Rome police hand out fines for late night dip in Bernini fountain

Five people caught after running away from Piazza Navona fountain.

Rome police fined five people, aged between 25 and 30, after the group jumped into the waters of Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona last night.

The five, all foreigners and fully dressed, fled the scene on the arrival of the police.

However officers soon caught up the group, still dressed in their wet clothes, handing them fines and temporary 'daspo' bans on returning to the area.

The incident, which took place at around 02.00 on 25 June, was immortalised in a photograph by a passerby.

The five people involved reportedly included two Germans, one Belgian, one French and one Iranian.

The amount they were fined has not been reported but an individual fine for a similar act is usually around €400.

The 17th-century fountain had recently undergone works to restore the face of the 'Nile lion' which was damaged after a metal anchor pin became detached, due to wear rather than vandalism.

The incident in Piazza Navona came five days after a woman took a dip, completely naked, in the Giacomo della Porta fountain near Italy's parliament in Piazza Colonna at around 11.00 on Saturday morning.

The 22-year-old Argentine woman, described as suffering from a severe psychiatric disorder, was later escorted to hospital by police. It is not known if she was fined.