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.”