$2 Cuts a Sandwich in Half: The Terrible Scam Targeting Italian Tourists By Barbie Latza Nadeau, CNN

For those who love all that this country has to offer, an Italian vacation will be the perfect experience. But summer 2023 will be one of the most expensive on record as rising prices in restaurants and cafes affect foreign tourists and Italians alike.

Take the example of a couple paying €2 ($2.20) for a steak sandwich on the shores of Lake Como, or a young mother in the Roman seaside town of Ostia spending €2 to heat a bottle of baby in the microwave.

Two travelers paid 60 euros ($65) for two cups of coffee and two small bottles of water at the Cervo hotel in Sardinia, although the hotel owner told CNN the prices were marked up and expensive. Take a ferry from the nearest port.

Guests also paid an extra €2 - NO! - a dish at a cafe on Lake Como near Portofino in northern Italy, with coral sprinkled on the lid for 10 cents. Cappuccinos at Italian restaurants don't use cocoa, so they're reasonably priced.

The cases, dubbed "crazy receipts" by local media, have been documented by consumer protection group Consumerism No Profit, showing a massive 130 per cent rise in prices in tourist regions of Italy this summer.


Disgusting cases such as €2 for cutting a ham sandwich were labeled "crazy receipts" by the Italian press.

Stefano Mazzola/Getty Images

Price isn't the only thing driving retailers. Higher oil and electricity prices make summer more expensive.

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Prices have risen - 240% higher than in other Mediterranean regions - and many Italians are ditching their August holiday travel in favor of coastal countries like Albania and Montenegro. It's not the same style as Italian food, but the price is affordable.

The office of Italian Prime Minister Giorgio Meloni confirmed the news despite a brief sea holiday to Albania this year. The

Confcommercio group predicts that only 14 million Italians will spend the holidays at home during the Ferragosto holiday, or around 15 August, about 30% less than pre-coronavirus figures.

"The massive increase in the cost of air travel, accommodation and holiday travel has revolutionized Italian holiday habits," said Furio Truzzi of consumer watchdog Assoutenti. Video

shows tourists visiting Rome's Trevi Fountain for water bottles

Truzzi says prices have not deterred Italians from going on vacation, but how long they stay.

"Interestingly, despite fewer holiday days, the cost will be higher: summer holidays in 2023 will cost more than 1.2 billion Italians in 2022, despite having fewer nights than time at home," he said.

Foreign tourists have fallen sharply, with the Italian tourism agency predicting 68 million tourists will travel to Italy this summer, 3 million more than previous estimates, as it is easy to seek revenge. Italy's tourism minister says 4,444 American and Asian tourists will arrive this year rather than Russian tourists, who earn more money and stay longer but have disappeared this year due to the Ukraine war.

Very Guilty

Some of the most expensive hotels in Europe make holidaying at home too expensive for many Italians.

Francesca Volpi/Bloomberg/Getty Images

One of the biggest scams is the beach resorts that rent out sun beds and umbrellas.

In Puglia, the price is 50 euros per day for an umbrella for two days a week, which is about twice a week, but in the north, the price is about 3 stops in front of the beach, which is very close. 150 euros ($163) a day on weekdays, especially in prime locations like Portofino, assuming the front porch isn't already booked up by locals.

“Prices are cheaper in Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt) and many Italians have gone abroad,” says Paolo Manca of Federalberghi (hotel union), explaining that holidays in Italy, such as Sardinia, are very expensive for the whole family. can afford it. Thousands a day, from expensive car or plane travel, exorbitant hotel prices and expensive meals.

This American couple owns a restaurant in Italy

Americans Betsy and Cramer was embarrassed to accept what they paid, James said. But he knew that for this famous place, he would pay a lot of money.

"We spent a lot of money on ice cream and Sprite and our hotels, but we knew they were coming," Betsy told CNN. “We planned this trip before covid and although we read about the high prices we had been dreaming about it.

“You just read the menu and ask if there is an extra cost. If it's there, then you either leave it or just eat it. "

'Number Zero'

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