Caution for British tourists traveling to Italy: beware of overcharging in popular Venetian restaurants


As British tourists plan their summer getaways, they are being urged to exercise caution and avoid falling victim to exorbitant charges during their holidays. After recent

complaints from tourists about being overcharged for simple snacks in Greece, another popular destination has now come under scrutiny for the high cost of meals and drinks: Venice, Italy.

Known for its breathtaking canals, gondola rides, and the iconic St. Mark's Square, Venice has long been notorious for its expensive dining options. However, some recent receipts have reached outrageous levels.

One Venetian restaurant, Osteria de Luca, near St. Mark's Square, faced a fine of £12,300 after charging four Japanese students €1,100 (£970) for four steaks, a plate of fried fish, water, and service. Outraged by the bill, the students reported the incident to the local police upon their return to Bologna, where they were studying Italian cuisine.

Following the complaint, it was revealed that their friends, who had chosen a different restaurant, were charged €350 for three plates of seafood pasta. Osteria da Luca currently holds a rating of 1.5 on TripAdvisor, with one recent review describing poor service and excessive charges for basic items.

In response to the complaints, Luigi Brugnaro, the mayor of Venice, promised to investigate the matter. Authorities subsequently imposed fines totaling £12,300 on Osteria da Luca, following visits from the police, health officers, building inspectors, and the national financial crime police.

Unfortunately, these incidents are not isolated. In 2018, a man from Birmingham was shocked when his family was charged €526 for a lunch that included oysters, chips, and grilled vegetables. Luke Tang, a university lecturer, wrote a letter of complaint to the mayor after dining at the Trattoria Casanova restaurant.

Furthermore, it's not only lunch and dinner where tourists need to remain vigilant. One couple was charged €43 for two coffees and two bottles of water at Caffe Lavena in the pricey area of St. Mark's Square. The cafe explained that the extra cost was due to a surcharge for sitting in the square.

British tourists planning a visit to Venice this summer are advised to exercise caution, research restaurants before dining, and be wary of potential overcharging. It is essential to check prices and understand any additional fees or surcharges that may be imposed in popular tourist areas. Keeping a close eye on bills and seeking recommendations from trustworthy sources can help ensure an enjoyable and affordable dining experience while exploring the beautiful city of Venice. Photo by  alvise79, Wikimedia commons.

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