Escaped serial killer sent back to Italy

Serial killer Bartolomeo Gagliano, who escaped from prison in the northern Italian city of Genoa in December after being granted leave to visit his mother, has been sent back to Italy from France.

Escaped serial killer sent back to Italy
Serial killer Bartolomeo Gagliano is now back in Italy after escaping from prison in December. Photo: Valerie Hache/AFP

Gagliano, who killed two prostitutes and a transvestite in the 1980s, went on the run on December 17th and was caught three days later in Menton, a French town close to the Italian border, after Italian police launched a manhunt for a man they described as "very dangeous".

He was sentenced to ten years in prison by a Nice court on December 24th for possessing a gun and a false identity card but a French appeals court on Wednesday granted an extradition request from Italy, La Repubblica reported.

Gagliano now faces additional charges for escaping from prison, theft and kidnapping, with the penalties expected to be added to his other sentences.

Gagliano, nicknamed ‘Valentine's Day monster’ by the Italian press because he killed the transvestite on Valentine’s Day, spent many years in a criminal psychiatric ward for his crimes but was later transferred to Genoa's Marassi prison.

He escaped while on temporary leave to visit his mother – leave he had been granted for good behaviour.

Instead, he hijacked a bakery delivery van at gunpoint and told the driver to head to Genoa. Once there, he let the delivery man go and fled to France in a Fiat Panda.

Gagliano, who also escaped from a psychiatric hospital in 1989, was also serving time for attempted murder as well as robbery and the possession of drugs and weapons.

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Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome’s Trevi Fountain

With the return of tourism and scorching temperatures, Rome’s fountains are once again attracting visitors hoping to cool off with a midnight swim.

Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome's Trevi Fountain

In the latest incident, a 26-year-old Spanish man was fined 450 euros after taking a dip in the Trevi Fountain in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Rome’s city police apprehended and fined the man after he was spotted swimming in the 18th-century monument at around 5am, according to local media reports.

READ ALSO: How to keep cool like an Ancient Roman in Italy’s summer heat

Every summer, hapless foreign visitors face fines of hundreds of euros after falling foul of Rome’s strict ban on taking a dip in public fountains – with the city mayor warning tourists that the centuries-old Baroque monuments are “not swimming pools”.

In April, two Dutch tourists also faced fines totalling over €1,000 after their own ill-advised splash in the Trevi Fountain.

The Roman landmark is one of the city’s main magnets for badly-behaved visitors, but tourists have also been fined after cooling off in the Santa Maria fountain in Trastevere, believed to be the city’s oldest. 

Since 2018, anyone caught misbehaving at Rome’s monuments can also face a temporary ‘Daspo’ ban from the area – similar to an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) in the UK – which allows city police to restrict the movement of people they deem a threat to public order.

READ ALSO: From selfie brawls to midnight swims: Tourists behaving badly at the Trevi Fountain

But a plan to erect a one-metre-high glass and steel barrier around the Trevi fountain to protect it from unruly visitors now appears to have been abandoned after arts and heritage experts called the idea “foolish”.

Fines for swimming in the fountains have been in place since 2015, but this hasn’t stopped determined visitors from recreating scenes from La Dolce Vita and even some locals from taking a dip – – with or without their clothes.

Swimming in the wrong place is just one of the offences regularly committed by visitors, with graffiti and vandalism a common problem at many of Italy’s famous monuments.

READ ALSO: 15 strange ways to get into trouble on holiday in Italy

In Rome alone, this year tourists have made headlines for everything from breaking into the Colosseum to enjoy a drink with a view to driving a car down the Spanish Steps.

Other Italian tourism hotspots, including Florence and Venice, also have varying local rules in place aimed at curbing rowdy behaviour.