An American tourist has been fined 450 euros for violating a “decency rule” in Rome by eating ice cream on the steps of a fountain.
The 55-year-old tourist, who was also holding a beer in his hand, was reprimanded by police in the early hours of Saturday in Fontana dei Caticomeni, in a small picturesque square in the Monte region.
Built in 1589 by Battista Rosconi, the fountain is a popular place for people to gather in the evening, but it is closed on Fridays to prevent anyone from sitting on the stairs. The septal tape was reportedly removed, leaving the man unaware he was about to commit a crime when he sat down around 1am.
According to La Repubblica, he remained seated when the police warned him, after which the police imposed a fine on him. The man said he did not know that it was forbidden to eat, drink and sit by the fountain. The law is part of a series of rules introduced in 2017 by then-mayor Virginia Raggi as she tried to regain fitness in the Italian capital. The restrictions even limited the Roman custom of hanging laundry to dry between adjacent buildings.
Since 2018, it is also forbidden to sit on Spanish steps. In June, an American tourist was fined for throwing a UNESCO World Heritage electric bike that allegedly caused $25,000 in damages. Two weeks ago, a visitor from Saudi Arabia drove a Maserati down the stairs.
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