Sitting on Spanish Steps banned

ROME – Tourists face fines of up to 400 euros for sitting or lying down on the Eternal City’s Spanish Steps, made famous abroad by Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in the 1953 film, Roman Holiday.

 Not only is eating and drinking in the vicinity of the steps prohibited, but now offenders sitting or lying on them will be fined 250 euros, which can rise to 400 euros if the staircase, also know as the Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti, is damaged or dirtied. 

 Officers, who began to enforce the regulation on Tuesday, continuously blowing whistles while motioning tourists to move on from the travertine steps, will give offenders one warning before issuing a fine.

 “I understand for those who eat, but why can’t you even sit, it’s absurd,” Mexican tourist Marcos Morales and his partner Laura said of the strict regulation. 

 “The staircase is a masterpiece of art, you don't sit on masterpieces,” Gianni Battistoni, the president of the Via Condotti Association said.

 “Otherwise it is not possible to enjoy the beauty of the landscape because there are people camped."

 The landmark, a UNESCO world heritage site, was restored three years ago in a 1.5 million euro project funded by Italian luxury jewellery brand Bulgari.