Rome “does not deserve or need” this type of tourism.
Rome’s tourism councillor on Friday requested help from the Italian government to stop tourists jumping into the waters of the city’s Trevi Fountain.
Alessandro Onorato says “the time has come” for restricted access to the Baroque landmark to prevent unruly tourists from disrespecting the iconic fountain, reports news agency ANSA.
Onorato was reacting to a video circulating on social media of a man diving off the 18th-century monument on Thursday night, to applause and laughter from the crowd.
Many of those present filmed the stunt on their phones and nobody intervened to restrain the man, reports La Repubblica newspaper, which noted that the individual later received “just a fine” from traffic police.
“The indecent spectacle at the Trevi Fountain the other night, with yet another tourist making a mockery of the historical and cultural heritage of our city and our rules, is no longer tolerable”, Onorato stated.
Describing the scene as “pure barbarity”, the councillor added that the “complicit applause” from the crowd was also “very worrying”.
“The fines from police and the numerous appeals for common sense are no longer enough” – Onorato said – “Tourists cannot do whatever they want with impunity, respect is required and we really must preserve the most precious places in the world.
“Calling for “concrete help” from the ministries of culture and the interior, Onorato concluded: “This is not the tourism we deserve or need”.
Footage of the incident, posted online by Welcome to Favelas, attracted a sea of negative comments from Romans, including one who suggested putting Piranhas in the fountain instead of coins.
Tourists behaving badly
The incident is just the latest in a spate of similar events at the Trevi Fountain, including a woman who kicked a police officer to the ground after being dragged out the water last month.
As Rome’s tourism sector booms once again after the covid pandemic, with it come the negative headlines about visitors disrespecting the city’s precious heritage.
Earlier this summer several tourists were caught defacing the Colosseum, including one who smiled at the camera as he carved “Ivan+Hayley” into a wall of the amphitheatre.