Trevi Fountain attracts swarms of tourists, especially on hot days, Source: Unsplash

Rome mulls limiting access to Trevi Fountain

Rome mulls limiting access to Trevi Fountain

Following a series of incidents involving the famous Baroque heritage site, the patience of the authorities is wearing thin

The summer of 2023 may become the turning point where many of the tourist sites in Rome will become more difficult to access due to changing attitudes on the part of the residents and authorities towards misbehaving tourists.

The latest incident to fuel the tide of local discontent involved a tourist using the Trevi Fountain as a water park facility by diving from one of its statues into the pool below. This happened on Thursday, 27 July, at night.

Even more disturbingly, the crowd who watched him filmed and applauded the act. Reportedly, the man in question was later fined by the police, but at least one city councillor – Alessandro Onorato – thinks that this is not sufficient to discourage disrespectful behaviour.

"The fines from police and the numerous appeals for common sense are no longer enough," Onorato said, as quoted by Wanted in Rome. "Tourists cannot do whatever they want with impunity, respect is required and we really must preserve the most precious places in the world.”

Rome is not an amusement park

The residents of Rome are proud to live in what’s been dubbed the Eternal City and they treat its historical sites with reverence. The same, however, cannot be said for some of the tourists who have chosen to spend some days there.

This lackadaisical attitude resulting in scandalous reports is becoming more commonplace rather than less. The Trevi Fountain, which dates back to the 18th century and is considered a masterpiece of Baroque art, is regularly disrespected even though it has been cordoned off and supposedly protected by guards.

That is why, Councillor Onorato, who is in charge of Tourism and Events policy at the City Council, appealed to the Italian culture ministry to develop a restriction on the possibility to visit the famous site. In his appeal, he defended his proposal with the argument that “this is not the tourism we deserve or need”.

It remains to be seen what will happen. As reminders - tourists now face the possibility of going to prison if caught defacing the walls of the Colosseum, plus the city charges an entrance fee to the previously free-to-visit Pantheon.



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