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T like Trap: the Italian café

trap Unfortunately, Italy is also a country full of little traps and scams of all kinds. Today, we speak of “traps” at the café, and above all, how to avoid them. If you are visiting a city in Italy and want to rest, sit, have a coffee, ice tea, or whatever you feel like — find a bar! How do you not risk spending too much money? Here’s some advice:

When first entering into a bar, see if there’s a list of prices on the wall and if there’s an extra charge for table service.

If there are no listed prices inside or outside, then you can sit at a table and ask the waiter for a menu.

If the waiter responds that there is no menu or printed list of prices, don’t stay! Get up politely and signal to the waiter that you are leaving. Remember that Italians prefer to drink beverages on foot at the bar because it costs less. For example: a coffee should cost 80-90 cents; a cappuccino, one Euro; a croissant, 90 cents; and a beer, two to three Euro.

Naturally, in any famous piazza, table service will be more expensive. In Piazza San Marco in Venice, a coffee and a croissant can cost 8-10 Euro. Do not fall into this trap! In any bar, a croissant and a coffee should not cost more than four Euro. If you notice any exaggerated prices, notify the police.

Finally, when the bill comes, you can pay with a credit card, but be careful not to let it out of your sight. Trusting is good, but not trusting is better.

Do you have any other advice or suggestions for us?

This article has been translated into English by Anna, Emma, Alysha, students from Bard college. The original article is in Italian

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