Two women, a 44-year-old Italian-American and a 19-year-old from the Netherlands, started a violent fracas in front of the iconic Trevi fountain in Rome for the right to use the best spot for a selfie.
According to Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the incident happened last Wednesday evening at 7:30pm, close to the sought after ‘Golden Hour’, that Instagram-perfect moment shortly before sunset when daylight is redder and softer.
Both tourists wanted the same spot for their respective selfies, which prompted them to a heated discussion that soon evolved into a savage hair pulling contest.
Family members ended up jumping into the action, turning the altercation into a brawl of at least eight people, including three minors.
The cops quickly intervened to break up the impromptu gladiatorial battle, but the two families were so immersed in it that it was necessary to call in backup to stop the fight definitively.
No serious injuries were reported, and both families have been filed charges of assault and violence.
The Fountain of Trevi is one of the world’s most visited locations, an imposing baroque structure finished in 1762 and immortalised in popular culture by its iconic appearances in the Academy Award-winning films Roman Holiday and La Dolce Vita.
The landmark has been the centre of all kinds of crazy shenanigans due to its popularity. Hefty fines that can go up to €240 (US$276 or AUS$376) haven’t stopped people from doing all kinds of inappropriate stuff in the fountain.
Tourists go as far as plunging into its waters to emulate the romantic scene from La Dolce Vita between Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni.
In 2002, authorities found out that Roberto Cercelletta, a local bum, had raked up a fortune by collecting the coins that people throw into the fountain. It’s said he hauled up to US$1,000 (AUS$1,360) per day from 1968 until 2002.