An American tourist dined near a fountain in Rome..this fine he paid

 Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) - An American visitor in the Italian capital, Rome, was fined $450 for eating and drinking while sitting next to a water fountain, in line with rules designed to preserve the city's "public taste" in the face of overtourism.

An American tourist dined near a fountain in Rome..this fine he paid

The 55-year-old chose the edge of the "Fontana dei Catecumeni" for a snack at around 1 a.m. local time Saturday, local police told CNN.

Police said the officers intervened because the man "had resolved to drink and eat while sitting on part of the fountain" in violation of rules designed to protect monumental fountains.

The fountain was built between 1588 and 1589 by the architect and sculptor Giacomo della Porta, and was restored in 1997.

The fountain is protected under rules first implemented in the 1970s to protect fountains, historical statues, and other monuments.

The updated rules, which focus on maintaining the city's "ecological fitness", have been in place since 2019.

In a statement, local police said they had conducted more than 300 checks over the weekend to ensure that restrictions on the volume of music played in bars were respected.

The laws also include a ban on drinking wine in the streets, and immersing in the city's fountains.

Police officers can impose fines, and even prevent people from entering a certain area for up to 48 hours.

Repeat offenders can be banned for up to 60 days.

When the rules of “public taste” were introduced, the municipal council said they existed “to deal with many aspects of city life, with particular attention to respecting the artistic and cultural heritage of the capital.”

The rules are also meant to deal with symptoms of overtourism, which has become a common word in a city struggling to deal with the huge number of visitors.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Rome received about 10 million visitors each year.

Several new incidents resulted in fines being imposed.

In May, border police arrested a 37-year-old Saudi man at Milan International Airport after driving a rented Maserati car up the famous “Spanish Steps” in Rome before abandoning it.

A month later, two American tourists were fined and briefly banned from downtown Rome after damaging staircases with electric scooters.

Source: CNN
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