Goodbye, legend: tourists are kicked off the Spanish steps in Rome
A fine of 6,000 euros was levied on Capri model Heidi Klum, who got married last weekend…
The Italian authorities did not deny themselves the pleasure to arrange a demonstration flogging for the famous newlyweds. They were really guilty, because during a visit to the famous Blue grotto, they climbed to swim, which is strictly forbidden there. But there is another aspect of this incident – in 2019, dozens of offensive restrictions for tourists came into force in Italy, but the authorities are still very carefully applying punitive measures. The fine for a world-famous model served as a warning to everyone else: don’t test the police’s patience!
A young father with a one-year-old child descends the Spanish steps in Rome. A baby in one hand, a stroller in the other, a man carefully steps over the steps, but a polite police officer still approaches him. “Excuse me, Senor, the wheels of the wheelchair can touch the marble steps, and since last week a fine has been imposed for this-as much as 400 euros.” On the other side, a sharp, demanding whistle is heard when his partner forces an elderly couple of tourists to get up. It is difficult for old people to pass all 136 steps at once, but they no longer have a choice. Sitting on the Spanish steps is now strictly forbidden!
What makes this situation paradoxical is that few people go to this historical landmark, and they often come here to sit. As it was done for centuries by the inhabitants of Rome themselves, the characters of famous books and movies, tourists of previous years. However, the same could be said about the sides of fountains, pedestals of monuments, and other architectural elements of the Eternal city. Tourists slurped hotdogs and smeared ketchup on millennial marble for a very long time, until in 2012, mayor Gianni Alemanno issued a decree explicitly prohibiting it. Since then, the screws have been tightened and by August 2019, the situation has reached a threatening limit.
There are not many visitors to this historical landmark, they often come here to sit
Today, a tourist in Rome can not take off his shirt, for Topless immediately fine any gender. You can drink from the fountain only from a glass or your own handful – do not even try to approach the water with your dirty mouth! You can’t eat outside the cafe. To sit, except on the benches, too. Bathing in the fountain is, of course, forbidden, but in Rome, at least you can still scoop up water and cool your brow in the heat, and in Venice, in General, it is better not to put your hands in the water. And you can not put, put or move any items on the old steps, including suitcases on wheels. Fines from 250 euros for trying to sit on a step to 400 euros for a drop of ice cream stuck to a stone-say, damage to property.
It is not difficult to catch a tourist in sabotage, the Spanish staircase was completely restored a couple of years ago for 1.5 million euros, so that all new traces stand out like an eyesore. But while the police show angelic patience and only drive, whistles and kind words, negligent guests of the city, an unspoken moratorium is imposed on the collection of fines. Most tourists safely missed all the news and are genuinely perplexed when they are explained the new rules by strict people in uniform. But the result is obvious, once filled with people sitting on the stairs is rapidly emptying.
The Romans themselves treat innovation in two ways. On the one hand, they are all for limiting all this tourist freedom on the verge of rudeness, from which the historical center has suffered for decades in a row. It is better to leave only law-abiding tourists who spend money in official cafes, and do not sponsor the activities of street charlatans. And, on the other hand, to forbid a tired traveler to sit on a step-this already smacks of outright fascism, you know. So you can scare away all the guests of Rome, forever ruining the reputation of the tourist center.