US tourists broke into the Colosseum to have a beer

Image: Pixabay

Two US tourists have been fined after entering the Colosseum after-hours apparently to experience the pleasure of having drinks inside. The tourists broke in into the Colosseum to ‘have a beer’ while the monument was closed to visitors overnight. 

The pair, aged 24 and 25, climbed up to the second tier of the ancient Roman amphitheatre in the early hours of Monday 15 November. They were spotted at about 5.30 am, chatting over their drinks, by a passerby who called the police. The monument closes to the public at 4.30 pm. 

They told the police they were “just having a beer”, according to the Italian press, but the local police fined them €800 for illegal entry into the archaeological site. They did not cause any damage. 

The Colosseum is often a target for tourists bad behaviour. Defacing the structure is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of about €2,000 and there are signs all around the site warning of the penalties. Not everyone takes notice of the cautions though. A 32-year-old man from Ireland was caught carving his initial into a pillar in September 2020, and just a month later a German girl of 14 was caught doing the same. 

These incidents were much more common pre-pandemic as the Colosseum would welcome about 6 million visitors a year before the restrictions. The tourists broke into the Colosseum just as Italy begins to reimpose coronavirus restrictions across the country. Venice has similar problems with unruly behaviour by the people who visit their canals. There, two German women had to pay €250 each for sunbathing in bikinis by San Stae church, and a French visitor was fined for using a stand-up paddleboard along the Gran Canal.

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Written by

Claire Gordon


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