Like Anita Ekberg in Federico Fellini’s 1960 classic movie, the blonde-haired woman wore an evening dress and fur stole as she pranced around in the water blowing kisses to onlooking tourists. A police officer blew a whistle and gestured for her to get out of the fountain, then held her fur stole for her as she clambered out of the water.
The woman, named Delilah Jay, is a former model, who posed topless for the German newspaper Bild aged 52, and is currently promoting her new book, entitled Mistress – The Italian Way. She told the Italian media: ‘The police were very kind, they helped me out of the fountain. I explained that I did what I did because I love Italy, I love Fellini and I want to live la dolce vita (the sweet life).’
Although in the past Rome’s fountains were routinely used for activities like bathing and washing clothes, nowadays Rome’s citizens are aghast at any attempts by disrespectful tourists to cool off in the water. After a string of recent incidents authorities decided to double the size of the fine for swimming in the city’s fountains. However, that doesn’t seem to have acted as much of a deterrent in this case – when informed of the fine, the woman just went straight to the nearest cash machine, withdrew the money and paid up.
The flamboyant baroque Trevi fountain recently underwent a thorough clean-up and restoration, paid for by fashion house Fendi. About €3000-worth of coins are thrown into the fountain every day, with the tradition being that a coin tossed into the Trevi fountain will guarantee you a return trip to Rome.