Rome's invitation to US couple attacked on Spanish Steps

US couple accept invitation for return visit

An American couple attacked at the Spanish Steps in early August has accepted an invitation to return to Rome by the city's tourism councillor Marta Leonori.

The tourists – a policeman and a civil judge – were at the Spanish Steps on the night of 2 August when they were attacked by a group of five rose sellers after refusing to buy flowers. The hawkers hit the American policeman in the face before attempting to steal his watch. Three of the attackers were subqequently arrested by Rome police.

Recently Leonori wrote to the tourists, Douglas and Alicia, apologising on behalf of Rome and inviting the couple to return. The reply Leonori received said: "My boyfriend and I sincerely appreciate and accept your apologies and those of the mayor over what happened to us in your beautiful city. Even though neither Rome nor our hotel, not least of all you or the mayor, were responsible for the incident.”

They went on to praise the "speed and efficiency" of the Rome carabinieri, especially the officer they dealt with whom they consider “a friend for life.”

The couple will return to Rome on their honeymoon next April, during which they will be welcomed to the Campidoglio by Leonori and the city's mayor Ignazio Marino.

Photo: Il Messaggero