From seeing several beautiful Italy photos on Instagram and other social media you would think of anything negative about this country. One thing to always remember, there’s a tourist scam in nearly every country. Here are some of the things I’ve encountered myself and everyone who is going or planning to go to Italy.
1. People in costumes (mostly gladiators)
This doesn’t just happen in Italy. We faced the same experience in Germany as well, and they really won’t let you go. These people in costumes (pretty much gladiator costumes) will be waiting at entrances of popular tourist attractions where there isn’t that many guards or soldiers around like the ‘Roman Forum’. They will try to catch tourists like us and say you should take photos with them. Once that’s been done, they will instantly ask for money because they technically provided you with a ‘service’. And they actually won’t let you go until you’ve paid them. So AVOID those people even though their costumes look so much like the ‘Romans’.
2. Unexpected price at restaurants
Don’t know if this was a scam but a lot of articles have mentioned this happening. It also happened when we were in Positano once so be careful. What occurred to us was when we asked for a bill it ended up costing about €70 or €80. This was shocking to us because we simply ordered 2 dishes and a bottle of wine. When calculating at the beginning it should be somewhere around €40. When looking at the bill it said there was a service charge for 4 people and there were 2 extra dish that we didn’t order. Luckily when telling the waiter he changed it to the correct price and didn’t trouble us. Even though this experience might not be classed as a scam but it will teach you to look at the menu and calculate roughly how much it would cost then double check when the bill comes.
3. African guys with colourful clothing
This post isn’t targeting any race but we find this out ourselves and even experienced it. So these people dress in such a colourful way you can’t miss them, they say to you they are very proud of their home country therefore they’re dressing this way. However when the problem comes when they start talking to you.
First they will greet you like any nice strangers would and ask your names. They will continue talking to you about their country then pretend to be wishing you a great trip. Then they’d come back talking to you saying they’ve forgotten to give you some of their home country’s precious souvenirs. As the conversation goes on they’d start bringing things up to get your sympathy such as ‘My wife just had a baby’ would like our contribution towards the baby’s life. While saying that they’d show pictures on their phones of their ‘babies’ that their wives sent to them. Don’t believe it, one fraud in this with our experience that we realised later was the baby was white. Even if he was married with a Caucasian girl the baby would still look half. They would negotiate how much you should contribute. They might change their strategies as time goes on but the best way to avoid this is to ignore them completely.
P.S. The way to get your attention is sometimes they would say ‘Are you black?’ to make you totally confused that you will pay attention to them.
4. Car watching person
For anyone who’s planning to rent a car, do be careful of where you’re parking. A scam for us just means taking money without us wanting or willing to, which is the case for this one. In some cities like Naples you would be approached by a stranger asking for money for looking after your car for you while you’re gone. They would use an excuse of them doing this to feed their family but don’t fall for it. This actually doesn’t happen to just tourists but the locals as well. They usually target parking slots that are free and are in the city areas.
When this happens it’s quite difficult to think of what to do because they actually might not let you go unless you give them the money. If you do end up in this situation just bargain your way out to pay as little as possible, we ended up paying 2 Euros which wasn’t bad.
5. Fake tour guides
This never happened to us but there are loads of stories about it. There are so many fake tour guides that can guarantee you out of queues… trust me this is fault. The only tour guides you should believe are the ones that are allowed to access the third level of the Colosseum. It is because you can’t go up to the top if haven’t booked a tour with the Colosseum.
Lessons from these stories: Just don’t rely on tour guides, stick to yourself unless it is advised on the attraction’s website. Also don’t talk to strangers especially if they’re approaching you because they want to offer you something.