Luigi Brugnaro said that if the allegation was proven, the owners of the restaurant would be “punished”, although he did not specify what action could be taken.
“We will thoroughly examine this episode, we’ll check to see if the complaint was made properly,” Brugnaro wrote on his Twitter account on 21 January.
“If this disgraceful episode is confirmed, we will do all we can to punish those responsible. We are for justice – always!”
Restaurant labelled a ‘scam’
The case became known after local news outfit Veneto ASNA reported that the restaurant, owned by a Chinese and managed by an Egyptian, allegedly charged the four Japanese tourists a hefty bill of €1,100.
Italian media have not named the restaurant, although many people have said on message boards that it is the Osteria da Luca at the centre of the controversy. This quaint restaurant in St Mark’s Square has damning reviews on consumer site TripAdvisor.
It has a score of just 1.5 out of 5m, and customers call the restaurant a “rip-off” and a “scam”.
One reviewer from January 2018 said they had around €50 in taxes and tips added on to their bill, while another said they were charged €72 for one pizza, pasta and water.
Osteria de Luca could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.