The alien Asian gastropod Rapana venosa (Valenciennes 1846) was first recorded in 1973 along the Italian coast of the Northern Adriatic Sea. Recently, this predator of bivalves has been spreading all around the world oceans, probably helped by ship traffic and aquaculture trade. A caging experiment in natural environment was performed during the summer of 2002 in Cesenatico (Emilia-Romagna, Italy) in order to estimate consumption rates and prey preference of R. venosa. The prey items chosen were the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis (Lamarck 1819), the introduced carpet clam Tapes philippinarum (Adams and Reeve 1850), both supporting the local fisheries, and the Indo-Pacific invasive clam Anadara (Scapharca) inaequivalvis (Bruguière 1789). Results showed an average consumption of about 1 bivalve prey per day (or 1.2 g wet weight per day). Predation was species and size selective towards small specimens of A. inaequivalvis; consumption of the two commercial species was lower. These results might reduce the concern about the economical impact on the local bivalve fishery due to the presence of the predatory gastropod. On the other hand, selective predation might probably alter local community structure, influencing competition amongst filter feeder/suspension feeder bivalve species and causing long-term ecological impact. The large availability of food resource and the habitat characteristics of the Emilia-Romagna littoral makes this area an important breeding ground for R. venosa in the Mediterranean Sea, thus worthy of consideration in order to understand the bioinvasion ecology of this species and to control its likely further dispersal.