Tourism

US tourist throws scooter down Spanish Steps in Rome, causing €25,000 in damage | Italy

An American tourist caused €25,000 (£21,000) worth of damage after she threw her electric scooter up the Spanish Steps in Rome.

The incident was filmed by a passerby early Friday morning. Police later caught up with the 28-year-old and fined her and a 29-year-old companion who was pushing his e-scooter down the 18th-century marble steps, €400 each.

The couple was also banned from returning to the iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that cost 1.5 million euros to restore in 2015. The incident comes two weeks after a visitor from Saudi Arabia drove the Maserati down the stairs. People were banned from sitting on the Spanish Steps in 2018.

An American tourist throws a rented scooter down the Spanish Steps in Rome. Photo: Screenshot

Tourist numbers in the Italian capital have returned to pre-pandemic levels, with intense crowds gathering at cultural landmarks. But the recovery of the sector has also led to the return of tourists who break the rules of decorum. In April, two visitors from the Netherlands were fined €1,000 for entering the Trevi Fountain, a fairly common occurrence before the pandemic.

A few days earlier, the 39-year-old Argentine was charged with violating strict no-fly zone rules after he crashed a drone into the roof of a famous monument in central Rome.

He was flying his drone in Piazza Venezia when he lost control of the device and felt it crash into the roof of the Palazzo Venezia, the 15th-century building from which Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini delivered some of his most famous speeches.

Similar incidents are happening not only in Rome: a week earlier, two Mexican tourists crashed their drone into the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Venice is also a popular destination for misbehaving tourists. Last summer, police renewed their crackdown on uncouth visitors to the city, saying the return of tourism coincided with “signs of urban degradation.”

Among those fined were a French tourist who was sailing down the Grand Canal on his surfboard and two German women who were sunbathing in bikinis at the San Stae church.

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