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CRIME

American student stabbed in Florence after ‘defending girlfriend from harassment’

An American student is reportedly in a serious condition after being stabbed in central Florence.

American student stabbed in Florence after 'defending girlfriend from harassment'
A panoramic view over central Florence. File photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

The 21-year-old is being treated in hospital, where he has undergone surgery after the attack on Tuesday evening.

The man had had an argument with four men outside a popular nightclub, whom he accused of harassing his girlfriend and trying to grope her, Florentine daily La Nazione reported. One of these four men is then alleged to have attacked the American, stabbing him twice in the shoulders.

Representatives of the Careggi hospital said that the victim had responded positively to treatment and, despite his serious injuries, was “not in life-threatening condition”.

The American has not yet been publicly identified, but came from New York, according to La Repubblica.

Police are reviewing CCTV footage from the nightclub and surrounding area in an effort to identify the perpetrators, and are treating the case as “aggravated injuries”, which carries a jail sentence of up to seven years.

READ ALSO: Man admits killing American woman in Florence

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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