A heatwave in Rome has driven three female tourists to splash about in bikinis in a cherished 17th-century fountain.
The women were photographed standing around in the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, a monumental fountain located on the Janiculum Hill and dating from 1612. Two wore bikinis, the third wore a one-piece swimsuit.
Britain’s Daily Telegraph noted that Rome’s extensive network of baroque fountains “are cherished by Romans as some of the architectural highlights of the Italian capital”.
Consequently, some Romans were outraged at the women’s actions, with the online magazine Trastevere observing that just because the day was hot (32 C), “the fountain cannot become a pool. Rome deserves more respect”.
Hundreds of Italians agreed with the tweet, condemning the young women’s brazen actions and urging more respect.
British news sites recall that last year, several UK tourists were charged with obscenity after an incident in which they were filmed cavorting naked in a historic Roman fountain.
In the latest case, the three women at least wore swimsuits.
The temperature in Rome yesterday hit 33 C and is forecast to reach 34 C today. That’s in the shade. It’s cooler in the fountains.
Written by Peter Needham