"Large" cappuccino €8 outside Vatican Museums
Two Spanish tourists have complained of being ripped off after being charged €22 for two "large" cappuccinos and a small bottle of water at a café near the Vatican Museums, according to a report in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera. The cappuccinos came to €16, the half litre of water cost €4, and the service charge was €2.
However the establishment in question, Bar Vaticano, said that its prices are displayed inside, as required by law. The bar's prices reveal that a normal cappuccino costs €3 standing at the bar or €5 sitting, while a double cappuccino taken seated at a table costs €8.
Situated directly opposite the entrance to the Vatican Museums, the premises is frequented predominantly by tourists. A quick glance at its reviews on Trip Advisor reveal a string of negative comments about the "tourist trap", with many reviewers listing the "rip-off" prices.
It is the latest in a series of incidents involving foreign tourists in Rome being charged exorbitant prices, many of which have made international news. In July an American couple called the police after being charged €42 for three ice creams and a bottle of water at Bar Il Caffe, near the Trevi Fountain. Again, the owners pointed to the menu displayed inside, leaving the couple with no case.
Last year three eastern European tourists were charged €72 for three portions of tiramisù and three cups of cappuccino at Bar Amore on Via Cavour, while more famously four British tourists were charged €64 for four take-away ice cream cones at Caffetteria Antica Roma on Via della Vite near the Spanish Steps. The "Gelato Four" incident received such negative international coverage that the then Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno invited the two Birmingham couples back as VIP guests of the city.
The latest bad press for tourists comes the same month that Rome doubled its hotel tax, causing headaches for both local and international tour operators.