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Venice Tourist Trap restaurants
Old 01-31-2018, 08:44 AM   #1
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Venice Tourist Trap restaurants

Normally I think of tourist traps as pretty harmless things, like a souvenir shop full of cheap China made plastic junk.

But generally I don't think of it as something on the main street that could cost over a thousand dollars.

Anyone run into one of these ?

https://edition.cnn.com/travel/artic...nts/index.html
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:12 AM   #2
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No way in h I'd eat on St. Mark's Sq. Also, saw woman with crutch begging outside front of St. Mark's. 5 pm church bell rang & she got up & walked away carrying said crutch. Always ate on the back streets in places with menus listing prices.
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:27 AM   #3
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I view Venice as a realistic “theme park”. In the busy season there are way more tourists (many Americans) than locals. Very difficult to get an “authentic” experience. Some of the smaller lesser known islands are better. Have to see it at least once though. Also, way better in the winter. But this is true of most European cities. Always a little surprised that people travel to Europe mostly in the summer like weather is a major reason to go there?

Also. Watch out for authentic Murano glass. Can be very expensive. I speak from experience.
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:39 AM   #4
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The link in the OP is to a story about restaurants overcharging tourists.
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:53 AM   #5
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I have been to Venice three times and never had a problem with food rip-offs. But I do research restaurants and can read the prices on a menu.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:19 AM   #6
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We had our first and best ever risi e bisi (fun to eat and fun to say) in Venice in the spring of 1977, on the terrace of a resaturant in a fine hotel. It cost thousands. Of lira.

I think we can get fleeced anywhere but Venice probably has a lot of unsuspecting tourists to prey on.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:32 AM   #7
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I fell for one in Milan 20 yrs ago, before I knew always to confirm price before ordering.

Two small salads and two sodas near the cathedral: US$60, and that was in 1997.

Far too many tourists in Italy. The most-visited places are like Disneyland on a holiday weekend. Merchants' attitudes "adapt." Shame.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:47 AM   #8
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A few years ago a young relative went to Venice and decided to sit at a table on St. Marks Square and listen to the band which was pretty good. She ordered a coffee. The bill came to 20€ (about $23 at that time). Had she read the guide books she would have known that table service there includes what amounts to a 'cover charge' for the music.

When in Venice or most major touristy cities it is always best to walk a few blocks up a side streets and find a place to eat. The price differences can be nearly 50%. A cappuccino near the tourist center in Florence was 2.5€. Mama Mia! Later while walking in the Oltrano we paid 3€ for due cappuccini. And we had a nice chat with a wonderful barista using my pathetic Italian. Molto bene!

What happened to the tourists in the article goes well beyond paying more in a touristy area. It is outrageous. The place should be written up in every guide book as a NO GO.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:50 AM   #9
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We spent a few days in Venice last summer. We stayed about 10 minutes from the Rialto bridge (in between there and the train station) in an airbnb. Not a particularly touristy area. Most meals we ate around our airbnb. There was a grocery store a few mins away that provided our breakfasts and snacks (fruits, pastries, some sandwich fixings, gelato, mozzarella balls, etc) with prices similar to a nice US grocery store (like whole foods). Not cheap, but rather expensive compared to Aldi/Lidl prices found elsewhere in continental Europe. I noticed the Rialto Market (open air market) sold the exact same fresh fruits as we bought in the grocery store maybe 5-6 minutes away but the prices were 2-3x higher (and produce wasn't as nice since it was hot outside). Tourist tax.

A pizza place 30 seconds from our front door offered huge 18-20" pizzas for $9-11 depending on toppings. 1 wasn't quite enough for the 5 of us and 2 was more than enough. We packed some leftover pizza and snacked on that in St Marks Square instead of elbowing our way into a tourist trap restaurant. That pizza place was our go to for good eats. Having 3 sometimes picky kids with us certainly made the decision to dine on delicious cheap real Italian pizza an easy choice.

Our other restaurant venture was finding some seafood. Nobody sells take out in Venice it seems. Eventually I found a place and got a couple of seafood pasta plates for $25 total and they weren't great but the price is about the same as what you would pay in the US for similar. Gelato was $2-4 depending on size, and pretty consistent with what we paid elsewhere in Europe.

Moral of the story: don't dine right on the tourist strip but a couple blocks away and you'll be fine.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:02 AM   #10
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Moral of the story: don't dine right on the tourist strip but a couple blocks away and you'll be fine.
Look for where Giuseppe Soffiare eats, and go there.
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:47 PM   #11
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In 1994, my late wife and I had lunch at Harry's Bar in Venice. I knew going in it was a tourist trap, but 2 chef's salads, a beer and a glass of wine were $70
The strangest part of the lunch was that we met another American couple there, and it turned out he was in my wife's high school graduating class in Pittsburgh!
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:29 PM   #12
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This is a standard article about dumb people being taken advantage of by slightly less dumb people. It happens all over the world. Venice is a nice place to visit for a few days in the low season and I hope this article doesn't discourage anyone from visiting.
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:47 PM   #13
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I have been to Venice 8 times since 1970, and 3 times in the last 3 years. The cruise ships have really increased the volume of tourists.

There are is so many restaurants selling inexpensive fixed price meals. What tickles me that the restaurant owners are from Syria and Lebanon--not Italy.

And you must read the menu carefully to make sure the infamous "cover charge" is not being added. I won't eat at such a restaurant.
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:15 PM   #14
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I have been to Venice three times and never had a problem with food rip-offs. But I do research restaurants and can read the prices on a menu.
But they're in Italian.
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:16 PM   #15
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Been to Venice twice. First trip in our 20's (first to Europe), we only got singed a little bit. We wanted to have a nice meal and kind of randomly picked a restaurant off the main touristy areas. In addition to what we ordered, we got some snacks and drinks (limoncello? I forget) which we thought were on the house. Final bill was a bit gobbly-goop and somewhat more than we expected but not excessively.

Second and relatively recent trip, we decided to avoid fancy meals. Did a lot of chicheti and spritz. Got some water and snacks at supermarket on Lido. We tried using an app called Eat Venice by Elizabeth Minchilli, an American living in Italy/Rome. The guide overall seemed pretty good but a number of the places we wanted to visit weren't open for one reason or another when tracked them down.

IMO, nowadays with data being more accessible (cost-wise and coverage) on your phones while traveling it's correspondingly easier, though not infallible, to avoid sketchy places to eat by pulling up a few reviews on the fly.
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Old 01-31-2018, 06:08 PM   #16
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You mean...you broke some?
Quote:
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Also. Watch out for authentic Murano glass. Can be very expensive. I speak from experience.
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Old 01-31-2018, 06:18 PM   #17
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We spent a few days in Venice last summer. We stayed about 10 minutes from the Rialto bridge (in between there and the train station) in an airbnb. Not a particularly touristy area. Most meals we ate around our airbnb. There was a grocery store a few mins away that provided our breakfasts and snacks (fruits, pastries, some sandwich fixings, gelato, mozzarella balls, etc) with prices similar to a nice US grocery store (like whole foods). Not cheap, but rather expensive compared to Aldi/Lidl prices found elsewhere in continental Europe. I noticed the Rialto Market (open air market) sold the exact same fresh fruits as we bought in the grocery store maybe 5-6 minutes away but the prices were 2-3x higher (and produce wasn't as nice since it was hot outside). Tourist tax.

A pizza place 30 seconds from our front door offered huge 18-20" pizzas for $9-11 depending on toppings. 1 wasn't quite enough for the 5 of us and 2 was more than enough. We packed some leftover pizza and snacked on that in St Marks Square instead of elbowing our way into a tourist trap restaurant. That pizza place was our go to for good eats. Having 3 sometimes picky kids with us certainly made the decision to dine on delicious cheap real Italian pizza an easy choice.

Our other restaurant venture was finding some seafood. Nobody sells take out in Venice it seems. Eventually I found a place and got a couple of seafood pasta plates for $25 total and they weren't great but the price is about the same as what you would pay in the US for similar. Gelato was $2-4 depending on size, and pretty consistent with what we paid elsewhere in Europe.

Moral of the story: don't dine right on the tourist strip but a couple blocks away and you'll be fine.
We spent a week in Venice in 2014 and enjoyed every minute of it. Our general rule there, as everywhere else in Italy (to which we have been 7 times now), is to walk off the main street until the restaurants no longer have bilingual menus on a stand outside. Then, it's safe to go in and the food will be much better. (It helps to speak Italian).

We still went to the Caffè Florian in Piazza San Marco to drink cappuccino and eat incredibly expensive pastries outside and listen to the orchestra. But we knew what we were getting into and did it for the sheer joy of sitting in the sun and watching the people go by.
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:16 AM   #18
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You mean...you broke some?
No, we bought some. Took a private launch to Murano. Got a private tour of the glass blowing facility, couple glasses of wine, charming guy. You can guess the rest.
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Old 02-01-2018, 01:11 PM   #19
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I can, indeed! Did it involve chandeliers?

Quote:
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No, we bought some. Took a private launch to Murano. Got a private tour of the glass blowing facility, couple glasses of wine, charming guy. You can guess the rest.
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Old 02-01-2018, 01:42 PM   #20
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... ...
Also. Watch out for authentic Murano glass. Can be very expensive. I speak from experience.
Yes, but isn't Murano glass beautiful. Our various pieces weren't that expensive (probably not more than $150 or so per piece for the most expensive; $10 each for the 3 bottles holding grapa)) but I enjoy them every time I look at them . Unfortunately, I broke my most favorite piece and am hoping I can find someone to repair/glue the piece back onto it's base.
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