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Bad Tourist Behavior In Italy Needs To Be Avoided By All

Bad tourist behavior in Italy is a growing problem that seems to have been ramping up in the post-pandemic excitement of visiting Italy and it needs to stop.


Tourist behavior in Italy - Bad Behavior

The Target of Bad Behavior of Tourists In Rome


Tourist Travel To Italy

Rome had passed a law, which replaced a law from 1946, covering infractions like late-night public drinking, bathing in fountains and defiling historical sites. It also grants local police greater authority to expel perpetrators from certain areas of the city. Repeat offenders could lose their visitation rights for an extended period of time.

Problems Caused By Tourist Behavior In Italy

In 2017, 2,000 Venetians marched against the tourism industry arguing it has eroded their quality of life, it is damaging the environment and driving residents away. There have been protests against the huge cruise ships that enter the lagoon and drop off day-trippers that don’t spend as much money on hotels and restaurants. There is a Facebook page called Venezia NON è Disneyland, which you might understand means Venice Isn’t Disneyland.

Being a respectful traveler is important for everyone, but there are regular examples (weekly during the season) of tourists behaving badly. I cringe when I hear it’s an American tourist trying to be the stereotypical Ugly American, but the reality is tourists from all countries can and do act the fool. Recent and classic events are listed below.

Examples Of Bad Tourist Behavior In Italy

Venice Sightseeing Problems


Tourist behavior in Italy - Venice Sightseeing

Beautiful Venice In The Morning


On June 3, 2022, a dinner in San Zaccaria cost four tourists each a fine of 1,050€. They arranged glasses, a bottle of wine and some steaming pasta plates on top of a real well (pozzo). It happened late in the evening outside the hotel where they were staying: four tourists grabbed some chairs, placed them around the well and on them they set the table for four portions of pasta in porcelain plates. This bad idea cost them 4,200€, 1,050€ each, for risking damaging a monument, for the consumption of alcohol in the public street, prohibited by the city, and for the use of porcelain and glass outside the permitted premises. The four, two Germans  and two Czechs, seemed unaware of the fact that around them there were people who were looking at them with stunned faces, taking photographs.

Rome Tourism Problem – The Spanish Steps

A 28-year-old American tourist has caused €25k worth of damage to Rome’s Spanish Steps after she tossed her scooter down the marble staircase, which occurred at around 03.45am and it was filmed by a passerby. The video was published by Italian news sites and quickly went viral. Rome police caught up with the woman filmed throwing her scooter, along with a 29-year-old American man who wheeled his e-scooter down the 18th-century staircase. The pair were fined €400 each and received a temporary ban from returning to the landmark.

Rome Tourism Problem – The Spanish Steps

A 37-year-old Saudi businessman was the driver of the Maserati who drove down the Spanish Steps, damaging the Baroque staircase. The driver was in Rome on vacation at the time of the incident, which made national news in Italy. The man had been on his way home with a woman he met in a nightclub when he made the wrong turn. The man now faces charges of aggravated damage to a cultural heritage site, in addition to a fine.

Rome Tourism Problem – Piazza Venezia


Tourist Behavior In Italy - Piazza Venezia Drone Free

Piazza Venezia Drone Free


A 39-year-old tourist from Argentina had been piloting a drone without permission in Piazza Venezia when he lost control of the device. Security guards recovered the drone after it crashed into the roof from whose balcony Mussolini delivered many of his most notable speeches. Carabinieri grabbed the drone and reported the tourist for failure to comply with the no-fly zone in Rome.

Rome Tourism Problem – Random

Police caught a tourist in the waters of Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona. They received a fine, which can be up to €450, and were handed a temporary ban (daspo) from the area. A man was filmed taking a dip in Bernini’s Fountain of Triton in Piazza Barberini, without being caught and two Dutch tourists were fined after jumping into the Trevi Fountain.

Lastly, a young female tourist, reportedly American, felt like she should strip off her clothes and walk around Piazza Testaccio, sunbathing naked before cooling off in the Fontana delle Anfore.

Florence Tourism Problem – The Duomo

Security at the Duomo in Florence spotted a 37-year-old Canadian tourist urinating at the top of the building. After relieving himself, he made his way down the 463 steps of the building to the square outside the Cathedral, where he was met by the police. The Canadian man told the authorities that there were no bathrooms at the top of the building and that’s why he urinated there. He received a €400 fine.

Rome Tourism Problem – The Forum

Four English tourists were caught in the Roman Forum in the early hours of the morning. The four, aged between 17 and 19, climbed into the Colosseum Archaeological Park and were grabbed by security guards who told the Carabinieri. The morons, who were drunk, were charged with trespassing and fined €1,600 for their stupidity.

Venice Tourism Problem – The Grand Canal


Tourist Behavior In Italy - Gondoliers

Gondoliers In The Grand Canal


Two German tourists were filmed swimming down the Grand Canal in Venice. The police caught up with the two who were walking through the streets barefoot, dressed in just their swimming trunks. The “men” received fines of €450 each for their illegal dip.

Rome Tourism Problem – The Colosseum

A 32-year-old Irish tourist was detained by security staff at the Colosseum just after he carved his initials into the amphitheater. Security staff immediately called the carabinieri who charged the tourist for aggravated damage to assets of historical and cultural importance.

Also, a year earlier, a 39-year-old Israeli tourist was caught carving the initials of the names of her husband and children into the Colosseum. The woman, who used a stone to carve several letters into the Rome monument, now faces charges for aggravated damage of a building of historical and cultural interest.

Final Thoughts On Tourist Behavior

There is a tone of value in traveling, and being a respectful visitor in another country keeps it a positive experience for everyone involved. To quote the great Rick Steves:

“Globetrotting destroys ethnocentricity. It helps you understand and appreciate different cultures. Travel changes people. It broadens perspectives and teaches new ways to measure quality of life. Many travelers toss aside their hometown blinders. Their prized souvenirs are the strands of different cultures they decide to knit into their own character. The world is a cultural yarn shop. Back Door Travelers are weaving the ultimate tapestry.”

If you want to read more about proper Italian culture and tourist behavior in Italy, you will enjoy some of these articles as well:

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