American Couple Calls Cops After Paying $50 for Roman Gelato


An American couple were outraged after being charged €42 for three ice creams and a bottle of water at a bar in central Rome, asking the police to intervene, but the manager told The Local it was “their fault” for not reading the menu.

James and Mariann Luciani had just finished dinner when they and a relative stopped for an ice cream at Bar il Caffè, just a stone’s throw from the Trevi Fountain. Having paid around €3 or €4 for an ice cream so far on their Italian holiday, they were shocked when the bill came to €42 ($50).

The Lucianis contested the charge, only to be shown a menu — having not checked before ordering—in which the price for an ice cream was set at €13 apiece. The waiter told them that they had, in fact, been given a discount as they were relieved of the €2.50 per person cover charge.

“We’d just paid €59 for our entire dinner, including a litre of wine, and then were charged €42 for gelato!” James told The Local. “We’ve been careful in watching out for pickpockets in Rome, but I never thought I would get scammed here,” he said. The couple paid the bill but, unsure whether such a high charge was legal, they returned to the bar on Thursday morning with the police.

Mediating between the waiter and the Lucianis, a police officer checked the menu and found that the price was written down. As the menu was available, the bar was not breaking Italian law. “I should have checked the menu,” James told The Local, adding that he and his wife had previously been guests of Italian relatives and so had not encountered such problems.

When approached by The Local, the waiter said that he only worked at the bar and did not decide the menu prices. When the manager arrived at Bar il Caffè later on Thursday, he told The Local that he was an “honest” person and the problem was the customers’ fault. “It’s their fault…I advise foreigners to read the menu,” he said, declining to give his name and pointing to menus on a number of outdoor tables.

“Italy isn’t like other countries. Here there’s always a different price at the bar and sat at a table,” the manager added, pointing to a sign above the ice cream stand which in English states the cheaper “take-away” prices. “An ice cream in this cup is big,” the manager said, holding up a glass bowl which carries the €13 price tag. “You could have it for lunch!”

But the Lucianis are not the first visitors to complain that the place is a tourist trap. The bar’s TripAdvisor page gets a resounding “terrible” rating from 25 of its 28 reviews. A British tourist who visited earlier this month described the bar as a “complete rip off” to “avoid at all costs” after she was charged €29 for two drinks.


Cheesemakers Arrested for Using Cow’s Milk Instead of Buffalo’s Milk

Police in Italy have shut down a mozzarella factory and arrested 13 people after finding that prized local buffalo milk was being cut with cheaper imported cow milk.

Authorities also found that the cheese, produced near the southern town of Caserta, contained as much as 20 times permissible levels of bacteria, said Carabinieri Police Maj. Alfonso Pannone. Police on Monday also shut down seven stores selling the cheese in the Campania region which includes Naples.

Milky white buffalo mozzarella is prized by Italians and tourists. It carries a special label supposed to guarantee quality and protect its reputation.

Among those arrested were two public health service veterinarians who allegedly tipped the factory to upcoming inspections. The probe began after a worker lost some of his fingers because of safety flaws.

Murder by Butter


L-R: ex-husband, woman, boyfriend. Photos Via

As reported by Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper, a Sicilian woman and her boyfriend used a slab of butter to kill her ex-husband. Apparently, the couple thought that by using butter, which would melt away after they asphyxiated their victim, they had committed the perfect crime.

According to the AFP news service, “They had set upon him and suffocated him with the butter, before claiming he had arrived drunk and attacked them, forcing them to tie him up, when he had suddenly collapsed and died.” However, a post-mortem found remains of the butter in the airways of the victim, and the alleged butter killers were unmasked.



05 febbraio 2011

Gela, amanti terribili: uccisero
il marito di lei con un panetto di burro

L’uomo sarebbe morto soffocato dall’alimento che gli sarebbe stato conficcato in gola. Arresto convalidato

RAGUSA – Sono stati trasferiti in carcere i due amanti di Gela, Rosaria Nicosia e Gaetano Biundo, accusati di avere ucciso Calogero Lo Coco, ex marito di lei. Secondo il medico legale che ha eseguito l’autopsia, Lo Coco sarebbe morto soffocato da una sostanza grassa (verosimilmente un panetto di burro o di margarina) che gli assassini gli avrebbero conficcato nella gola. Tracce della sostanza sono state trovate nell’esofago e nella trachea della vittima.

A dare l’allarme era stata la stessa ex moglie, raccontando che Lo Coco si era presentato ubriaco nell’abitazione in cui vive con il suo nuovo compagno e, dopo averli aggrediti, si era accasciato a terra. Una morte per cause naturali, però smentita dall’autopsia. Infatti, secondo il medico legale Lo Coco è morto soffocato dal panetto di burro. Sciogliendosi il grasso ha occluso le vie respiratorie provocando il decesso per soffocamento. Per gli investigatori, Lo Coco, che non si era rassegnato alla fine del suo matrimonio, è stato prima immobilizzato e legato ad una sedia con un cavo elettrico, e successivamente soffocato.

Venerdì, a tarda sera, il gip del tribunale di Gela, Lirio Conti, su richiesta della procura, ha convalidato il fermo dei due imputati e revocato gli arresti domiciliari che erano stati concessi loro dopo il primo interrogatorio, disponendo il trasferimento in carcere della coppia, accusata di omicidio volontario. Rosaria Nicosia si trova ora nella casa circondariale femminile di Enna, Gaetano Biundo nel carcere di Caltagirone.