Authorities in Italy are becoming increasingly frustrated over tourists’ bawdy behavior – including their predilection for stripping off in public.
Two naked men were hauled out of the Trevi fountain in Rome by police this month and fined 450 euros (about $500) each, triggering new calls to introduce admission fees to monuments and other places of interest to keep out the riff-raff.
In another recent case, a woman aged 60 also plunged into the Trevi fountain, though she at least kept her clothes on.
In a bid to stop tourists damaging statues and scratching their initials in the Colosseum, Dario Franceschini, the Italian culture minister, said he wants to start charging tourists to enter ancient monuments to help protect and preserve them.
“The Pantheon receives seven million visitors a year and has maintenance costs,” he said. “There should be an entrance ticket, even a cheap one.”
Last year 56 million tourists visited Italy – up 55 per cent from 2001 – and many Italians are said to be growing increasingly weary of having to cater for the whims of foreigners.
In Venice, authorities are under pressure to install security turnstiles at St Mark’s Square to discourage those who want to dive into the canals. Meanwhile in Florence, the director of the Uffizi Gallery, Eike Schmidt, said recently that every weekend was like a rock concert.