An €800 Fine for a Beer in the Colosseum

Two American tourists paid dearly for their beer… Taking advantage of the darkness and apparent quietness of the spot, the couple “let themselves into” the Colosseum to drink a beer. The Roman monument usually closes its doors at 4.30 pm. When Italian police noticed the break-in, they duly issued a fine. The unfortunate fans of true romanticism retorted that “They weren’t doing any harm”, if you don’t count enjoying the unique sight of a sunrise over one of the most beautiful antique scenes in the world, with a beer in their hands. The €800 euro bill being swiftly paid, the two tourists will at least have learned that, at the Colosseum bar, there is no “happy hour.”

Although no damage was observed, this event can’t just be put down to a typical lack of awareness on the part of New-World travellers with regard to ancient monuments. There are countless instances of disastrous behaviour from “true-blue European” tourists when it comes to the remains of ancient civilization. In this disappointing list of greatest hits deserving of a couple of thermoplastic “made in EU” awards, let’s mention the Irishman who wanted to carve his name into a pillar, over here we have a German teenager who wanted to leave behind a Cupid’s heart scratched with a nail, over there, towards the back, a Frenchman who paddle-boarded along the Grand Canal, further back again, two German ladies who fancied sunbathing in their bikinis near the Church of San Stae, and let’s finish up with the Russian tourist who nipped back to carve the letter “K” into the Colosseum… getting a €20,000 fine as her majestic top prize for incivility.

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