Gelato shop rips off tourists for $18 per scoop

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. Especially when it costs $54 for three scoops.

This was the case for an American couple who ordered gelato and a bottle of water (thankfully, it wasn't San Pellegrino) at a cafe in Rome last Wednesday. The damage came out to $18 per scoop. You'd need more silver spoons than Ricky Schroder to consider paying that much per spoonful.

James and Mariann Luciani found the cost so offensive they called the police to say they were being extorted. The responding officers pointed out that the menu at Bar il Caffe, not far from the Trevi Fountain, had clearly posted prices the couple had ignored before their purchase.

An Italian cop turning a blind eye to extortionary prices? Surely this is the first time that's ever happened.

“We'd just paid 59 euros for our entire dinner, including a liter of wine, and then were charged 42 euros for Gelato!” James told The Local. He admitted he "should have checked the menu".

Though the Lucianis initially contested their $56 check, they paid in full once they were shown a menu.

The morning after the incident, the couple met at Bar il Caffe with a police officer who determined that no law was being broken.

The manager of the establishment, which is infamous for ripping off tourists, was quick to defend his business.

"Italy isn't like other countries. Here there's always a different price at the bar and sat at a table", he told the same newspaper, adding, "An ice cream in this cup is big. You could have it for lunch!"

And at a cost of $18 per scoop, that's likely all you could afford for lunch.