Tourists face up to €10,000 fine for urinating in Renaissance loggia, as Florence braces for summer onslaught
Posted On July 24, 2020
Tourists caught urinating in the street in Florence have been hit with fines of up to 10,000 euros (£8,750) each as Italy vows to crack down on anti-social behaviour by visitors this summer.
The unusually hefty fines were handed out to an 18-year-old Danish woman and a young Tunisian man who were spotted relieving themselves in a 14th century loggia full of ancient statues in Piazza della Signoria, right outside the city’s Renaissance town hall.
The Danish teenager was on a school trip to Florence when she was caught by local police at 2.30am earlier this week, while the Tunisian man, who lives in Padua in northern Italy, did the same thing in the same place on a different occasion.
Both were accused of offending public decency and face a fine of between 5,000 and 10,000 euros, with the exact figure to be decided by Florence’s chief of police.
“It’s not a new fine, it has been on the statute books for some years, but luckily we only have to enforce it rarely,” a spokesman for Florence city council told The Telegraph.
“This is about ensuring that tourists treat Florence in a proper manner and don’t engage in anti-social behaviour, like having sex in public or playing ball games in front of historic monuments.”
It is not just Florence that is having to confront uncouth behaviour by visitors.
Tourists in Rome are fined each summer for jumping into the city’s marble fountains to cool off from the hot weather.
Scottish rugby fans were given heavy fines recently when they leapt into the Trevi Fountain to celebrate their teams’ win over Italy.
A group of foreigners was filmed jumping off Venice’s Rialto Bridge into the Grand Canal last weekend, whooping as they hit the water and cheered on by friends.
The footage was posted on a Facebook page called Venezia Non e Disneyland – Venice Isn’t Disneyland.
Luigi Brugnaro, Venice’s mayor, threatened to take legal action not just against badly-behaved tourists but against people posting footage of such stunts on social media on the grounds that it could lead to copy-cat behaviour.
“The more attention we give to these people, the more it will become a battle to outdo each other,” Mr Brugnaro said. “We’ll take action against people sharing this material online.”
Around 22 million tourists visit Venice each year, irking locals by crowding narrow alleyways, barging onto crowded vaporetto water buses with backpacks and wandering around during the summer in bikini tops and shorts.
The number of visitors each day now comfortably exceeds the number of Venetians.