£54 Ice Cream in Rome Shocks Holiday Brits

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Italy is famous for its ice cream and the idea of having a ‘gelato’ on a trip to Rome would seem quite a straightforward thing to want to do.

However, a group of British tourists were shocked to be charged 64 euros (or £54) for four ice creams on a recent visit.

The news comes amid an ongoing debate around the prices charged by shops, businesses and tourist operators in the city, which for many years have been accused of fleecing unwitting holidaymakers.

Roger Bannister, along with his brother Steven and their wives Wendy and Joyce, have complained after they were charged 16 euros (£13.50) each for four ice creams at the Antica Roma bar and gelateria, which is located near the famous Spanish Steps.

Mr Bannister, from Birmingham, told Corriere della Sera newspaper about the charges and added: "And when we paid up, they didn't even say thank you."

He continued: "It's incredible. It can't be normal, can it?"

Although cafes and bars in Italy can double or triple their prices for customers who sit down at a table, the four British tourists, who were on a six day holiday to Italy, had bought the ice creams to take away.

The managers of the bar in Via della Vite confirmed that the British tourists had been charged 64 euros, but declared that this was a reasonable price for a large ice cream.

"We're not talking about one or two scoops, they are really big," a manager was quoted as saying.

"No one forced them to order big ice creams. We also serve small ones which only cost 2.50 euros. But if you want a lot of ice cream then it is worth the price. And the prices are displayed everywhere," she explained.

Matteo Costantini, a city councillor, commented: "It's a scandal and it should be treated as such, it's not the first time that things like this have happened."

Ensure that you don’t get a financial shock when going on holiday by organising your travel money in advance, thus avoiding expensive airport rates.

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