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eating out

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eating out

I read on an old post here that you have to watch the bill at the end of a meal as they add on more euros than the cost of the meal on the menu.Anyone else had experience of this? We leave on Friday and we are so excited!

Kamloops, BC...
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1. Re: eating out

I've never had this problem. You must look at the menu for the coperto (cover charge) and the bread charge - wave the bread away if you're really strong and can resist it - also, wave away any small plates that are dropped onto your table sort of as an aside. Olives seem to be a favourite - I think because folks tend to munch on them automatically.

The coperto isn't optional, but all the others are. I'm always happy to have the bread, no matter what the charge. It's just too good to resist. Whether I accept the other things depends on what they are, but I'm always aware of them. You should be, too.

Bucharest, Romania
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2. Re: eating out

Not once, in many trips, have I experienced this.

As I order, I take a mental note of the total. Obviously, I may be off by an odd Euro or two. When on vacation one tends to be relaxed. But generally speaking I know the quantum within that margin of error. If that's what's meant by "watching the bill", then I suppose I do it. If it comes down to half a Euro accuracy - then I probably don't. When they bring the bill over, it's invariably what I expected, give or take those 1-2 Euro. The fact that I am fluent in Italian may be a factor, or my tendency to avoid restaurants in tourist areas, or perhaps I've just been lucky all these years.

That said, quite a few travelers have reported bad experiences and I am prepared to believe that they are all true - or at least sincerely perceived as such by the aforementioned posters.

Best regards,


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3. Re: eating out

I travel to Italy every year,spending 7-10 days in Rome ,Milan,Florence..only once in the past 13 years have I experienced a problem with the bill,and that was a simple error:the waiter gave our bill to wrong table,and we rec'd their bill..human error,easily fixed. That being said,with the high costs of travel these days it is always wise to look over any/all bills,carefully,whether in Italy,UK,USA,etc..If you feel there is an overcharge just bring it to the waiters' attention.It helps to have some understanding of Italian ,or at least a handy phrasebook! Buon Viaggio!

New Jersey, USA
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4. Re: eating out

Some times I think the perception that charges are added on is because folks haven't read travel guides, or done research like you are, where they would learn of the copertino e pane (sorry about the spelling) charge.

There have also been discussions on the forum about the differences in cost of cafe if you drink it standing up at the bar or sitting down outside. Americans are often surprised that it costs more to have the same coffee outside as inside. If folks do research before they go, they would learn about it. This forum is a great place to do just that, so that they're not surprised or feel "ripped off."

It's kind of like my English friend's surprise when she comes to the US and finds that the price of clothing or a meal isn't what she thinks it's going to be because sales tax is added on to the price of things. VAT is included in the prices in the UK and Europe, so you never see it. In the US, the price on goods or a menu don't include taxes, the tip, so I would think people coming here would think they're being ripped off if they didn't know of that American way of doing things.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: eating out

i grew up in italy and visited many times, and it has happened multiple times. if you are a tourist there are several tricks i have seen: they might add a few extra euros, the english version of the menu will have slightly higher prices & they will fail give you a tax receipt (ricevuta fiscale) which means they are not reporting the money you spent & making an extra 20% on the bill.

so read your bill, ask for the ricevuta fiscale & read the italian version of the menu if you can. and try to avoid tourist traps.

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6. Re: eating out

Just got back from Rome with a party of 10. As mentioned in other comments, we avoided the touristy places with menus in multiple languages, had great food at very reasonable prices. We paid attention to our order to know basically what the bill was, understood before we left that many places charge extra if you sit, reservations are almost always required, and often the tip for a larger group is included. We had no problems. We even found several places willing to help us order to minimize cost (i.e a couple servers told us don't order each child a pizza it is too much ..let them share/a bottle of wine shared is less expensive than 4 glasses.)Everywhere we ate the food was amazing, but again - -no touristy areas and certainly no McDonald's! Have a good trip.

7. Re: eating out

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