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Tourist fined after midnight swim in Rome fountain

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Tourist fined after midnight swim in Rome fountain
The fountain in Rome's Piazza Santa Maria is believed to be the oldest in Rome. Photo: Depositphotos
09:27 CEST+02:00
A French tourist was hit with a €450 fine this weekend after he fell foul of city laws aimed at curbing drunken behaviour.

Rome's city police apprehended and fined the 35-year-old French man when they found him swimming in a historic fountain in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Despite the cold and wet weather over the weekend the man had decided to go for a dip in the historic Santa Maria fountain in Trastevere, believed to be Rome's oldest.

City police showed up and took the swimmer to a nearby police station, where he was fined under city laws cracking down on drunken behaviour, which includes swimming in city fountains.

People eating and drinking in Trastevere's main square. Photo: Depositphotos

Rome's city police are carrying out about a thousand checks and interventions a week as they crack down on street drinking and unruly behaviour in the city, mostly around Trastevere, Piazza Bologna, San Lorenzo, and in the historic centre.

Drinking outdoors after 9pm is currently banned in Trastevere, as well as in many other notorious nightlife spots including San Lorenzo, Esquilino, Piazza Bologna and the vicinity of Termini Station.

Off-licences, supermarkets and vending machines in these areas are prohibited from selling alcohol after 9pm, and bars can't sell alcohol at all between 2am and 7am.

The laws also ban things like pub crawls, dressing up as a centurion, and "slovenly eating".

Hundreds of new vigili urbani (city police) have been employed to enforce the rules since they came in last November.

While many in Italy view them as little more than traffic wardens, in Rome the city police, which enforce local government rules, have the power to hand out fines and ban people from public areas.

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