July 2, 2022

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American tourists fined for vandalizing Spanish stairs with motorbikes

American tourists fined for vandalizing Spanish stairs with motorbikes

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Rome (CNN) – Two American tourists have been fined and briefly banned from entering Rome’s historic city center after Spanish Steps damaged the city with electric bicycles.

The incident, which was captured by security cameras, comes less than a month after a Saudi man was arrested for allegedly driving a rented Maserati sports car down an 18th century landmark, which also caused damage.

Police said the tourists, aged between 28 and 29, were stopped by a patrol at about 2:45 a.m. local time on June 3 after a motorbike was thrown down the stairs, also known as Trinità de Monti.

“Two American tourists launched a moped three times down the steps of the Trinità dei Monti, damaging the third-to-last step of the travertine from the second ramp on the side toward the San Sebastianello climb,” a statement from the city’s Capitoline Superintedency Office of Cultural Heritage said Thursday.

Restoration costs

Both spouses were fined.

Polizia Roma Capital

She added that the accident caused the displacement of a piece of marble with a diameter of 10 centimeters, and the cost of the restoration was estimated at 25,000 euros (27,000 dollars).

Police said they were fined 400 euros each “in accordance with the terms of the urban police regulations”.

Police said the woman had filed a complaint about damage to the property of a monument, because at one point she had thrown the motorbike she was driving down the stairs.

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Police said the man and woman were banned from visiting the area around the staircase for two days.

In May, border police arrested a 37-year-old Saudi man at Milan International Airport after a rented Maserati was driven down a stone staircase and abandoned.

The car caused two-degree fractures and “widespread fractures, scrapes and abrasions”.

The Spanish Steps are among the most famous monuments in Rome. They owe their name to the Spanish Embassy in the Holy See which is hosted in a palace in the square below.

This landmark’s €1.5 million two-year restoration—which has appeared in several films, most notably the 1953 film Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck—was completed in 2015.

Highest image credit: Roma Polizia Capitale

CNN’s Sharon Braithwaite and Livia Borghese contributed to this story