Beware the €500 Tourist Trap

Tourists Warned Of Ticket Rip Off

Stock image og Rome Airport. Credit: Mazur Travel/

Could you unknowingly commit a costly mistake on your next holiday? A recent traveller’s experience in Italy suggests so.

On her recent trip to Italy, Alaya took to social media to share a cautionary tale with her followers, according to The Sun, Monday, August 28.

A Costly Oversight

Anyone using public transport could be fined if they don’t validate their tickets. She warned. ‘Do this if you don’t want to get fined €40 like clueless tourists in Italy.’

The Validation Process

Alaya emphasised the importance of validating tickets when using regional transport, particularly in Rome. She mentioned that travellers should look out for yellow machines to validate their tickets before boarding. The machine confirms validation with a distinct sound.

She shared an incident from her trip between Milan and Varenna at Lake Como, where two couples beside her faced significant fines due to their unfamiliarity with the ticket validation system.

Additionally, she noted an instance in Rome where more than 10 tourists were asked to leave a bus and were fined for similar reasons.

Tourists Take To Social Media

The rules sparked outrage on TikTok. One user exclaimed, ‘Imagine your ticket not being valid after purchase. Such a tourist trap.’ Another shared, ‘They tried to arrest and extort us because our ticket wasn’t stamped. Clearly, they’re targeting tourists. We did put it in the machine, but it didn’t stamp.’

However, some offered solutions. One way around the issue is to purchase the tickets online and utilise the app, which automatically validates them, suggested one user.

Another tourist who fell prey to this oversight took to Instagram. Leonora lamented, ‘We were slapped with an €80 fine as soon as we set foot in Italy. Avoid this blunder.’ While Alaya mentioned a €40 fine, the penalties can soar up to €500.

The Italian public transport authority, ATAC, cautioned that passengers found travelling without a valid ticket or with an irregular one will be issued with a penalty ranging from €100 to €500. This charge would be in addition to the ticket cost and any additional charges, if relevant.

In conclusion, you’re deemed to be travelling without a valid ticket when, even if you possess one, you haven’t validated it correctly.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.