The construction site of the new tourist harbour of Fiumicino was impounded at dawn on 18 November by Rome's finance police for structural and safety irregularities, under the orders of the public prosecutor of Civitavecchia.
Seven people connected with the site are also under investigation for fraud, including six suppliers and the owner of the port's contract company Acquamarcia, Francesco Bellavista Caltagirone.
Following the entrepreneur’s arrest in March on charges of aggravated fraud against the state for his involvement in the port of Imperia in the northern Italian region of Liguria, the police investigation into Bellavista Caltagirone, currently incarcerated, was extended to his Fiumicino venture.
Construction began in 2010 on the €320-million one-hectare marina which is due for completion in 2015. Situated about 35km west of the capital and just 4km from Rome's Fimicino International airport, the port is designed to host 1,445 leisure craft from 10m to 60m.
Its website states that the berths are on sale "not only for pleasure boaters of the capital city and the Lazio region, but also for anyone who, at a national and international level, wants to benefit from an excellent structure, ensuring the highest level of comfort and efficiency of the services, for the tourists' enjoyment of Lazio and Italy's coasts."
The project was hotly contested by environmentalists and archaeologists from the outset. The site is both an important part of the Tiber tidal basin and coastal eco-system and of the ancient Roman complex known as the Isola Sacra.