American tourist fined $450 for eating ice cream near fountain in Rome


An American man visiting Rome received a hefty fine for eating ice cream on the steps of a protected fountain over the weekend.

The tourist, 55, was hit with a $450 by Italian authorities for eating his dessert at the Fontana dei Catecumeni around 1 a.m. on Saturday, according to a report from Britain’s Guardian newspaper, citing a report in the Italian newspaper la Repubblica.

The 16-century fountain built by Battista Rusconi was sealed off on Friday to prevent people from sitting on its steps, but the tape was reportedly removed, making the man think it was OK to sit there. Police had warned him to move, but when he didn’t they issued him the fine.

The tourist was in violation of “urban decorum” rules passed in 2019 during former Mayor Virginia Raggi’s term, which banned eating, drinking and sitting on Rome’s fountains.

Other activities banned by the rules — most of which specifically target tourists — include messily eating in public, sucking water from the water spouts that serve as public drinking fountains, walking around bare-chested or pushing strollers down Rome’s famed Spanish Steps. 

Locals and visitors are also forbidden from dressing up as Roman soldiers in order to pose for paid photo ops.


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