US tourist throws scooter down Rome’s Spanish Steps causing €25,000 damage | Italy
An American tourist has caused €25,000 (£21,000) in damage after she launched her electric scooter down the Spanish Steps in Rome.
The incident was filmed by a passerby in the early hours of Friday. Police then caught up with the 28-year-old and fined her and a 29-year-old male companion, who rolled his electric scooter down the 18th century marble steps, €400 each.
The couple have also been banned from returning to the famous monument, a Unesco World Heritage site which underwent a 1.5 million euro restoration in 2015. The incident happened two weeks after visitor from Saudi Arabia drove a Maserati down the stairs. People were banned from sitting on the Spanish Steps in 2018.
Tourist numbers in the Italian capital have returned to pre-pandemic levels, with intense crowds converging on cultural sites. But the recovery of the sector has also seen the return of tourists flouting the rules of decorum. In April, two Dutch visitors were fined €1,000 for entering the Trevi Fountain, which was quite common before the pandemic.
Days earlier, a 39-year-old Argentinian was charged with breaking strict no-fly zone rules after crashing a drone onto the roof of a prominent monument in central Rome.
He was flying his drone in Piazza Venezia when he lost control of the device and sent it crashing into the roof of Palazzo Venezia, a 15th-century building from where fascist dictator Benito Mussolini spoke some of his most famous speeches.
Such incidents are not exclusive to Rome: a week earlier, two Mexican tourists crashed their drone into the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Venice is also a popular target for ill-mannered tourists. Police renewed their crackdown on rude visitors to the city last summer, saying the return of tourism had coincided with “signs of urban decay”.
Among those fined were a French tourist who paddled along the Grand Canal on his stand-up paddleboard and two German women who sunbathed in bikinis near San Stae Church.