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CRIME

Thief drugs tourist’s coffee with sedative

A Japanese tourist and his wife were robbed in central Naples after a man offered him a coffee spiked with a sedative, Italian media has reported.

Thief drugs tourist's coffee with sedative
The tourist's coffee had been drugged with benziodiazepines, a class of psychoactive drugs sometimes used as a sedative. Photo: Michelle Tribe

The tourist, 33, and his wife, 35, were reportedly approached by a man outside the train station on piazza Garibaldi, Il Mattino reported.

The man offered them a coffee, which the male tourist graciously accepted, and the three went into a bar.

But unbeknownst to the tourist, their new friend had added a strong sedative to the drink, causing him to fall unconscious.

Pushing the woman to the ground, the thief then grabbed her purse and fled.

The woman was able to raise the alarm by shouting and the police found the suspect hiding behind some cars in a courtyard.

The bag was returned to the woman, who was then taken to the police station where her husband was lying unconscious.

The couple were taken to hospital, where the woman was treated for bruising and the man was found to have been drugged with benziodiazepines, a class of psychoactive drugs sometimes used as a sedative.

The thief was identified as 40-year-old Luigi Esposito from Ponticelli, an eastern suburb of Naples. He was found to be in possession of the drug and was promptly arrested and taken to Poggioreale prison.

Esposito was also arrested in July 2012 for a similar robbery involving sedatives, according to the paper.

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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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