An American tourist who caused more than £20,000 worth of damage to Rome’s famous Spanish Steps by throwing an electric scooter down has been fined just £430.
The unnamed woman, 28, and her male companion were filmed walking the famous marble staircase around 3.45am on Friday morning.
In the footage, the woman, who Italian authorities said was a US tourist, hurls the rented e-scooter down the steps in an apparent fit of rage.
She reportedly threw the scooter twice more after the clip ended “just for fun,” according to Italian news outlet La Repubblica.
It said: “The woman threw [the e-scooter] three times down the steps, just for fun.”
The e-scooter struck several of the marble steps, causing cracks that will cost more than £20,000 to repair.
Rome’s historic Spanish Steps, which takes its name from the Spanish embassy at its top, recently underwent a mammoth £1.2million restoration funded by high-end jewelery firm Bvlgari.
The woman and a 29-year-old man were filmed by a passerby on the steps, with the footage going viral after it was published by several Italian news sites.
Police eventually tracked down the couple – both said to be Americans – and slapped them both with a fine of just €500 (£430).
The two were reportedly located at the scene of the crime using surveillance cameras. The police did not release the names of the tourists.
They were also given a lifetime ban from returning to the famous memorial, which features in the 1953 Hollywood classic Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
Police officers confiscated their e-scooters and allowed them to return to their hotel, Corriere Della Serra reported.
The Spanish Steps are one of Rome’s most famous sights – and also the best protected.
Built by architect Francesco de Sanctis between 1723 and 1726, the staircase underwent a major restoration project in 2015, prompting officials to implement new protective measures on the site.
Police banned people from sitting on it in 2018 to try to protect the 18th-century Unesco World Heritage Site.
The consumption of food and drinks in the vicinity of the curved stairwell is also prohibited.
The woman threw [the e-scooter] down the steps three times just for fun
This is just the latest case of “ill-behaved tourists” in Italy in recent months as visitor numbers have returned to pre-Covid levels.
Last month, a 37-year-old Saudi businessman was caught driving a Maserati down the Spanish Steps after making a “wrong turn”.
The tourist told the Italian press: “Yes, it was me who drove the car down the Spanish Steps. But I just took a wrong turn.”
He said he was walking home from a nightclub with a Romanian woman he had with me that night as he skidded down the steps before attempting to back up.
The man said he didn’t think the incident was “that serious” until he was arrested by Italian authorities at Milan airport, blaming his GPS system for the incident.
He was billed an undisclosed sum for damaging the monument and agreed to pay for the repairs.
In April, two Dutch tourists were fined more than £800 for entering the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
And in May, a 39-year-old Argentine man accidentally flew a drone into the roof of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Meanwhile, in Venice, police have accused tourists of triggering “signs of urban degradation” as they vowed to crack down on obnoxious visitors.
Among the fines are a French tourist caught stand-up paddleboarding on the Grand Canal and two German women sunbathing in bikinis at the famous Stan Stae church.
Italian authorities have yet to comment further on Friday’s incident.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/5522827/rome-tourist-throws-escooter-down-spanish-steps-italy/ Tourists who caused £20,000 worth of damage to Rome’s 300-year-old Spanish Steps by throwing a scooter have been fined less than £900