Rome tourists call police over £33 ice cream at Trevi Fountain cafe

Tourists call police after being charged £33 for ice cream at Trevi Fountain cafe in Rome

An American tourist couple in Rome called the police after they were charged 42 euros (£33) for three ice creams and a bottle of water.

James and Marian Luciani were with a friend when they ordered their ice creams at the Bar II Caffe near the Trevi Fountain on Wednesday.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Luciani told The Local: "We'd just paid 59 euros for our entire dinner, including a litre of wine, and then were charged 42 euros for gelato!

"We've been careful in watching out for pickpockets in Rome, but I never thought I would get scammed here."

The couple paid the high price but were so incensed they returned the next day with the police in tow.

However, the manager defended his prices and blamed the Americans for not checking them on the menu, reports the Daily Mail.

It's not the first time the high prices of ice creams in Rome have hit the headlines.

Back in May, a group of four British tourists from Stourbridge in the West Midlands received an apology from the mayor of Rome after they were charged 64 euros (£54) for a round of ice creams.

British holidaymakers Roger Bannister, his brother Steven and their wives Wendy and Joyce were shocked when they ordered four cones of gelato from an ice cream bar at the top of Via della Vite, just off Piazza di Spagna, and were asked to pay 64 euros.

Speaking to Corriere Della Serra, Roger said: "We weren't sitting at a table. We weren't standing on the Spanish Steps. We were over there in that bar on the corner. We bought the ice creams to eat in the street."

He added: "Unbelievable, isn't it. It's not normal, right?"

World's most expensive food
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Rome tourists call police over £33 ice cream at Trevi Fountain cafe

Italian truffles are rated high by gourmet chefs all around but the white truffle is the most special variety originating in the Piedmont region of northern Italy and sold for £900 to £1,900 per pound. The truffles are collected by specially-trained dogs and pigs that pick up the unusual aroma with their sensitive noses. In 2007, casino owner Stanley Ho shelled out £230,000 for a white truffle from Tuscany weighing just 3.3 pounds. That’s one pricey fungus!

What's the most you've spent on dessert at a restaurant? We bet it wasn't £22,000 for a chocolatey treat like this one created by head chef Marc Guilbert at the Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel in Windermere, Cumbria. Guilbert made the world's most expensive dessert last year with ingredients including four different types of the finest Belgian chocolate and peach, orange and whisky flavours. It was styled like a Faberge egg and layered with champagne jelly and a light biscuit joconde. Edible gold leaf, a diamond from award-winning jeweller Wave Jewellery, handmade chocolate flowers and champagne and strawberry caviar were used to decorate the dessert. We think this definitely looks too good to eat!

As the world's most expensive spice, Iranian saffron can cost anything between £320 and £3,222 per pound! Why is it so pricey? It takes a huge amount of planting to extract a small amount from the purple-coloured saffron crocus flower - planting an area as big as a football pitch only gets around one pound of the spice. If that wasn't enough, the flowers need to be hand-picked in autumn to retain the aroma. Luckily just a tiny amount of the stuff goes a long way.

For $295 (£189) you can tuck into the mother of all hamburgers at the Serendipity 3 restaurant in New York. Le Burger Extravagant holds the Guinness World Record for the most expensive hamburger and contains Japanese Wagyu beef infused with 10-herb white truffle butter and cheddar cheese, which is hand-formed by famous cheesemaker James Montgomery in Somerset. It's topped with shaved black truffles, a fried quail egg and served on a white truffle-buttered Campagna roll with a blini on top, crème fraiche, Paramount Caviar Kaluga caviar and large pearls from the Huso Dauricus farm raised in Quzhou, China. It's topped off with a solid gold toothpick encrusted with diamonds and designed by renowned jeweller Euphoria New York. Now that's what we call a burger!

Produced in the city of Kobe in Hyogo, Japan, Kobe is the most renowned Japanese beef and is well-known for its marbled texture. The meat comes from the black Tajima-ushi breed of Wagyu cattle and is raised according to strict tradition making it a delicacy that costs between 3,150 yen (£25) and 16,800 yen (£137) per steak! In Japan, the only place where you'll find authentic Kobe beef, it is prepared in dishes like steak, sukiyaki, shabu shabu, sashimi and teppanyaki.

You wouldn't want to run out of change when buying this kebab after a night out as it comes with a £750 price tag. British chef Andy Bates, who created the world's most expensive doner kebab dubbed the 'don of all doners' last year crammed milk-fed lamb from the Pyrenees into the saffron flatbread. Chilli sauce using Scotch Bonnet chillies, mint and cucumber yoghurt infused with Krug Grande Cuvee champagne and an edible gold leaf garnish were also used. Andy told Rex Features that the doner was most likely to appeal to 'a high-class drunk on his way home.' We wonder if it comes with chips!

The Zasavica Special Nature Reserve in Serbia has 100 Balkan donkeys that give milk for cheese costing a huge €1,000 per kilo. The smoked cheese named Pule costs twice the amount of moose cheese, making it one of the most expensive in the world. There are no special ingredients in Pula and the price is based purely on the value of the milk. The delicacy isn't readily available either so if you fancy trying the cheese you’ll need to place an order in advance.

Last Christmas a luxurious mince pie worth a whopping £3,000 went on display at an East London shopping centre. The festive treat had a mix of traditional ingredients from recipes dating back to the 17th century, including the highest grade platinum leaf, holy water from Lourdes to bind the pastry and vanilla beans and cinnamon from eastern spice markets. It also contained ambergris sugar derived from sperm whale secretions and a solid platinum coin to keep with the British tradition of placing a silver coin in a Christmas dessert. The pricey mince pie took 10 days to make and featured a pastry top that was laser cut to give it an intricate finish.

Japanese Yubari melons are famous for their sweetness and hefty price tags that range between 1,000 and 10,000 yen (£8 to £80). The melons are only produced in Yubari city in Hokkaido under such strict quality standards that only a certain amount are grown each year making them so expensive. The melons have red flesh and at first were disliked by many people who called them pumpkin melons. They later became popular when they were given as a prize to MVP baseball players.

Omelettes are one of the cheapest dishes you can eat, right? Well at the restaurant Norma's at New York's Le Parker Meridien hotel egg lovers can shell out for the world's most expensive omelette, the Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata, which costs a whopping $1,000 - that's £650! The costly breakfast dish contains lobster and 10 ounces of severga caviar, which is the highest category of the delicacy from the Caspian Sea. There's a $100 (£65) sample available so you can taste the lavish dish without having to spend all of your holiday cash!

It seems that certain species of fungi are consistently worth their weight in gold and this heavy-weight of a mushroom is no different. This rare morsel grows in Japan, only in Autumn and, as yet, cannot be farmed, hence the impressive price tag. Apparently the japanese used to give Matsutakes as gifts, representing fertility, prosperity and happiness, so, if you're ever stuck for a birthday present for that person who has everything…

White truffles aren't the only truffles making an appearance on this list. This delectable morsel of chocolate heaven is created by chocolatier extraordinaire Fitz Knipschildt using a French Perigord truffle surrounded by handmade truffle oil and 70 per cent Valhrona ganache. It comes on a bed of silver pearls and weighs just over 50 grams - less than an average snickers bar...but 250 times more expensive!


The most expensive cities in the world
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Rome tourists call police over £33 ice cream at Trevi Fountain cafe

Meal for two with wine: £77.01

Two cocktails: £23.40

Two taxi journeys of two miles each way: £22.12

Hotel room (4-4.5 star): £189.27

Total cost: £311.80

Meal for two with wine: £61.10

Two cocktails: £30.98

Two taxi journeys of two miles each way: £17.22

Hotel room (4-4.5 star): £196.49

Total cost: £305.79

Meal for two with wine: £50.75

Two cocktails: £20.69

Two taxi journeys of two miles each way: £10.98

Hotel room (4-4.5 star): £218.16

Total cost: £300.58

Meal for two with wine: £102.57

Two cocktails: £25.54

Two taxi journeys of two miles each way: £16.76

Hotel room (4-4.5 star): £142.00

Total cost: £286.87

Meal for two with wine: £98.01

Two cocktails: £21.87

Two taxi journeys of two miles each way: £33.77

Hotel room (4-4.5 star): £119.67

Total cost: £273.32

Meal for two with wine: £46.29

Two cocktails: £22.11

Two taxi journeys of two miles each way: £25.77

Hotel room (4-4.5 star): £177.85

Total cost: £272.02

Meal for two with wine: £60.35

Two cocktails: £19.48

Two taxi journeys of two miles each way: £27.74

Hotel room (4-4.5 star): £145.33

Total cost: £252.90

Meal for two with wine: £71.23

Two cocktails: £13.34

Two taxi journeys of two miles each way: £22.93

Hotel room (4-4.5 star): £120.23

Total cost: £227.73

Meal for two with wine: £54.29

Two cocktails: £17.92

Two taxi journeys of two miles each way: £15.25

Hotel room (4-4.5 star): £138.14

Total cost: £225.60

Meal for two with wine: £77.98

Two cocktails: £15.69

Two taxi journeys of two miles each way: £13.58

Hotel room (4-4.5 star): £117.56

Total cost: £224.81


The world's worst tourist traps?
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Rome tourists call police over £33 ice cream at Trevi Fountain cafe

Don't get us wrong, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is definitely worth seeing but don't expect a peaceful visit to this architectural wonder. Next to the tower, you'll find rows of stalls selling tourist tat - the usual T-shirts, magnets and even a few erotic souvenirs - we're not sure why the city of Pisa hasn't moved these traders away from the iconic site either! And then there are the dozens of tourists who you'll find posing as if they're pushing the tower - not cool and such a cliché!

Instead: Take a tour inside the Duomo and the Baptistery alongside the tower for their impressive architecture and artwork.

This small bronze fountain sculpture of a naked little boy peeing is an emblem of Brussels but what's so great about it? We've seen many a urinating fountain but Mannekin Pis appears on the Belgian city's postcards, in shop windows and even as distasteful corkscrew souvenirs. Yes we know it comes with its own history and dates back to the 15th century but unless you're into looking at fountains, the most exciting thing about Mannekin Pis is that he has a wardrobe of 800 suits and is occasionally seen wearing them!

Instead: Take a walk through Brussels Park where you'll find a number of fountains and sculptures by the likes of Laurent Delvaux, Gilles-Lambert Godecharle and Jean-Michel Folon, as well as a large pond and views of the Palace of Justice, the Place du Trône and the Royal Palace.

If you're looking for the best seafood experience in San Francisco the worst place you can go is Fisherman's Wharf. Yes the fish is fresh and but it can also be overcooked and overpriced - basically made for tourists. You won't find many San Franciscans eating here as it’s teeming with tourists who flock to the Pier 39 shopping mall at the edge of Fisherman's Wharf for its seafood restaurants and souvenir stores. Having said that, it is worth heading in this direction to check out the hundreds of sea lions that bark and sunbathe off Pier 39's north-western side, but do this in the evening when the shops close.

Instead: Eat at the Swan Oyster Depot which is half fish market and half seafood bar. Visit between November and June when the local Dungeness crab is in season. For a taste of the waterfront life, don't miss the Golden Gate National Recreation Area for wonderful views of the bay from the promenade.

The thing about the London Eye is that to get a good view, you have to go when the city isn't covered in a blanket of fog, which isn't very often! You have to queue for a considerable amount of time to get to your pod and that's after you spend around £20 on a ticket. Once you're in you're trapped with a load of other tourists and if it is a sunny day you end up roasting for around half an hour. We're not saying it doesn't offer good views but there are cheaper alternatives in the capital.

Instead: Stretch your legs and take in the city from the top of The Monument for just £3. The building is bursting with character and you'll even get a certificate to prove you mastered the 311 steps. Or head for Primrose Hill for free views over London!

They may be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World but the Great Pyramids of Giza were voted one of the most disappointing tourist attractions in a Virgin Travel Insurance survey due to the "heat, hawkers and camel drivers" making a visit an "overwhelmingly stressful ordeal". If aggressive touts weren't enough, there's also too much litter, a KFC and Pizza Hut, and you can't actually touch the Sphinx or climb the pyramids.

Instead: Visit the Saqqara Pyramids which are far less crowded. You can wander inside tombs and get an excellent introduction to ancient Egyptian architecture at the Imhotep Museum.

The Vatican's Sistine Chapel is another beautiful tourist trap. You won't want to leave it off of your travel list but when you arrive, expect to see extremely long queues and huge crowds. The room is kept quite dark too so it can be difficult to take in and capture on camera. One AOL Travel user said: "Yes, Michelangelo's ceiling painting is amazing but you are packed like sardines and there is an official 'shusher' whose job is to go shhhh! if anyone dares to whisper."

Instead: Take a tour of the Vatican Gardens to skip the queues, marvel at the natural beauty of the 57-acre gardens and parks and enjoy the Vatican from outdoors.

The stars of the Hollywood Walk of Fame are a symbol of the city, marking the achievement of the entertainment industry's actors, musicians and directors, but this so-called must-see is nothing more than stars' names etched into concrete. The street is not particularly glamorous either and you'll find celebrity impersonators and tacky souvenir shops, with no real stars around.

Instead: Check out the TCL Chinese Theater where you'll find handprints and autographs of the stars in concrete and can take a VIP tour of the historic monument to learn about the history of the theatre and spot real celebs at film premieres.

This ancient group of mystery stones is pretty magical when you think about it but upon visiting you'll discover that Stonehenge isn't how it looks in the pictures. Not only is it wedged between two busy roads, you also can't get very close to the stones thanks to tourists chipping off pieces of the rocks as souvenirs in the past. And you still have to pay an admission fee but there's no accompanying visitor's centre or museum.

Instead: Check out the stone circle Avebury in Wiltshire which has an entire town set inside it. Avebury was voted the second best heritage site in the world by Which? Travel readers.

Ask anyone what you should do in New York and they'll most probably say go to the top of the Empire State Building but what they may forget to say is that you'll need to queue for what seems like hours - queue to get in the building, queue for the lift, queue to buy tickets and queue to get onto the observation deck! It's one of the most famous New York attractions and offers great views of the Chrysler Building and the Flatiron Building from 1,050 feet above street level but is it worth all the queuing?

Instead: Take in the view from the Top of the Rock observation deck at the Rockefeller Center. It's less crowded, offers brilliant views of the Empire State Building and out across the city. You also book a timeslot so you don't have to waste time standing in line.

It's one of the world's most famous museums and home to Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa painting but what the guide books won't tell you about the Musée du Louvre is that you'll have to pay 11 euros to enter and the painting which, let's face it, is the only reason many people enter, is barely bigger than a postage stamp! It's in fact 77cm x 52cm but you'll have difficulty getting close to the portrait with the crowds of tourists blocking your view.

Instead: Check out the Gustave Moreau Museum for an intimate experience with art. The museum is one of the most overlooked in the world and is home to 6,000 otherworldly paintings and sketches by Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau.

Ok, so you have to see Times Square at least once as it's part of the 'New York, New York' experience but it's definitely a place we'd recommend you to look at but not touch! Chain restaurants, big flashing ads and LOTS of tourists are what you'll find in Times Square. The locals avoid it and the area's so busy that once you're in you'll have trouble escaping. Unless you're there to see a Broadway show, we'd recommend staying away.

Instead: Get an authentic Big Apple experience by walking through Chelsea Market and the High Line. Stop for coffee in the West Village and there's always a quiet spot to be found in Central Park.


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