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Rome Cafes - a warning

Perth, Australia
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132 posts
125 reviews
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Rome Cafes - a warning

On Christmas day 2006 my husband and I decided to have coffee and cornetto at the bar across the road from our hotel as it was one of only a few open (Bar Cavour oposite Hotel Rosetta at 295 Via Cavour).

We I left I went to pay at the cashier and told her I was paying for 2 coffees and one cornetto. She took my money and gave me a receipt and off I went.

Later that afternoon I returned to order some take away panini for the four of us. Whilst ordering a waitress came running up to me and told me there was a "problem with my table". The manager informed me that when I paid my account earlier in the day they didn't charge me for "sitting outside" - clearly not my problem but I stupidly said fine how much extra would it be. Whilst arguing that the waitress would have it taken out of her pay the manager tore the 50 euro note out of my hand (which I had ready to pay for my take away order). I was charged an extra 20 euro on top of what I had already paid that morning. Needless to say I cancelled my order and will never return.

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Rome, Italy
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910 posts
31 reviews
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1. Re: Rome Cafes - a warning

WOW 20 Euro? Now that is indeed a ripoff. You should have called the police.

I can think of two bars in that immediate area. One is run by asians I believe, and the other Italians. I am guessing it was the Italians? Is it right next to corner where there is a bookstore and then the back road to get to the colosseum?

Do tell if you can remember, I'll remember to add it to my own personal boycott list :)

london
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36 posts
1 review
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2. Re: Rome Cafes - a warning

why on earth are you bringing this up now, when it happened in dec 2006? The cafe coule be in difeerent ownership/management by now - seems a bit bizzare

Perth, Australia
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132 posts
125 reviews
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3. Re: Rome Cafes - a warning

It was (still is) called "Il Gran Caffe Cavour" right on the corner of via del Cardello - you can see the Colosseum in the distance.

The reason I bring this up now is

1. I'll never forget the experience.

2. I was not a trip advisor member before

3. All travellers should be made aware of these traps.

4. It is still under the same ownership (I have returned to Rome many times since) and will return in September

5. I am an Italian citizen and ashamed that Italians can behave in this manner towards anyone.

and finally.......the proprietors of Hotel Rosetta, where I normally stay, have told me that the proprietors are nortorious for doing this. They in fact told me that if it was not Christmas day they would call the police for me as the Manager tore the money out of my hands.

Montreal
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17,790 posts
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4. Re: Rome Cafes - a warning

20 Euro is far, far too much. But you should not have paid the cashier if a waitress served you.

london
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36 posts
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5. Re: Rome Cafes - a warning

that's a good reason then - may have been better to elaborate a bit - just seemed strange posting about something that happened so long ago........

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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90,263 posts
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6. Re: Rome Cafes - a warning

Yes, €20 is too much; but the OP did the wrong thing. If you have been served at a table, you should catch the eye of the waitress (or waiter) and say "Il conto, per favore" (The bill, please). This could take a few minutes, but the waitress then brings the bill and you pay her.

If you go to pay the cashier, they think you are placing an order to take standing at the bar, and they charge at the lower rate.

In the case outlined in the original post, the waitress would have already paid the cashier for the coffees and cornetto. When luluPerth went to the cashier, this would have been put through the system as a new order. The restaurant was entitled to get annoyed, although this does not justify the over-charging.

Livonia, Michigan
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212 posts
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7. Re: Rome Cafes - a warning

Sydney:

Thanks for your post. I learned something already and it is early in the day here in USA. Before your explanatory note, I didn't understand the waitress vs. cashier process. Appreciate it!

Los Angeles
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19 posts
75 reviews
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8. Re: Rome Cafes - a warning

I have lived in Rome for about 15 years and still can't understand their reasoning on charging extra to sit down. It will always tick me off. That is really one of the things I hate about Italy, they are always trying to make a buck without really much more service.

rome
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9. Re: Rome Cafes - a warning

20 euros is toooo much.

But there is a reason why they charge for sitting at the tables, expecially if outside.

They have to pay to keep the tables on public domain, and it's quite expensive, but also at the tables inside, you'll have someone waiting on you, instead of just order to the barman yourself.

The waiter also has to be payed.

In Italy taxes kill small businesses such as cafes, and so they have to try to make money, otherwise they'd better stay home.

Sometimes they overdo it , and that's bad..

Perth, Australia
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132 posts
125 reviews
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10. Re: Rome Cafes - a warning

Glad I posted because I have also learnt something new - just wait until they bring you the damm bill!

Just to clarify - I do know that you pay more to it down and was fully aware of this. My gripe was more to do with the fact that it was not only 20 Euro which is way over the top, but the fact that they had the cheek to rip the money from my hands when I returned for further patronage.

I did in fact ask the waitress for the conto but she didn't return after more than 5 minutes so I got up and clearly indicated to the cashier that I was paying for 2 coffees and a corneto that had been consumed outside.