German made to clean child's bridge scribbles

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The young German drew on Florence's famous Ponte Vecchio. Photo: Colin Howley/Flickr
10:48 CEST+02:00
A German tourist was told to clean Florence's famous Ponte Vecchio and slapped with a €160 fine after his daughter drew on it with a felt-tip pen.

Perhaps inspired by the city’s works of art, the child drew stars on the bridge with her orange felt-tip pen. But the young artist soon had to abandon her masterpiece after being spotted by police patrolling the area on Tuesday afternoon. They promptly told her father to clean it up and then issued him with a fine.

Florentines do not take kindly to tourists debasing their city, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, with this summer being particularly badly hit by “oafs”, according to an editorial in early September by Luigi Caroppo, the Florence editor of La Nazione newspaper.

The column pointed to a string of slights by tourists this summer, including numerous cases of graffiti as well as an American surgeon snapping the finger off a 600-year-old sculpture of the Madonna at the Cathedral museum.

But it’s the “street hawkers” who provoked the most wrath after they “invaded” the area around the cathedral, prompting the chairman of the foundation that oversees the monument to describe it as a “souk”.

Local authorities across Italy also do not take kindly to visitors eating snacks while taking a rest on the steps of historic monuments and buildings.

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Meanwhile, stiff fines are also imposed for feeding the birds at Venice’s St Mark’s Square. 

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