Rome Trevi Fountain: The footage, recorded just last month, displays an incident where a woman daringly climbs into the heart of the 18th-century fountain, overlooking a series of rocks, as horrified onlookers observe. A recent video capturing a tourist’s audacious act at Rome’s renowned Trevi Fountain has ignited discussions on the behavior of visitors at historical landmarks.
With clear intention, she fills her water bottle from a fountain spout before attempting to depart. However, her departure is halted by a vigilant guard who blows his whistle and approaches her.
A brief conversation ensues between the two parties before the guard escorts the tourist away. The subsequent fate of the tourist remains uncertain, leaving questions unanswered regarding whether she faced arrest or a fine.
This action carries the potential of a fine of up to 500 euros. It aligns with regulations that safeguard the integrity of one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.
Legends of the Trevi Fountain in Rome
Rich in legend, the fountain is believed to assure the return of those who toss a coin into its waters. The tradition generates a substantial sum for the Catholic charity Caritas. It collects an annual 1-1.5 million euros ($1.1-$1.6 million) from the coins. During peak tourist months, approximately 3,000 euros ($3,200) are deposited into the fountain daily, as reported by Rome’s tourism board.
Currently situated slightly below the square’s level, access to the fountain requires descending steps. However, visitors often congregate on these steps or rest along the fountain’s perimeter. It has prompted calls for enhanced police presence, including checkpoints and ongoing foot patrols in the vicinity.
Amidst the surge in international visitors since the pandemic’s abatement, tourists have drawn criticism for their apparent disregard for Rome’s treasured monuments.
Other Similar Incidents
In a similar vein, American tourists inflicted $25,000 worth of damage on Rome’s Spanish Steps in June last year. An earlier incident involved a Saudi visitor driving a rented Maserati down the travertine staircase, resulting in damage to two steps.
Tourist misconduct seems to persist across Italy. Just last month, a traveler was caught on camera etching his name into a wall of Rome’s ancient Colosseum. It prompted Italy’s culture minister to urge a search for both the perpetrator and their accomplice.
Elsewhere, tourists frequently engage in ill-advised activities, including swimming in Venice’s canals, which also serve as the city’s sewage system. Last August saw Australians surfing along the Grand Canal, and earlier in May, Americans chose to skinny-dip beside the 14th-century Arsenale landmark.
Instances of disrespectful behavior stretch beyond Rome. In another case, an Australian maneuvered a moped through the historic Pompeii site. Meanwhile, a priceless Vatican Museum sculpture was vandalized by an American in October, seemingly due to being denied an audience with the Pope.
Adding to the litany of incidents, this month saw a group of young German tourists tipping over a valuable statue at a northern Italian villa. They were attempting to capture pictures for their social media feeds, according to the villa’s manager.