Japanese tourists charged €430 for two plates of spaghetti in Rome

€430 bill defended by owner of Rome bar-restaurant.

Two Japanese tourists were charged €349 for two plates of spaghetti al cartoccio di pesce, with water, at the Antico Caffè di Marte on Via Banco di S. Spirito in the historic centre of Rome.

The final bill for the lunch on 4 September came to €429.80, which included a tip of €80. The tourists subsequently posted a photograph of the receipt on social media and the image soon went viral.

The owner defended the bill to Rome newspaper Il Messaggero, claiming that the prices are "transparent" and the menu is "clear", adding that the tip is not mandatory and varies between 10 and 20 per cent of the total amount. The bar-restaurant also said that its "fish is fresh: the customer chooses it at the counter, we weigh it and cook it."

It is not the first time tourists getting ripped off in Rome makes international headlines: the most recent case was in May this year at a bar near the Vatican which charged two Brazilian tourists €81 for two hamburgers and two cups of cappuccino.

In 2013 four British tourists on holiday in Rome were charged €64 for four ice cream cones at Caffetteria Antica Roma on Via della Vite near the Spanish Steps.