How rude tourism is ruining the beauties of Italy

June 12, 2017

A new tourism trend that seems based on bad manners and stupidity is risking to ruin the beauties of Italy, according to a recent article published by DailyBeast.

Specifically, the journalist refers to the bad habit of taking semi-naked or naked selfies in front of monuments and works of art, skinny-dipping in historical fountains and using ancient cobblestone streets as a toilet.

The times when the worst offence to Italy was ordering a cappuccino after a meal are long gone!

DailyBeast mentions the iconic movie scene where Anita Ekberg asked a young and handsome Marcello Mastroianni to join her for a kiss and a bath in the Trevi Fountain in Rome (La Dolce Vita, by Federico Fellini, 1960), stating that, recently, several foreign tourists are doing the same thing. Which, for the Italians, is not cool at all. 

In fact, over 50 tourists have been stopped by Italian officials for trespassing in fountains or committing other public nuisances in recent weeks. We are talking about a behavior that is not only disrespectful and obnoxious, but also extremely expensive for the country: so much that the Ministry of Culture pushed a law that could dramatically raise the fines for vandalism and public nuisances. Some of them include sexual intercourses on public benches, wandering semi-naked, using fountains as foothbath or taking a "piece" of monuments as a present.

Last November, unknown vandals broke the tusk of Bernini’s famed elephant statue behind the Pantheon. The tusk has been reattached, but the perpetrators have yet to be found.

So far, in 2017, three tourists have been arrested and fined 450 euros each for skinny dipping in the Trevi Fountain in Rome; two others were fined 900 euros for using the Fountain of Two Seas (Rome) as the perfect place to wash their feet and another one was fined 10,000 euro for using an ancient cobblestone street in Genoa as his toilet. Countless tourists have also been stopped by the Italian Police in Rome for taking "belfies" (butt selfies) and fined 200 euros. Then again, Italy has to endure stone engravings: a few weeks ago, a tourist was fined 20,000 euros for carving a love note onto an ancient wall on the Colosseum, and the same thing had happened at the beginning of the year, when another tourist carved his name into the Colosseum's travertine. In January, two other tourists were arrested in Rome after breaking into the ancient amphitheater at night in order to take a selfie.

Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi comments: “Rome deserves respect. Whoever harms the Colosseum harms all Romans and all who love the city".

Since this rude behavior seems nowhere near to stop, Italy's culture ministry is thinking about the possibility of erecting new red zones around all the major attractions and instituting a better surveillance, thanks to an increased number of cops patrolling the area and even more cameras in strategic positions.

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