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Venice Police Called When Restaurant Charges Tourists $1,600 Meal

Dorathy Gass

It’s a well-known fact that many touristy towns tend to have establishments that jack up their prices, especially during peak travel season. Still, an incident in Venice is raising some eyebrows.

The Telegraph reported that the police were actually called out to a local restaurant as of late, after a group of student Japanese tourist complained about being charged $1,680 for a meal that encompassed a fried fish dinner, three steaks, and some mineral water.

The restaurant in question was Osteria da Luca, located in the district of Mercerie close to St. Mark’s square.

Marco Gasparinetti, a representative for a Venice civil rights organization known as April 25 Group, recently made a statement saying that this recent incident is only the latest of many occurrences of this nature. He went on to add that Bologna students recently made a formal rebuke at the local police as soon as they stepped off the train.

Osteria da Luca’s owner was questioned about the $1,600+ bill and stated he did not recall having issues with Japanese clients.

Mr. Gasparinetti recently recalled a situation where a tourist from Britain reached out the Venice’s major, Luigi Brugnaro, to complain about the extremely high prices in the town. A group of three ladies were charged over $500 dollars, with each woman only ordering a plate of pasta, when they visited the Venice establishment of Trattoria Casanova.

The April 25 organization wants to warn tourists of more rip-offs on the cusp of the Venice Carnival, an annual event, that takes place La Serenissima. Mr. Gasparinetti stated with the Carnival starting up soon these types of situations are sure to happen more. The organization is considering a way to place their phone number and website somewhere, so that tourists who get trapped in an high-cost situation can reach out.

Recently, Osteria da Luca was rated as “terrible” by 89% of reviewers on TripAdvisor; meanwhile, Trattoria Casanova also had a 59% “terrible” rating.