crime

Rome restaurant shut down after charging Japanese tourists 695 euros

41 Comments

A restaurant in Rome which presented a Japanese tourist with a bill for 695 euros (nearly 100,000 yen) after a meal with his fiancee has been closed down by the authorities, Il Messaggero daily reported this week. The young couple, who have not been named, were outraged by the bill on June 19 which included two plates of pasta, a bottle of water, a bottle of wine and a fruit salad. The service charge alone was 115 euros.

Their protests however were brushed off by the manager of the restaurant, located close to the tourist hub of Piazza Navona. Il Messaggero said that the closure notice followed a raid by health inspectors and pricing investigators, ordered by the Italian capital's mayor, which found a series of breaches of hygiene and administrative regulations.

© Wire reports

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41 Comments
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If there were no prices on the menu, they should have left the restaurant before ordering. This is rule No. 1 when traveling abroad -- always know the price of something before you order it.

If a foreign tourist went to a hostess club in Tokyo or elsewhere and was presented with a bill for that amount, would the authorities do anything about it? I think not.

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also note that the article indicates the restaurant was shot down for other complaints, namely health code violations. It also says nothing about the Japanese couple complaining to anybody other than the manager. Interesting how the headline is trying to make it appear as though their one bill was the cause of the place shutting down.

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but how did the media know about this incident? They must have complained to someone other than the manager. It may have been a 'get even' tactic on the part of the tourists. If you look hard enough, you can find something bad enough to shut down any restaurant.

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interesting...the japanese economy is based on taking turns ripping each other off, yet they get so upset when it happens overseas

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This JT article is too brief. Look at the relevant articles from Reuters or AP.

The couple did report it to the police.

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namely health code violations.

As well as pricing violations;

followed a raid by health inspectors and pricing investigators breaches of hygiene and administrative regulations.

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ilcub76-"If a foreign tourist went to a hostess club in Tokyo or elsewhere and was presented with a bill for that amount, would the authorities do anything about it? I think not."

That is because the price of the hostess club services is pretty subjective. At a restaurant the biggest price is the food, and that can be verified, and what I see on their bill does not add up to 695 euros.

I am happy to see those jipsters get hit.

If there were no prices on the menu, they should have left the restaurant before ordering. This is rule No. 1 when traveling abroad -- always know the price of something before you order it.

Even before carry your passport, use travelor's checks instead of cash, and don't wander around alone in the middle of the night? I think not.

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From the Kansas City Star- "After the complaint, police checked the prices on the receipt against those on the menu the Japanese said they never saw, and found a major discrepancy. "They are way higher, quite a bit disproportionate," Laratta said."

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Italian peasants lol never should trust them

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695 euros. This is where you laugh in the guy's face and then walk out of the restuarant.

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695 euros. This is where you laugh in the guy's face and then walk out of the restuarant.

Exactly, also quote this proverb to his face

Solo Ginza è degna di prezzi di Ginza

Only Ginza is worthy of Ginza prices!

ginza

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Damn, Europes got expensive.

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100,000 yen for two plates of pasta, a bottle of water, a bottle of wine and a fruit salad? I'll bet the bottle of wine was the most expensive item. They might have shaved off 50,000 yen if they'd skipped the wine. But then that still leaves 50,000 for the two plates of pasta, the bottle of water and the fruit salad. Still too steep. Maybe if they'd skipped the fruit salad...

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I would have said "Va fon cullo, cornudos, bastardo."

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Japanese are too meek. If the guy had any courage he would have told them to shove the bill up their butts.

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Japanese have to be careful in Rome. I use to go there all the time with my gf and when I was not with her she use to get hassled all the time. Funny enough it seems to happen in Rome a lot obviously because it is a major tourist destination but it is because the Japanese dont stand up for themselves and walk around with their LV bags half open.

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"pricing investigators"

Do those guys make good money?

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It's good to hear the restaurant got busted, clearly not only for hygiene but probably mainly for the overcharging. Italy has a pretty big industry catering to Japanese tourists, so naturally they want to protect that before this outspoken couple went home and warned everyone of their experience.

I think, in general, many Japanese tourists (tourists now, not travelers... big difference) have long been taken advantage of in many countries overseas. I remember, for instance, a number of (proven) stories of J tourists at San Francisco's fisherman's wharf area back in the late '80s to mid '90s being exorbitantly overcharged for rolls of film, T-shirts, and lots of other tourist knick-knacks. Most J tourists paid without saying anything, according to newspaper articles at the time, only getting in the newspaper when a rare outspoken J tourist did speak out (whence the conniving shop owners admitted doing it more than once).

I think there's been a common belief in many countries for a long time that Japanese tourists are rather naive when off their home turf, not to mention afraid to speak up even if they know they've probably been wronged, but this Italy story shows that that could be changing into mostly just a stereotype now as J tourists become more travel smart & savvy. I guess all those travel (or more like travel-eating) shows on TV are doing some good. (In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this restaurant were highlighted... I mean advertised... on one of these shows.)

On the other hand, if Japanese tourists are still walking around with their designer bags open, then, well, they're kind of asking for it.

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so it appears they did complain to the cops after all. good on them. and good on the cops for following through and shutting the place down. Perhaps they used the health code violations as an excuse. It must suck to get scammed on holiday with your girlfriend, especially if it's your first time in a foreign country. could easily ruin one's image of the place.

On a side note, I recall hearing that in Thailand they haggle prices with everybody EXCEPT Japanese. I have this on good, local Thai authority. Are Japanese considered easy marks the world over?

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think there's been a common belief in many countries for a long time that Japanese tourists are rather naive when off their home turf, not to mention afraid to speak up even if they know they've probably been wronged

You said it all here. No need to continue typing.

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haha, my friend will like this. I was just talking to her yesterday and she said in her previous tripm they charged her 20E even though what she ordered clearly says 5E only in the menu. Going to forward this to her. She is Japanese after all, and she is going again next month. :)

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Honestly... I traveled kind of frequently to Italy (i'm living close to there) and it became expensive and unfriendly. I payed around 7500 yen for 2 pieces of cake and 2 coffee lately in Venice. Of course I won't visit it anymore...

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Many places in the world have local prices, tourist prices and Japanese tourist prices.

I've seen it in Thailand, Bali and Beijing. I see it also present in Europe.

Taka

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This is normal in Italy, where every third guido speaks some Japanese, and will do anything for their money. Seen it in Firenze, Venezia, and Milano.

Ciao

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Italy is notorious for this sort of thing. One cafe tried to stiff me in Venice but as I speak Italian very well as I lived there for 18 months, I just told them to stick it up their collective orifices. You just have have to be damn careful and aware as a tourist in the country.

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Yea! where did this Italian guy think he was Japan? Only in Japan would he get away with a clearly racist act like that.

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Hope the people in question get charged (restaurant owners, etc). It's disgusting that they can gouge like that and think they can get away with it.

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In such places they will try to skin off tourists. Grid and hunger for wealthy SALAMI!!!

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hahahaha that's funny

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Many places in the world have local prices, tourist prices and Japanese tourist prices.

I've seen it in Thailand, Bali and Beijing. I see it also present in Europe.

Taka

Yea, in Guam too its called War reparations. Many Asians resent the fact that Japan got wealthy after the war while they remained poor in part because the IJA stole their treasuries and gold laden religious artifacts and shipped them off to Japan and the Philippines to be hidden and later dug up after the war. See Yamashita's gold. Great book.

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This should be reported more. Japanese people should just stop travelling to show people how shortsighted they are being. As we know, word gets around when Japanese tourists have problems.

I suppose the other side of the coin is that areas that cater to Japanese and many times the natives are nicer to them. That has been my experience anyway. Maybe Japanese only get picked off when they slum it.

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A good Internet phone would have given you the price for the wine and I would have haggled from there. -If not a bottle over the head =What are they going to do? At worst you get the Police which is what you want anyway and you shut the place down.

=Don't encourage these folks by paying these outrageous prices. Report them to the Japanese embassy (bring the bill).

Work it the other way. Enlarge bill on sign and protest outside restaurant -only leave when you get 10,000 Euro. -That should pay for your trip.

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Rome is a dump.

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Japanese are known as 鴨 (kamo) when they travel abroad and it's always open season.

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Their protests however were brushed off by the manager of the restaurant

I guess they did speak up, even a little bit.

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And this is exactly why you should do some research before traveling to a foreign country and remember that some things may be different from your own, such as the money and language. I had a part-time job at a restaurant when I was in Hawaii and it never failed to amaze me how close-minded some Japanese would be, they couldn't be bothered to remember what the values of the coins were so they would just give me a handful of change and say "is this enough?" they would be so shocked to find out that they can't use yen in America, etc.

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Perhaps the guy had been ripped off in Japan and was looking for a little payback?

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What goes around comes around, but this Rome restaurant is just ridiculous! What fools this idiots at this restaurant! Now, this poor newly wed Japanese couple will have a terrible image of Italy. Shame! Shame! Filo da putana dell ristorante di Roma!

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I find this episode terrible: it shows the worst side of a country as Italy. I guess dishonest people are everywhere and when they find a way to trick you, they will. But this isn't a excuse to worse Italy's reputation and position as I think every Italian felt ashamed of such a wicked act and it shows that not everyone is bad, otherwise a news like this would just be covered up as it is the worst publicity ever. So I think there's no need to use bad words or harsh judgements: such an event can happens everywhere, there's no need to critic or badmouth a whole country and population. This news is already bad enough for Italian people: I think they also felt bad for those tourists and for the restaurant's attitude.

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The greed of the Italians was only matched by the stupidity of the Japanese. Nobody wins.

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I lived in Italy a long time,and I remember this episode very well.It was long time ago but still the practice continues.You go to a restaurant and they will suggest thier speciality or catch of the day which is not on the menu with great enthusiasm and fervour of pleasing you.But that is the catch,as soon as they have you on their hooks,they spoil you with tiny little anti pasto (appetizers) lots of them sometimes that they need to get rid off,Don't order off the menu ever in Italy,. You will end up paying well obove an ala Carte menu,unless you know the restaurant and owner,After having brought the bill a waiter in piazza Navona ,not knowing that I lived in Italy and understood the language,said it was obligatory for us to give him a tip of 15% even though a 20% service charge and a € 7.00 cover charge was already included.I quickly spoke in Italian and told him that the service was already in the bill,to which he replied.that the proprietor did not give the service to his waiters,but kept it for himself,and the waiters had to beg clients instead .

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