Lonely Planet Writer

Police officers are guarding Rome's fountains from tourists desperate to cool off

After a series of high-profile incidents, police officers are now guarding Rome’s famous fountains to prevent people taking the plunge to cool off.

On Monday, two Californian tourists were ordered to pay a €450 fine each after being caught trying to recreate the iconic Trevi fountain scene in La Dolce Vita. This comes just a week after a British-German model filmed herself try to do the same. She was also caught with the fine which she promptly paid.

Anita Ekberg in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita.
Anita Ekberg in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita is the inspiration for many a furtive dip.

The week previously, an impromptu bathing session in the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola angered residents when pictures were posted on Twitter with the comment that “Rome deserves more respect.” A tourist was also hit with a fine after taking a splash in the fountain at the end of the Spanish Steps. It’s not just tourists who decide to break the rules however. A group of young Italians who took a paddle in Piazza del Popolo in their underwear were tracked down by officers when they posted a selfie of their activity on Facebook.

Images of the three women in the fountain went viral.
Images of the three women in the fountain went viral. Image by ‏@TrastevereRM

The latest string of high-profile swims are largely as a result of Rome’s soaring temperatures. With the heat regularly reaching 35 degrees celsius (95 fahrenheit) in the Eternal City at the moment, the temptation to take a paddle in the cool, clean water seems to be too much to resist for many.