Over the next few weeks, Roman businesses may earn an additional $122.5 million due to spending by the influx of visitors to Rome. According to an AP report
, visitors are expected to spend $193.4 million just on transportation trains, plane tickets
and gasoline. Codacons, the company that come up with these estimates, said 10 to 20 percent of the revenue was probably going to illegal businesses. Anyone who has been to Italy knows how Italians like to conduct transactions "in cash" and "under the table." Hundreds of entrepreneurs are selling Papal trinkets and food on the streets near St. Peter's. Yet even in the most sacred of times, many are just out to make a buck or a euro, as it were. A spokesman for Italy's financial police says about 10% of the establishments its division have visited are guilty of price gouging.
Here are some tips to avoid getting jipped:
- Fill your water bottles at public drinking fountains.
- Buy food in other areas of Rome (at grocery stores or markets) and carry it with you.
- Ask for a receipt for everything (by law, a shopkeeper MUST comply).