Rome’s Spanish Steps are an 18th century wonder that is difficult to keep in good condition. They get a lot of foot traffic, being steps and all. Recently the city of Rome undertook a massive, year-long restoration project to keep the prized landmark in good condition, but less than 24 hours after the steps were reopened to visitors, at least seven people were arrested and hit with enormous fines for drinking on them.
According to The Local, the Spanish Steps were reopened with a spectacular ceremony on Thursday, September 22. On the evening of Friday, September 23, however, police caught at least seven tourists drinking on the steps.
Tourists and other visitors misbehaving on the steps creates a problem for the city. People are not supposed to eat or drink on the steps, and they’re also supposed to refrain from “loud or unruly” behavior. During the restoration project, it was proposed that the steps be closed after dark to prevent nighttime shenanigans. Instead, the steps remained opened, and police surveillance was increased.
The police had their work cut out for them, too, because people were drinking on the steps basically as soon as the doors were open. The tourists caught drinking on the steps were fined about €130 apiece.