Tourism

You can now be fined for sitting on the Spanish Steps

Police in Italy’s capital have begun enforcing a string of groundbreaking new tourism rules, and one prohibited activity may come as a shock to visitors.

The rules, which were announced in July, stipulate that unruly behaviour around historic or artistic monument sites, including soiling, defacing or damaging them, would land you a fine of between 250 and 400 Euros. The rules also prohibit jumping into fountains, messy eating and sitting or laying on the Spanish Steps, according to Italian newswire ANSA.

According to The Washington Post, police have begun blowing a whistle at tourists who try and sit on the UNESCO-protected 18th-century steps and asking them to leave the site.

Simone Amorico, CEO of Access Italy, a private tour operator, told the Post the rules are needed to reduce the risk of tourists being disrespectful in Rome.

Piazza di Spagna

“Walking in Rome is like walking in a museum. Things go back 2,000 years old. You can walk from one part of the city to the other and pass the most important monuments and venues there are in history,” Amorico said.

Amorico added that picnicking on the Spanish Steps is something only tourists do.

“Italians don’t do that,” she said.

“I’ve never hung out at the Spanish Steps. My friends have never hung out at the Spanish Steps. We really respect our city. We don’t stand on any ancient walls, or put locks on any of the bridges.”

Rome isn’t the only Italian city cracking down on tourist behaviour, with two German tourists recently copping a €950 (AU$1,500) fine for making coffee using a travel cooker on the steps of the Rialto Bridge in Venice.


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