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CRIME

Italian police arrest six in connection with Genoa bridge collapse

Italy's financial police have arrested the former boss of motorway operator Autostrade in connection with the deadly collapse of the Genoa bridge, officials said Wednesday.

Italian police arrest six in connection with Genoa bridge collapse
A file photo shows the now-rebuilt Genoa motorway bridge in 2018. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

Police said they had imposed measures including house arrest on three former and three current managers of Autostrade, a subsidiary of Italian

infrastructure group Atlantia.
 
 
News reports said Giovanni Castellucci, the former boss of both Autostrade and Atlantia, was among those under house arrest.
 
The financial police said the allegations, part of an investigation running alongside the main probe into the bridge collapse, regarded transport safety and fraud.
 
Autostrade was responsible for maintenance on the Genoa bridge, which collapsed in August 2018 killing 43 people.
 
The collapsed bridge in August 2018. Photo: AFP
 
The officials are suspected notably of ignoring defects in the barriers on the bridge, despite the potential risk to road safety, particularly in strong
winds.
 
Castellucci's lawyers stressed that the arrests on Wednesday were part of a “completely separate” case from that of the bridge collapse.
 
 
In a statement carried by Italian media, they expressed confidence that the investigation would find he had done nothing wrong.
 
 
Autostrade along with several transport ministry officials is also under judicial investigation for culpable homicide over the bridge collapse..
 
A total of 74 people are accused in the ongoing legal case, which has seen investigators use a super computer to trawl through thousands of documents and files seized from Autostrade offices and the transport ministry.

The Morandi bridge has since been rebuilt, while many more of Italy's road bridges are now thought to be at risk of collapse.

READ ALSO: Did Italian authorities know Genoa's Morandi Bridge was at risk of collapse?

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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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