Japanese tourists stunned after being charged $470 for fish and spaghetti at Rome restaurant

Japanese tourists stunned after being charged $470 for fish and spaghetti at Rome restaurant

Everyone has a story of being suckered in by a tourist trap, but one recent account from a Japanese couple on holiday in Rome proves that such a situation can quickly turn from an irritating con to a major disaster.

According to multiple media outlets, the couple in question were left stunned after receiving a bill for €349 after ordering two plates of spaghetti and fish in a local restaurant. The couple then took to Tripadvisor, where their complaint has subsequently spread across the internet.

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The incident itself took place at Antico Caffe di Marti, which enjoys a prime position alongside the River Tiber, close to Vatican City. Evidence for what had occurred was provided by a photograph of the receipt, which has since been removed from the main Tripadvisor site. In addition to the extortionate food, the bill also included a laughable €80 service charge, bringing the total cost of the dinner to €429.80.

Credit: Tripadvisor

Due to the media attention generated by the receipt, Tripadvisor have temporarily suspended reviews of Antico Caffe di Marti, posting the following message at the top of the restaurant’s page:

“Due to a recent event that has attracted media attention and has caused an influx of review submissions that do not describe a first-hand experience, we have temporarily suspended publishing new reviews for this listing. If you’ve had a firsthand experience at this property, please check back soon - we’re looking forward to receiving your review!”

However, despite the suspension on additional comments, there are still plenty of hostile reviews from unhappy customers visible on the website. Several customers have described the restaurant as “terrible”, “[a] scam”, and “dishonest”, while one disgruntled visitor labelled his experience as disgusting thievery.

Whether or not the negative publicity generated by this latest media storm makes much of a difference to how the restaurant operates in the future remains to be seen, but at least other tourists may now have something of a heads up.