Orientalism lives… Update on the Osteria da Luca.

It turns out that the manager of the restaurant who overcharged the Japanese students is an Egyptian, Kazi Babar. Although he runs the restaurant the premises are sub-let to him by a Chinese, Zeng Chegyi, who, in turn, is renting it from a Venetian, Professor Franco Rendich. To keep up the oriental aura it is perhaps worth mentioning that Professor Rendich taught Sanskrit. The premises, close to San Marco, bring in 12,000 euros a month to Professor Rendich, who says that he could actually have asked for more.

On a previous occasion the mayor of Venice had dismissively described a group of English tourists who had complained about overcharging as “pezzenti” – cheapskates; this time he has declared that he will fly to Japan to make amends. The hoteliers of Venice have offered a free holiday to the students.

Tripadvisor has temporarily suspended comments on the restaurant in question while an osteria in Mestre with the same name is fighting hard to defend its reputation against anonymous libellers.

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