Lonely Planet Writer

Tourists are literally fighting over the best selfie spot at the Trevi Fountain

Taking the perfect holiday selfie isn’t always easy, especially if it’s at a landmark as crowded and as popular as the Trevi Fountain in Rome. And sometimes, the quest for the perfect photo can escalate into a full-on fight.

The Trevi Fountain ‘s main theme is the sea, and the statue of the ancient god Oceanus is at its centre. Photo by Jon Davison/Lonely Planet

That’s exactly what happened last week when two tourists wanted to use the same spot at the same time to take a selfie with a perfect shot of the 18th-century monument behind them. A 19-year-old Dutch girl and a 44-year-old Italo-American started a verbal discussion that rapidly escalated into a physical fight with slaps and punches involving the families of the two tourists as well.

The two tourists were looking for the perfect selfie spot like this woman in Sydney. Photo by Brook Mitchell/City of Sydney/Getty Images

In the end, two agents of the Local Police had to intervene to separate a total of eight people, including two American 17-year-olds (one the daughter of the Italo-American tourist and the other a friend) and the 13-year-old sister of the Dutch tourist. The fight broke off for a while when the two agents intervened but then started again and two extra patrols had to be called in.

The whole group was brought to a police station in the nearby Via della Greca, where they were all charged with assault and threatening behaviour. None of the eight people involved reported injuries any more serious than bruises and contusions.

Tradition says that if you toss a coin into the fountain, you will return to Rome sooner or later. Photo by Jon Davison/Lonely Planet

The Trevi Fountain remains one of the most popular spots in the Italian capital, and it’s arguably one of the most famous fountains in the world.