An American tourist was fined almost $500 for eating and drinking on the steps of a historic fountain in Rome

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Fontana dei Catecumeni in Piazza Madonna dei Monti in Rome, Italy
Sovrintendenza Roma
  • An American tourist visiting Italy has been fined roughly $450 for eating and drinking at a centuries-old fountain in Rome.

  • The Fontana dei Catecumeni was built in 1588 and 1589, and restored in 1997.

  • In recent years, Rome has introduced legislation cracking down on eating and drinking near fountains to preserve the historic structures.

A tourist visiting Italy has been slapped with a fine for eating and drinking at a centuries-old fountain.

The 55-year-old American was sitting on the side of the Fontana dei Catecumeni in Rome last week, with gelato and a a beer, according to Italian newspaper La Repubblica. Local police told CNN the man was "intent on drinking and eating on part of the fountain."

The fountain was built in 1588 and 1589, and restored in 1997.

The man said he was unaware of rules prohibiting such activity near fountains, according to La Repubblica. He was fined €450, which is roughly $450.

In 2017, Rome adopted legislation banning eating and drinking near the city's historic fountains in order to "prevent the incidents contrary to rules of urban decorum, and to ensure adequate protection of the historical, artistic and archaeological capital of Rome."

The ban applies to other activities at the fountains as well, including climbing, swimming, washing pets, and throwing objects into the water.

In 2019, the city also started fining people €400 if they were caught eating, drinking, or sitting on its iconic Spanish Steps.

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