Wandering around Rome can be exhausting, especially in the heat of summer. But there’s no rest for the wicked in the Italian capital — especially if that break is taken on the 18th-century Spanish Steps.
Although it looks like an inviting spot to sit and rest your legs, parking your butt on the historic monument can lend you a $280 fine and a good dose of embarrassment. Municipal employees in charge of implementing the new rule are known to loudly blow their whistles at tourists caught sitting.
The rule is one of many new municipal regulations. As of June 2019, bathing in Rome’s fountains or “throw objects, spill liquids or substances, immerse animals, damage them, climb and lie down on them” is strictly forbidden and can lead offenders to be prohibited from entering the area for 48 hours. Anti-graffiti and anti-littering sanctions have also been reinforced.
Rome, being an incredibly popular travel destination, has been the victim of poor tourist behavior in the past, which may explain the strict new rules put into place to preserve the historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site.