A group of Japanese diners went to the police after claiming they were charged £1,009 for a basic meal at a restaurant in Venice.
The outraged visitors, students from the University of Bologna, said they ordered three steaks and fried fish at the Osteria da Luca near St Mark’s Square.
With only glasses of water to accompany their modest meal, the group was left shocked by their €1,145 bill on Friday.
Marco Gasparinetti, the head of the April 25 civil rights group, said the students made a formal complaint soon after their visit to the restaurant.
The case, which Gasparinetti said was simply ‘yet another’ in a series of tourist rip-offs is so egregious that it has prompted a response from the city’s mayor.
Luigi Brugnaro wrote on Twitter that he will attempt to verify the incident.
He added: ‘If this shameful episode is confirmed, we will do all we can to punish those responsible. We are for justice, always!’
The owner of the restaurant, however, said simply: ‘I do not remember having problems with Japanese customers these days.’