’s Tomb (also known as Castel Sant’Angelo).

Plenty of other tourists have been scammed by this Italian restaurant

Image credits: Minh Ngoc Bui

Image credits: Minh Ngoc Bui

Image credits: Minh Ngoc Bui

According to foreign customers on TripAdvisor, the restaurant is ‘terrible,’ dabbles in ‘disgusting thievery,’ commits ‘scams,’ and is a total ‘rip-off.’ One person even had this to say: “Sharks, be warned.” However, far from everybody reads restaurant reviews before heading out for a bite to eat; especially in a foreign city.

People were so angry with the restaurant that they left negative reviews

Image credits: harukon_et

Image credits: cavalier031

Image credits: cavalier031

Image credits: alestepien

The owners of the restaurant told the media that the reason the Japanese tourists paid the exorbitant price was, allegedly, because they ate fresh fish. However, the owners’ defense seems paper-thin because another angry customer said that the restaurant more than doubled the amount of fish and seafood he had eaten, overcharging him.

Tourists are often targetted by restaurants wanting to make an easy buck

Image credits: alestepien

Image credits: DJ442

Image credits: Diana O

Image credits: Diana O

The incident with the Japanese tourists wasn’t the first and, unfortunately, won’t be the last. More and more cases of Italian restaurants ripping off tourists have made headlines recently.

Among recent scams are these stories of how tourists were ripped off: 81 euros (nearly 89 dollars) for two burgers and three coffees in Rome; 1,100 euros (1,202 dollars) for a meal for four people in Venice; 25 euros (27 dollars) for a single cone of ice cream in Florence. The restaurant in Venice didn’t get off the hook scot-free, though. Its owners were slapped with fines equalling over 10,000 euros (nearly 11,000 dollars). 

Wanted in Rome has some handy advice for those of you planning on journeying to Italy. For example, like the fact that you’re not forced to order food after taking a seat at the restaurant: you can always leave if you think the prices are unfair. What’s more, you can always ask for a detailed bill if the price of each individual item isn’t written on it. And if the staff of a restaurant won’t let you leave without paying, and you think you’ve been scammed, you can always call the stylish Italian police or the carabinieri on the number 112.

Here’s how people reacted to what happened on social media