Invite back to Rome after £54 ice cream rip-off for Wordsley couples

The Mayor of Rome has invited two Black Country couples back to the city for a free ice cream – after they forked out more than £50 for just four cones.


The gesture came after the rip-off price charged to Roger, Wendy, Stephen and Joyce Bannister hit international headlines.

When the Mayor, Gianni Alemanno , who is up for re-election, heard about how the Bannisters, all from Wordsley, were charged 64 euros (£54) for four ice cream cones near the Spanish Steps, he got his representative to contact them and issue his invitation.

Roger and Wendy, of Cot Lane, were enjoying the last day of a six-day trip to Rome with his brother, Stephen, and sister-in-law Joyce, of Sandringham Road, when they found themselves at the centre of an international incident over the ‘extortionate’ cost of their ice cream cones from a shop.

Businessman Roger, aged 58, had ordered the cones, each with three different flavoured scoops of ice cream, and the others were all licking their cooling treat as he looked in horror at the bill – 64 euros.

After he queried ‘how much?’ the woman assistant at the Antica Roma shop slapped down a five euro note and a one euro coin, change from 70 euros, on the counter and did not even say ‘thank you’.

Roger Bannister, chief executive officer of Pressvess Ltd, in Stallings Lane, Kingswinford, has since received calls from an agent for the mayor, who apologised and invited the two couples to return.

“He says the Mayor will send a limousine for us, treat us to an ice cream and a round of golf,” said Mr Bannister. “We are trying to fit in a date to take up their offer.”

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Comments for: "Invite back to Rome after £54 ice cream rip-off for Wordsley couples"

Realistic Wolf

About the same price as when I visited Florence 15euros for 3 scoops. My view, if you don't like the price, simple, don't buy it or have 1 scoop.

trevor lincoln

Exactly , thats what you would expect to pay. Wherever Wordsley is do they get out much? Interestingly they are looking for a convenient date to return for their free ice creams. How much will that cost and make the cost per ice cream? Added to the cost of the first ice creams the free ones will work out at about £700 each. They are lucky to have the money to waist.

I know they are from up t north but for goodness sake stop whining and go to Butlins.

Common Sense

If you choose to eat or buy snacks from a shop/restaurant right by a major tourist attraction, then you must be prepared to pay a premium. The business owners no doubt have to pay overinflated rent and rates for such a prime position, they have to recoup that from their customers. We ate a meal at a restaurant overlooking the Pantheon, ridiculously expensive however we knew it would be. But the memory of having our meal within sight of the beautiful Pantheon on a lovely warm evening, enjoying the hussle and bussle in the piazza was priceless. One of our fondest memories of Rome and worth every cent. Just check the menu prices before you order (as you presumably would in England???) and never, ever just hand over a wad of cash without knowing exactly how much you are paying. Common Sense.

World Traveller

I've travelled the World extensively and I don't care where an ice cream shop is, 64 Euros for 4 ice creams is a case of someone trying it on.

In fact I think the mayors invite to these couples backs that point up perfectly.

Common Sense

I wasn't saying that 64 euro was reasonable for 4 ice creams I was making the point that you WILL pay a huge premium for buying food etc near a major tourist spot anywhere in the world so you MUST check the prices BEFORE you order and make sure you are happy before you actually purchase.

Dave Lawrence

What a shame for the poor businessman who had his holiday spoilt.

I wouldn't mind having the £54 to waste. I dare say a few of the people who work for him wouldn't mind it either.


But he didn't have the money to waste did he. It was his hard earned money and he deserved his holiday. He was ripped off and a lovely its a lovely jesture by the Mayor.


My heart bleeds for them, the poor dears.


Agree with Dave. Most business people rate the services they offer at premium prices but always complain about paying other business people's charges. I recall a guy who used to charge the earth for repairing washing machines. When he got a similar bill for his boiler breakdown you should have heard the fuss he made. With most people in business it is a combination of greed with their goods and paying as little as possible for what they want.


Not a very shrewd businessman.

Curly Wurly

The answer is

"How much? I think ill leave it thanks"

The fool, the buyer, the genius is the ice cream tycoon.

Living in Italy

The point is that Italian people don't pay the 64 euro for 4 cones of ice-cream. I've been living in Rome for 3 years and still living in Italy ( since 2002 )...and I never paid 64 euro for 4 ice-creams. Unfortunately it's not the first time I hear a similar story like this. A few years ago a tourist had to pay 25 euro for a cup of coffee, in a normal bar close to Fontani di Trevi, while the Italian client just paid 0.80 cents...

Some people count two kind of prices...the tourist price...and the normal Italian client price. Shame on them !!!

I would say that the Italian people would have paid about 12 to 15 euro for the 4 cones ( in total ), counting that the Spanish Steps area is an expensive area ( in my city I would pay 8 till 10 euro maximum ).

I must say that I don't order anything in Rome at a bar or shop, but I'll let my italian husband talking ( he's getting a different price... ).

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