Italy gets a bad reputation from tourists who feel they’ve been cheated in one way or another. We’re not too sympathetic to these feelings as half the time they are the result of ignorance (it’s normal to be charged a cover charge per person if you sit down and it's normal to have to ask for free tap water instead of bottled) or poor choices (all of the restaurants on busy piazzas offering the most overpriced and poor quality food in town — with a view).
One item on Italian restaurant menus most ripe for abuse however is the “catch of the day.” Many seaside restaurants, as well as some in the city, offer stunning selections of whole fish cooked to order. These are usually priced per kilogram or per 100 grams. Depending on the restaurant the prices vary wildly, with fancy restaurants in the most exclusive resorts naturally the highest. We have had several experiences where the restaurant seemed to overcharge (assuming you can’t verify the weight) but we’ve also had experiences where we felt like the pricing was in our favor.
Our tips for enjoying the catch of the day are: