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CRIME

Six immigrants injured in Italy drive-by shooting

A man draped in an Italian flag has injured six in a drive-by shooting apparently targeted at foreigners in Macerata, central Italy.

Six immigrants injured in Italy drive-by shooting
Police arrest the suspect. Photo: Macerata Police
According to the Il Resto del Carlino newspaper, the man —  a 28-year-old local with links to the far-right Northern League party — fired his first shots around north of the city and then drove around the city centre, apparently targeting immigrants. 
 
Local authorities said that after the suspect's arrest it was safe for residents to go outside, after issuing an alert around midday warning locals to stay inside until the “dangerous situation” had subsided.
 
All of the victims have been hospitalized, although only one appears to have been seriously injured, with a shot hitting her in the abdomen.
 
“The wounded persons are of foreign nationality,” police said in a statement. 
 
The paper claims that the shooting began at 11.00am and continued for about two hours until the man was arrested, having abandoning his car near the town's war memorial. 
 
After leaving the car, the man mounted the monument and performed a fascist 'Roman' salute. 
 
The police have released a picture of the shaven-headed man, draped in an Italian flag, as he was taken away. 
 
According to La Repubblica the suspect had put himself forward as a candidate for Italy's Northern League in the 2017 municipal elections, and was pictured in a party manifesto next to the party's mayoral candidate Luigi Baldassarri. He failed to win a seat.
 
According to the newspaper, the man has admitted to both carry out the shootings and to performing a 'Roman salute', another name for the fascist gesture.
 
Local media have linked the attack to the murder of an 18-year-girl whose dismembered body was found in two suitcases last Wednesday. Police are holding a Nigerian man custody over the killing. 
 
The local municipality raised an alert at around 12pm, warning residents to stay inside until the “dangerous situation” had subsided. Following the suspect's arrest a  few hours later, the mayor said it was safe to go outside.

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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