US tourists shocked over ice-cream prices at Rome cafe

Complaints by three US tourists over the extortionate price of ice-cream in Rome have reignited a tourist-price row in a city well-known for pickpockets and scammers, and now 'rip-off' prices.

James and Marian Luciani, and a friend, were shocked when they received a bill for 42 euros (A$60) for just three ice creams and a bottle of water at Bar Il Caffe, near the Trevi Fountain. The trio had only paid 59 euros (A$85) for their dinner, which included a litre of wine.

The stunned tourists paid for their ice-creams and water, but returned the next day to the cafe with the police. However to their disbelief, they were shown the menu confirming the price they paid for the ice-creams was correct – 13 euros (A$19) for an ice cream.

The Lucianis are reportedly not the only tourists who've been left with a bad taste in their mouth over a bill from Bar Il Caffe. A number of people have claimed they have been overcharged by the cafe which is known for charging different prices for customers who chose a seated table.

Last year, the price of gelatos in Rome hit a nerve with a group of British tourists who were charged 64 euros (A$92) for four ice-creams – 16 euros (A$23) for one –  at the Antica Roma bar and gelateria near the Spanish Steps.

It is common for bars and cafes in the Italian capital to apply a surcharge for customers who choose to sit down at a table. However, for the unsuspecting British tourists, they had bought the ice-creams to take away.