The police in the Italian city of Florence gave an ice cream parlour a fine of 2,000 euros, after the case a tourist had to pay 25 euros for an average ice cream. Research showed that the man had hidden the price list behind the counter, which meant that foreign tourists in particular had no idea of the extortionate prices.
The scam in the heart of Florence came to light when a tourist from Taiwan complained to his tour guide about the ridiculously high amount for the simple ice cream he had to cough up. According to the holiday maker, the seller had said ‘our ice creams are just that expensive because they are extremely tasty’. The tour leader then informed the police, after which the tampering practices were demonstrated.
According to the police, Italian media reports, such practices in Italy occur on a large scale in the vicinity of tourist hotspots in particular Florence, Venice and Rome. “The temporary clogging of price lists is gradually becoming a serious trend,” says a spokesman for the Italian police. “For that reason, we are stricter than ever on possible abuses at restaurants, shops and cafés. If we do not do that, then it will create a poor impression of our catering industry abroad.”
Italian and British media report more abuses, of which tourists are the victims. In August, for example, a tourist complained to a café on St. Mark’s Square in Venice because no less than €43 was charged for two cups of coffee and two mini bottles of spring water. At the same location, Japanese students had to pay 1,000 euros a few months earlier for four meat dishes and a fish dish.