In case you didn’t notice (and I hope you did), I have been off the air for a couple of weeks. My husband and I went on a tour of Italy, a big vacation at my insistence! My husband said I picked the worst possible time with the dollar so weak.
We had a fabulous time anyway, flying into Rome, then traveling by train to Florence, Venice, Lake Como and Milan.
Some interesting consumer facts (since this is a “consumer” blog):
A can of Coke costs 2.50 euros in Italy. That’s $4!
The best exchange rate we could find gave us 1 euro for $1.59.
While I loved the food, the Colliseum, and all of the amazing sights, this funny story is probably what I’ll remember most about the trip.
It was the fourth day in, our first day in Florence. With gelato shops literally lined up down every street, the frozen treat had become a daily guilty pleasure. You can expect to pay about 5 euros for 2 ice cream cones.
But then we stopped into a shop in Florence. We ordered our cones and had both already started eating them as we approached the register. The man behind the counter handed us a receipt and said, “That will be 15 euros.”
“15 euros?” my husband repeated? The cashier nodded his head to confirm. That’s when my husband thrust the cone back at him and said, “I’m not paying $26 for 2 ice cream cones!” The man stated the obvious, that we had already started licking the cones. He was right. But as this consumer reporter quickly pointed out, according to the sign behind the counter, the cost should’ve been much lower.
In the end we settled on 5 euros. But as we walked out, the cashier said something I had never before heard in a derogatory tone. He said, “Where are you from? America??”
At which time my husband said, “Yeah! Where we don’t pay $26 for 2 ice cream cones!”