You Can Now Get Fined For Sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps
It's time to say goodbye to what just might be the most touristy seat in the house.
A police crackdown in Rome on Wednesday proved the city isn't playing around anymore, and it's now officially punishable by fine to sit on the iconic Spanish Steps.
While the ordinance to fine people for sitting on the Spanish Steps was officially put into action on July 8, Travel + Leisure magazine reported that it wasn't until earlier this week local authorities began to really blow the whistle on people sitting, eating and drinking on the steps.
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The steps, which were built way back in 1720 to link the Trinità dei Monti church to the Piazza di Spagna below, are considered to be one of Rome's highest traffic destinations in the spring and summer — especially as a spot tourists use to congregate, take a sitting break and absorb the scenery of the ancient city.
Now, weary tourists are going to have to find another spot to take a break. If not, they can face fines up to 400 euros (about $450). This week, Roman police made it impossible to ignore the new rules. Local officers patrolled the 136 steps in neon vests, whistles in tow, telling anyone who sat down they'd have to leave or face a fine.
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This isn't Italy's first attempt to curb bad tourist behavior by enforcing fines. This same ordinance, for example, also applies to Rome's Trevi Fountain and other popular attractions in major tourist cities. Tourists in Florence who decide to snack on certain streets could also face fines ranging from 150 euros ($162) and 500 euros ($560). Anyone who is caught snacking, sunbathing or taking a dip in Venice’s canals risks getting straight up banned from the city.