Tourists handed €450 fines for Trevi Fountain stunt.
Two Australian tourists were fined €450 each after Rome police caught them swimming in the waters of the famed Trevi Fountain on Sunday night, Italian media reported.
The two women, fully dressed, were filmed by bystanders as they swam around undisturbed in the landmark fountain which was inaugurated in 1762.
The incident occurred just before midnight on Sunday and the footage was published by Telegram channel Welcome to Favelas on Monday.
The women, both aged 28, reportedly decided to emulate Anita Ekberg’s classic scene from Fellini’s movie La Dolce Vita, to celebrate one of their birthdays.
They were joined in the water by an unidentified man who got out of the water before police arrived and therefore escaped the fine, according to Rome newspaper Il Messaggero.
The officers’ arrival was reportedly slowed down by the crowds, reports Il Messaggero, and the two women allegedly expressed surprise that it was forbidden to bathe in the fountain’s waters.
In addition to the €450 fines, the tourists were handed a daspo banning order from returning to the Trevi Fountain area.
Threat of restricted access
The incident is the latest in a string of cases involving tourists behaving badly at the 18th-century monument, including recent viral footage of a woman clambering across the fountain to fill her water bottle.
It also comes six weeks after Rome tourism councillor Alessandro Onorato requested help from the Italian government to stop tourists from jumping into the historic fountain, saying “the time had come” to restrict access to the Baroque landmark.
Onorato was responding to a video circulating on social media in July of a man diving off the monument, to applause and laughter from the crowd, an incident he described as “pure barbarity”.
Calling for respect for “one of the most precious places in the world”, Onorato said: “The fines from police and the numerous appeals for common sense are no longer enough”.
Last week a 22-year-old German tourist caused €5,000 worth of damage to a historic statue of Neptune in Florence after climbing on to the monument for a selfie.
Italy’s cultural landmarks have seen a spate of vandalism this summer, including the Colosseum in Rome, the Vasari Corridor in Florence and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan.
Photo Welcome to Favelas