Rome cracks down on misbehaving tourists

Jun 14, 2017

Rome’s government is cracking down on unruly tourists who are making a mockery of their historic attractions.

The mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, signed an order prohibiting the consumption of food on the steps of historic monuments, as well as swimming, climbing or sitting on the marble fountains of Rome.

The fine for tourists breaking the rules is a hefty one – 240 Euros, or about AU$350. The ban is temporary and will be valid until October 31, when it will most likely be reassessed.

Taking care not to deface a historic monument may seem like obvious behaviour to some of us, but there have been numerous incidences of tourists throwing rubbish into the fountains as well as even taking a dip in them.

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The new ban has already been put into action against a tourist who took a bath in the Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona, citing his reason for taking a dip as, “I felt warm.”

Last year, three young women sparked outrage when they stripped off to their swimsuits and frolicked in Italy’s 17th century Fontana dell’Acqua Paola. It’s just one of many similar incidents Italy is fed up with.

Raggi posted a video to Facebook to discuss the ban, stating it was necessary to protect Rome’s historic monuments.

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“We need to protect our city, and good behaviour is important,” the mayor said. “Rome’s police have been tasked with monitoring these sites even more closely.”

The order Raggi signed also stipulates a ban against washing animals and clothing in the fountain. It’s mind-boggling those incidents happened to warrant a mention.

People have taken to social media to express mainly their support for the ban.

“That’s good, because there was too much vandalism and litter, tourists ought to be much more respectful in such places of antiquity,” one user commented. 

Another said: “I can understand where they’re coming from. People, tourists and locals, can be careless. Not taking it too far, just protecting monuments for everyone to enjoy.”

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