By tapping retired cops as a workforce, Rome may have found a cost-effective way to try to help manage the effects of overtourism. Expect other highly visited destinations to watch the experiment closely.
Retired traffic officers at Rome’s Trevi Fountain are working to keep tourists on good behavior.
The Italian city’s mayor signed an order last month aimed at protecting Trevi and some 40 other historic fountains. The order prescribes stiff fines for climbing, sitting or eating on the monuments.
Several former police officers started shooing tourists off the stone rim of the Trevi Fountain on Tuesday. They reminded people not to eat there and to keep an open path through the crowds.
Earlier this year, a man swam naked in Trevi Fountain. Soccer hooligans damaged a Baroque fountain near the Spanish steps.
The city says the volunteer officers will stand vigil from 9 a.m. until midnight until mid-October. Authorities will decide after the peak tourist season wanes whether to make the fountain patrols permanent.
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Photo Credit: Tourists visit Rome's famed Trevi Fountain. The city is hoping that new fines for misbehavior and new watchdog patrols staffed by retired police will restore some order to the at-times-rowdy tourist area. The Associated Press