German made to clean child’s bridge scribbles

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.

German made to clean child's bridge scribbles
The young German drew on Florence's famous Ponte Vecchio. Photo: Colin Howley/Flickr

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.

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

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British man found dead in Florence hotel named as ex-rugby league player

A man found dead in a hotel room in Florence was named by Italian media on Sunday as British former rugby league player Ricky Bibey.

British man found dead in Florence hotel named as ex-rugby league player

A man was found dead on Saturday in the Hotel Continentale after a woman he was with cried out for help, according to unconfirmed media reports.

Italian news outlets have identified the victim as Ricky Bibey, a two-time Challenge Cup winner with Wigan Warriors and St Helens. Police have yet to confirm the dead man’s identity.

Super League tweeted it was “saddened to hear of the passing of Ricky Bibey”.

“We thank Ricky for his contributions to the game and send our condolences to Ricky’s family and friends during this time”.

A maid rushed in to find the 43-year old woman bleeding heavily from serious injuries, and she was rushed to hospital, La Nazione daily newspaper said.

Bibey, 40, appeared to have died of a heart attack, it said.

Other guests at the Continentale, just next to the Tuscan city’s famous Ponte Vecchio bridge, reportedly heard shouts coming from the room.

Police seized objects including items possibly used in an erotic game, La Nazione said.