Douchey Service Even by Italian Standards
(Okay, Italian standards for service are improving, but it’s still nowhere near North American standards. Trust me. I know more than I want to know.)
So, after a long day of wandering around Roma, you end up by the Spanish Steps and are tired and in desperate need of sustenance. You look around and you see a very picturesque and inviting storefront a stone’s throw away. Do NOT be deceived. The Cafeteria Antica Roma has a reputation for ripping off tourists (and some locals) with its outrageous prices. I wasn’t ripped off because I’ve picked up enough Italian to tell them exactly what I want so there’s no “misunderstanding” and I really like asking, “Quanto costa?” before I make a purchase. No, I wasn’t ripped off by the Cafeteria Antica Roma. I was, however, booted from the store quite rudely and quite loudly because spending 2.50 EUR on gelato is not enough to use one of the tables. I was planning on looking through their menu to order dinner (hey, sometimes having dessert first is a must because of low blood sugar), but I took my business elsewhere…where I spent more than 20 times that amount. But I’m sure that’s not an issue for Cafeteria Antica Roma because 15 EUR for a gelato cone appears to be common in this restaurant.