"Welcome tourists, but of course they have to spend," said the Mayor of Venice, in response to visitor complaints about the city's restaurants, which are exploiting their ignorance of Italian language and forcing them to pay huge sums.
The complaint started with a British tourist who paid 526 euros for a lunch he had with his parents in a restaurant near St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco). He sent a letter of complaint to the mayor, however, it returned to him.
For their part, a Japanese couple complained from being forced to pay 120 euros for two crab pasta plates, and when they objected, the waiter told them that the price in the restaurant is determined by the weight of the dish. When the waiter got help from an Italian customer who speaks English, the bill was reduced by 40 percent.
Commenting on objections, the Mayor praised the waiters’ release of invoices, claiming that this highlights the commitment to the law in Venice. He saw that it is normal for tourists to pay for what they eat and to leave tips for the waiters who serve them. The Mayor added: "I am surprised by those who order and eat, and then complain because they don’t speak Italian when the check comes. Why don’t they learn some Italian words? It will not harm them."
On Twitter, the Mayor said: “Who will complain? At the airport in Vienna, I paid a full 11 euros for 4 espresso cups, with two sips each."
In another context, the mayor blamed tourists for not preserving the city’s beauty, referring to a video that was recently published featuring a group of tourists, all of them carrying their mobile phones, looking at screens, and ignoring the beautiful scenery, and the information provided by the guide who accompanied them while they were traveling in Venice. There were also videos of drunk tourists urinating in the water canals, and throwing dirt while shouting.
For its part, a group of the city’s residents and fans rush to express their discontent of the mayor’s response that does not represent them, accusing him of "selling Venice for a rifle", referring to a previous statement in which he threatened to shoot anyone running in the square of San Marco shouting "Allah Akbar".
He said: "I have already said that we will do so in 4 steps, Now 3 steps away."