Four Japanese students called the police after being charged £970 for four steaks and some fried fish in Venice.
The diners were holidaying in the popular tourist hotspot from their home in Bologna when they visited Osteria da Luca near St Mark’s Square on Friday.
They claim the eye-watering fee included mineral water and service – and were left so disgusted with the hefty bill they rang authorities to complain.
And now the city’s mayor has vowed to investigate the alleged rip-off after expressing his outrage at the claims.
Luigi Brugnaro wrote on Twitter: ‘We will thoroughly examine this episode, we will check to see if the complaint has been made properly.
‘If this disgraceful episode is confirmed, we’ll do all we can to punish those responsible. We are for justice – always.’
Marco Gasparinetti, spokesperson for civil rights group April 25 told Venice today that this was ‘just the latest case’ of this kind.
He confirmed that a formal complaint had been made.
Osteria da Luca currently has 1.5 stars on Tripadvisor, with reviewers calling it a ‘rip off’, ‘scam’ and ‘overpriced’.
One wrote: ‘Just got done eating at this place and the food was very average, wasn’t going to leave a review at all until I got the bill.
‘They added on almost €50 in taxes and tip, these are the hidden fees that they don’t tell you and the service wasn’t that good. I feel scammed.’
While another said: ‘A complete rip off and scam. AVOID at all costs. Food was terrible. Drink prices bordering on insane.’
The restaurant owner told Italian journalists that he didn’t remember having any problems with Japanese tourists.