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CRIME

Italian tourist attacked at Berlin metro station

An Italian tourist is in a serious condition after being kicked in the head by three strangers at a Berlin metro station on the weekend.

Italian tourist attacked at Berlin metro station
The attack happened at Schlesisches Tor metro station in Berlin. Photo: selfmade/Wikicommons

The incident happened on Saturday morning at the Schlesisches Tor metro station in Kreuzberg.  

The 23-year-old tourist was attacked with pepper spray by three unknown attackers before being kicked in the head. One of the attackers also pushed him to the ground with a billboard, Italian daily La Repubblica reported.

The men fled when a passer-by intervened to stop them.

The Italian was taken to hospital suffering a hairline fracture to his skull and neck. A police spokesman said that the man’s life was not at risk.

The motive for the attack is not yet known but police are ruling out racism. Police believe that alcohol could have fueled the incident.

“They struggled on all night and were perhaps coming back home drunk from a party. It happens on the weekend in Berlin,” a police spokesperson was quoted as saying.

This isn’t the first attack of this nature to occur in a Berlin metro station.

In a previous attack, a 25-year-old was seriously injured at Klosterstrasse metro station after strangers hit, kicked and stabbed him before throwing him onto the train tracks.  

The latest attack was just one of several reported over the weekend in Germany.

In Hamburg a 22-year-old man was killed by a sharp object after trying to defend a girl who was arguing with her 20-year-old boyfriend. He died at the scene.

And in Berlin a man assaulted two men aged 25 and 42 with a knife on a bus before fleeing at the Nikolaiviertel bus stop in the city centre. The two were taken to hospital.

ROME

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.

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