Italian Economics


Every year local newspapers report some naive visitor paying an exorbitant fee for a taxi ride or cup of coffee. Tourists can be easy targets for unscrupulous business owners who charge one price for locals and another for anyone holding a map. Most Italians however are honest and to keep them that way it’s a good idea to have an idea of local prices before buying anything. Taxis, bars and shops must clearly display their prices. Markets can be murkier but all food is generally sold by weight and clothes and other objects should be clearly labeled. If they aren’t inquire about price and ask for a discount if you feel it’s too high. Remember that all transactions (except those conducted by nomadic salespeople) should be accompanied by a receipt (ricevuto) and it’s always a good idea to ask for one if it isn’t provided (un ricevuto per favore).

Average Costs
Prices fluctuate slightly depending on neighborhood and city but if you find yourself being charged a great deal more than those listed below you’re either being ripped off or have selected the most expensive establishment in Italy.

espresso €1
cappuccino €1.20
breakfast pastry (cornetto) €1
triangle sandwich (tramezzino) €2
other sandwiches €3-4.5
fresh squeezed juice €2.50-3.50
small bottle of water €1
large bottle of water €2

small beer €2-3
large beer €3-5
bottle of house wine €7-10
first course €8-11
second course €11-15

bus/metro fare €1.50
movie ticket €8-10
postcard €.50
stamp to North America €2.20
unleaded/diesel fuel €1.30/1.50 per liter
street parking €1 per hour

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