There are some things you should know to avoid this situation. Here are some basic tips on avoiding getting ripped off or scammed.
- Choose a place to eat which is located far away from tourist sites. It is most likely that restaurants and cafes located near major tourist sites will overcharge you. Of course, it is not always the case, but it happens very often. So, if you’ve chosen an establishment located on popular piazzas (squares), the chances a very high that you will pay more than needed. Remember that if you are in a tourist-aimed café, there will be a host outside the door asking you to come in and any Italian restaurant won’t have this. Also, beware of the menus with pictures or a special sign that says ‘Tourist Menu’.
- Don’t sit down in an Italia café. Unless you are very tired, avoid sitting down in the kind of place that Italians call ‘a bar’ and we call ‘a cafe’. That’s because as soon as you sit down, the price of whatever you’re eating doubles or triples or even worse. Due to this fact Italians usually take their coffee and pastry standing up. The price of coffee in Rome is set at a maximum price, so regardless of your location a standing coffee will never set you back too much.
- Know what you do and don’t have to pay for. It’s vital to know what you should and shouldn’t pay for while you’re eating out. You can always ask for tap water in the café for free but is often seen as a little bit rude. At moderately-priced places a large bottle of mineral water for the table should cost no more than 2 or 3 euro. Also you do have to pay for your bread or a digestive of limoncello, amaro or grappa. If the waiter asks you if you want an after-dinner drink after you’ve eaten but before he’s brought the bill, you will probably be charged. But if he offer you one after you paid, it is probably a gift.
- Don’t give the waiter the power over what to bring and how much. Most of the time waiter will offer you to bring an appetizer which eventually may cost you a fortune. It is wise to know what you are ordering before you order it. So instead, you should order what you want and the quantity you want.