Yesterday my parents and I went to a little market in the centre of Rome and bought some fruit. The prices were very reasonable and the quality seemed fresh and wholesome - but here in Italy normally you cannot touch the fruit and vegetables, you ask for what you want and the shop attendant places them in a bag for you.
All good and well if you are a local, however the Italian's are notorious for ripping off the poor tourists. I know this so once we had our goods I opened the bag to inspect my fruit. Just as I guessed they had put the nice peaches up the top and two rotten ones down the bottom. It is always the same old story and believe me it is not just the tourists who get this treatment, but the 'foreign Italians' too. I marched promptly back from the shop and in a loud voice told the lady that she had given me rotten fruit! 'Oh scusi, scusi...' Sorry...sorry...she says rushing over and asking me to select my own replacements.
Scusi...scusi...She was not sorry! I am however not a tourist and I will not be ripped off!
My colleague from Sicily who is from the north of Italy tells me she was treated the same in Taormina at the local market. She used to go and buy her vegetables then walk home, and each week they put rotten tomatoes in her bag. Furious, one day she marched down to the market and told the old fruit vendor that she was not a tourist and that even though her accent is clearly from the north, she lived just up the road. Red faced he apologised and from then on she only got the best tomatoes.