Italy plans to fine tourists £52,000 for vandalism

Italy has some of Europe’s most treasured attractions and the country now plans to charge tourists a hefty fine if they damage any of its monuments. The country’s culture minister said the money collected from fines would be used for clean up and restoration.

Culture minister, Gennaro Sanguiliano, said that fines would range from 10,000 euros (£8,795) to 60,000 euros (£52,776).

The plans were approved at a Government meeting earlier this week and are expected to become law.

Sanguiliano said: “The attacks on monuments and artistic sites produce economic damage to all.

“To clean it up, the intervention of highly specialised personnel and the use of very costly machines are needed. Whoever carries out these acts must also assume financial responsibility.”

The minister said that the Italian Government had recently had to pay 40,000 euros (£38,690) to clean the Palazzo Madama, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Turin.

The Palazzo dates from the 15th century and is one of the city’s most important and revered monuments.

Italy has been plagued by acts of vandalism in recent years. In 2022, an American tourist was banned from Rome’s Spanish Steps after throwing a scooter down them.

The tourist reportedly caused a whopping 26,000 euros (£22,870) worth of damage and the incident was caught on video.

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In another Rome-based incident, a tourist from Saudi Arabia drove a Maserati down the steps.

The Spanish steps are heavily protected and tourists are banned from sitting or eating on them.

In September 2022, an American tourist was fined 450 euros (£385) for eating an ice cream on the edge of a fountain in the Italian capital.

The tourist was accused of breaking the city’s ‘urban decorum’ laws which ban messy eating around monuments.

In another tourist crackdown, Venice’s mayor has said he will act to limit Airbnbs in the canal city.

New rules could see owners banned from renting out their apartments on booking platforms for the full year.

Venice has already banned cruise ships from entering its lagoon and plans to introduce a fee for daytrippers.

The popular tourist destination has struggled with overcrowding and officials hope new measures will reduce the number of visitors.

Elsewhere, officials in Barcelona have announced plans to increase taxes for cruise tourists visiting the Spanish city.

Cruises can be controversial due to the pollution caused by the ships and the overcrowding caused by guests.

Amsterdam has recently launched a ‘Stay Away’ campaign targeting party-loving British male tourists.

The campaign will urge stag dos to holiday somewhere else rather than visiting Amsterdam to explore its Red Light District.

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