Tourists in Italy are acting bad, real bad this year. From breaking into historic sites, to swimming in canals that are UNESCO-protected — visitors are behaving badly.

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What have tourists been doing?

American tourists caused $25,000 worth of damage to Rome’s Spanish Steps in June. The tourists pushed and threw their scooters down the steps.
A visitor from Saudi Arabia drove his rented Maserati down the travertine staircase in May, resulting in two steps being broken.
To add to the list of mishaps, tourists in Venice were caught swimming in UNESCO-protected canals. The canals double as Venice’s sewer system. American tourists went skinny dipping beside the Venetian Arsenal landmark, which dates back to the 14th century. Two Australians surfed down the Grand Canal in August.
But wait — there’s more. In August, an Australian tourist rode his moped around Pompeii, an ancient Roman site. An American couple, wanting to leave their mark in Italy, were caught carving their initials into the 2,000-year-old Arch of Augustus monument.
Most recently, in October, an American took their talents to the Vatican Museum and smashed two sculptures after being denied access to seeing the pope.

But, why?

Travel restrictions dropped this summer, which resulted in tourists flocking to Europe. According to ENIT, Italy’s tourism board, international visitors rose from January to July 2022 by 172% compared to 2021.
Munical police have dealt with 43 cases of tourists swimming in Venice canals this year. According to chief commissioner Gianfranco Zarantonello, that number is almost double the amount of cases from 2021.
Officials say that tourists have always behaved badly, its just more apparent now that tourism has resumed post-pandemic.