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Italian arrested for nude Trevi Fountain swim

Rome police on Wednesday arrested a man who took a nude dip in the capital's iconic Trevi Fountain.

Italian arrested for nude Trevi Fountain swim
The recently restored Trevi Fountain. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

According to local media, the tourists and locals gathered at the monument applauded his swim, many using their mobile phones to record the scene.

The police officers on duty however were less impressed. They covered the man in a towel before taking him to the police station.

There, the culprit reportedly tried to pass himself off as a foreigner before police established that he was a native Italian, according to local paper Roma Today.

He has been charged with resisting arrest and obstructing justice, in addition to the crime of trespassing in the 18th-century fountain. Checks are being carried out at the Trevi to see whether any damage was caused by the stunt.


The man is led away by police officers. Photo: Rome police

People – usually tourists – regularly trespass in the fountain, often in an attempt to recreate a scene from Federico Fellini's 1960 film 'La Dolce Vita' in which the late Swedish actress Anita Ekberg jumps into the Trevi.

In 2015, the authorities grew so tired of the illegal dips that they doubled fines for transgressors to €400.

But the increased penalty hasn't been enough to deter everyone.

Last July, an Ekberg wannabe was dragged out of the fountain by police, just days after three bikini-clad tourists were photographed splashing around in the water.

READ ALSO: Ten of the stupidest things tourists have done in Italy

Police presence has been stepped up at the landmark after its reopening last November, following a 2 million euro restoration. Fashion house Fendi funded the 17-month project, just one of a string of monuments to be spruced up thanks to money from private businesses.

The fountain, commissioned by Pope Clement XII in 1730, is the end point of one of the aqueducts that supplied ancient Rome with water and was last restored 23 years ago.

The Acqua Vergine runs for a total of 20 kilometres and ends up in the fountain, where tourists can drink it from a special tap tucked away at one side of the monument.

Legend has it the water source was discovered in 19BC by thirsty Roman soldiers guided to the site by a young virgin – hence the name, Virgin Waters.

READ ALSO: How Italy plans to fight back against monument vandals

How Italy plans to fight back against monument vandals
Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

 

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CRIME

 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

Italian police on Saturday arrested a mafia member suspected of killing two alleged Chinese prostitutes and a Colombian sex worker in Rome, local media reported.

 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

The bodies of the two Chinese women were discovered in a residential building in the upmarket Prati district on Thursday morning, while the body of the South American was found in an apartment in the same neighbourhood an hour later.

All three victims were stabbed, according to Italian media reports.

According to the Corriere della Sera newspaper, footage from surveillance cameras allowed police to identify 51-year-old Giandavide De Pau, who had been prosecuted in the past for drug trafficking and sexual assault.

The suspect is reportedly a member of a mafia clan headed by Michele Senese, who is currently serving a life sentence. De Pau is believed to have been one of Senese’s closest collaborators, acting as his personal driver and handyman.

In 2008 and 2011, the suspect had also spent time in a psychiatric hospital.

It is unknown whether the suspected killer was carrying out a mafia hit or acting alone, possibly under the influence of drugs, which were found at the home of some family members where he is believed to have sought refuge after the police manhunt got underway, Corriere della Sera reported.

Several newspapers had warned of a possible “serial killer” in the Italian capital.

The body of one of the Chinese victims was spotted by a neighbour where it lay, naked on a landing. The woman, believed to be in her 40s, had suffered head and stomach injuries, the newspaper said.

When police entered her apartment, they found the body of the second Chinese woman.

Nobody in the building appeared to have heard the murders take place, according to residents.

“Everybody knew there was a house of ill repute here, I’d see people arriving at 2:00 am, 3:00 am,” a woman who lived in the building told reporters.

The body of the Colombian, who was 65, was found by a friend, Corriere della Sera said.

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