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Local Prices Vs. Tourist Prices

How do you make sure you obtain the local (vs. tourist) menu's and prices for items when traveling in Italy. My understanding is the local prices are much cheaper.

Posted by
3551 posts

Not sure exactly what you mean but stay away from touristy areas with big tour groups and near big sights. walk thru the small alleys and find small family owned trattorias, explore.

Posted by
23464 posts

I have read reports of restaurants having two menus but have never encountered it. And I have seen English menus but the prices were the same. Nearly all restaurants have posted menus so you know the prices going in. I think that scam is fairly rare. We did encounter in Russia tourist prices for entry fees were higher than local but it was clearly posted.

Posted by
1829 posts

I have never seen/heard of two menus. I think what does happen is that restaurant owners give discounts/freebies to regular customers. Not much can be done about that and we have on few occasions been on the reeiving end.

I have also been able to order off menu as long as the ingredients for my requested dish are available that day.

Posted by
9109 posts

The two menu scam has happened to me on several occasions at very touristy restaurants in Italy. I know I should have known better, as Rick warns about this in his guidebooks- but were not all perfect:) A few years ago the New York Times Travel section did long story about this and found that in addition to different prices many establishments also served "watered" down dishes with inferior ingredients, day-old leftovers, and smaller portions to tourists. Bottom line: you can avoid all this by eating where the locals dine, not where the bulk of the tourists go.

Posted by
223 posts

yes. Venice is the place that is notorious for this. (I have NOT found this to be the case in other parts of Italy, BTW!!) I learned Italian in Padova (in the Veneto) from a Venetian teacher...and I know just enough dialect to, at least sound like I have spent a bit of time there..and...when I order, we get a different price than when my non-Italian-speaking husband orders. The discount is maybe 10 or 20% - like a frequent-diner coupon or discount here in the US...the restaurants want to make sure they keep the local neighborhood folks loyal to their restaurant!