This is a minor scam but at the ticket window in Naples for the Circumvesuviana the clerk tried to short change me. Count your change., I did. He had the additional amount set aside and quickly gave it to me when I questioned him.
I count my change no matter where I am and that includes my local pharmacy.
Same thing happened to me at an airport duty free shop. The 50 cent and one-euro coins are similar diameters, so you need to count.
Edit: when he saw me counting, he dropped the second 50 cent piece onto the counter.
"The 50 cent and one-euro coins are similar diameters"
True, but the one euro coin has fine milling on the edge and the 50 cent coin has big notches. Why I tell everyone to put their coins together like a roll and look at the sides. I, too, used to have difficulty telling the coins apart until I figured out this system. So I would end up not using coins, just bills, until I had 11# (ops, 5 kg) of coins in my pocket.
Copper coins (1, 2, 5 cent)
1 and 5 cent coins have smooth edges.
2 cent coin has a circumferential groove
Brass coins (10, 20, 50 cent
10 and 50 cent coins have lots of large notches
20 cent coin has only 7 notches
Full euro coins (silver/brass)
1 euro has intermittent fine milling
2 euro has continuous fine milling
A new meaning to "penny ante" crime.
I suppose I've been living in a small town too long. After accumulation a pocket full of small change I try to use the small denomination coins to lighten my load. (The Rick Steves philosophy is to travel light). I do the tourist thing and offer the clerk my open hand full of small coins and trust that they will take the right amount. And I think that for the most part they do the right thing.
Great lesson Lee.
Also watch for a Turkish lira being slipped into your change instead of the one-euro coin.
Somewhere on this site, Rick said he sat and watched a clerk in Rome once for an hour and he shortchanged as many people as he could. Hey, it's like taking a store clerk taking home a loaf of bread at night as far as they're concerned. It's not like they are going to see you again.