Shift in attitudes
The mayor's shift in attitude brings him in line with many Venetians and top restaurateurs who hope to re-establish their city's reputation for fine dining and reasonable prices.
Marco Gasparinetti, spokesperson for the Venetian civil rights association Gruppo 25 Aprile (April 25 Group), has announced the publication of "a user's guide for visitors on how to survive in Venice, with details on what kind situations to avoid."
According to Gasparinetti, only 1% restaurants in the San Marco area are owned and operated by locals, which has led to a rise in tourist trap restaurants.
Among those Venetians running well respected restaurants in the city center are Benedetta Fullin and her brother Luca, who recently opened Local
, a trendy and stylish new restaurant in the Castello area.
"I have been getting very upset about all this negative press on Venice," she says.
"There are many tourist traps and they are not run by Venetians. Most of the time they are run by foreigners who don't know what being a restaurateur means.
"They don't have a kitchen, they don't have chefs, or use local suppliers. All they have are tables, cutlery, a microwave to heat up a frozen lasagne at ridiculous prices -- and boards outside with pictures of the food.
"These are the places to avoid! They have never been reviewed by any guide and never been visited by any journalist, because they are not restaurants. You can recognize them because there is always someone outside trying to get people in".