US tourists fined and banned from Rome’s Spanish Steps after throwing electric scooter at monument

Two American tourists have been fined and banned from Rome’s Spanish Steps after damaging the famous Italian landmark with electric scooters they rented while on vacation.

In a word

Security camera footage from the early hours of Friday morning appears to show a 28-year-old woman launching her scooter up the famous curved marble staircase. According to the Italian newspaper La Repubblicathe woman threw the scooter twice more after that “out of sheer amusement”, causing some marble steps to crack.

In the footage, which was posted by Italian news sites on Tuesday and quickly went viral, her husband, 28, can be seen in front of her, rolling his scooter through the 18th century attraction.

According to Italian authorities, the scooter caused €25,000 in damage to the steps on its way down after breaking a 10cm portion of one of the steps.

Police then caught up with the couple, who were banned from returning to the Spanish Steps area for two days and fined €400 each.

Too bad a few weeks

The incident with the electric scooters comes just weeks after a man was arrested after driving his rental Maserati Levante down the Spanish Steps, causing extensive damage to the historic structure.

CCTV footage released by local traffic police in Rome showed the man driving the vehicle down the steps, damaging the landmark before fleeing.

Police apprehended the Saudi national at Milan Malpensa airport as he attempted to leave the country. He claims, however, that when he came down the stairs, he was just following the advice of his satellite navigation system.

He is accused of aggravated damage to cultural heritage and monuments.


The Spanish Steps was built between 1723 and 1725 by architects Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi and has been recognized by UNESCO as being of Outstanding Universal Value.

The staircase connects the French church of Trinita dei Monti at the top with Piazza di Spagna, named for the imposing presence of the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See.

Italians know them as “La Scalinata (Staircase) di Trinita dei Monti”, a reference to the church at the top. In English they are known as the Spanish Steps because the Spanish Embassy in the Vatican is located at their base.

The monument, immortalized in the 1953 romantic comedy Roman Holiday starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, underwent a 1.5 million euro restoration between 2015 and 2016, funded by luxury jeweler Bulgari.

In 2019, it was announced that people could be fined €250 simply for sitting on one of the 136 steps, and up to €400 for dirtying or damaging the steps in their wake.

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