Vaccine bookings affected as hackers shut down Rome region’s website

The website of Lazio, the Italian region that includes Rome, was down on Sunday after being hit by a cyber attack, meaning that people could no longer use it to book a Covid vaccine.

Vaccine bookings affected as hackers shut down Rome region's website
A medical worker (L) injects a woman with a dose of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine on March 24th, 2021 at a vaccination hub outside Rome's Termini railway station. ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP

“A hacker attack on the regional data centre is underway… all defence and verification operations are ongoing to avoid prolonging the cut in services,” the region said on its Twitter account.

“Operations concerning vaccinations may be slowed down.”


The region’s website,, was still down on Sunday afternoon.

The site for booking vaccinations was also unavailable.

The President of the Lazio region, Nicola Zingaretti, also wrote on his Facebook page.

“A massive hacker attack against LazioCrea computer systems that manage vaccine bookings is underway tonight.

“This is a very serious event, it is blocking a crucial service. We apologise to the citizens for the inevitable disruption to services.
“We have reported the attack to the authorities and I would like to thank all the employees who have been working tonight to defend the centre and to return to normalcy”
Initial information showed that a virus had paralysed the computer system, but that personal data remained safe, Italian daily Corriere Della Sera reported on Sunday.

The highly contagious Delta variant represents about 80 percent of new Covid-19 cases in Lazio, where 66 percent of the adult population has been vaccinated, the regional health commissioner Alessio D’Amato said earlier this week.

Nationwide, 60 percent of the population over 12 years old has been fully vaccinated, with 68.5 million total doses administered, the health ministry’s website said Sunday.

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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.