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Japanese Diners Charged More Than £1,000 For Three Steaks And Fried Fish

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Japanese Diners Charged More Than £1,000 For Three Steaks And Fried Fish

There's a reason tourist traps are called that - mainly because they tend to overcharge unsuspecting people an arm and a leg for sub-par food, just because they happen to be in a decent location.

And while the development of things like Yelp and Google means it's become easier to avoid tourist traps, every now and then people will still fall prey to an overpriced establishment.

That's what happened to a group of Japanese students in Venice. The four friends, who are all studying at the University of Bologna, ordered three steaks and fried fish at the Osteria da Luca near St Mark's Square - and were shocked when the bill came to €1,145 (that's £1,008 / $1,042). And they only ordered water, no booze.

Yelp / Ross L.
Yelp / Ross L.
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It's apparently not the first time those students had been fleeced, either. According to Venice Today, three members of that group were recently charged £308 ($428) for three dishes of pasta at the nearby Trattoria Casanova.

That's the same place that made the news back in November when British tourists had lunch there and were charged £463 ($644).

After Luke Tang and his parents received the bill of £463, he contacted the mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, to complain. In a TV interview, Mayor Brugnaro simply said: "They're cheapskates. Someone eats and drinks in a restaurant, then says they cannot understand the language?"

Admittedly, that sounds like a pretty expensive menu, but it does pose the question as to whether those people are actually reading the menu and looking at the prices when they go to these places.

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St Mark's Square, Venice. Credit: PA
St Mark's Square, Venice. Credit: PA

I mean, it helps to look at how much these things cost, doesn't it? And if there are no prices on the menu, then they could always ask how much it's going to come to. And if the language barrier is a problem, they could go somewhere where the prices are clearly marked instead.

That's something Mayor Brugnaro seems to agree with, though you also wonder whether he should be more sympathetic to the tourists who keep his city afloat by visiting in their millions every year.

To be fair, it does seem like the restaurant gets a lot of stick for this. One outraged customer wrote on Yelp: "The waiter never clarify's [sic] the prices on the menu even though he speaks near perfect English. On part of the menu it states that a fish is 8 euros. In reality (also in fine, very fine print it says 8 euros per 100 grams).

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"IF YOU ORDER A FISH IT WILL END UP BEING AROUND 100 EURO'S [sic] per fish."

Venice by night. Credit: PA
Venice by night. Credit: PA

So we have we learned from this? It's important for customers to be vigilant. Make sure you read the small print, ask about extra fees (service charges, etc) and find out what the prices actually are. Tough love, we know, but it's for your benefit.

The four Japanese students ended up calling the police. Can't imagine that turned out too well, to be honest.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, Restaurant, Money, tourists

Mischa Pearlmen
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