Rats Swarm Rome’s Trevi Fountain and Terrorize Tourists
The legendary Baroque fountain has been under repair for over a year.
Remember Anita Ekberg’s luscious walk through Rome’s Fontana di Trevi in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita? Well, the iconic fountain has some new inhabitants these days, and they are certainly less glamorous.
According to ABC, the Baroque monument has been invaded by a swarm of rats that have taken to frolicking around it when night falls, terrorizing tourists in their path.
The plague was first reported on Sunday by the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, which described a colony of 10 to 20 “huge mice,” of up to 20 centimeters long.
The fountain has been under repair for over a year—a €2 million refurbishment funded by the fashion brand Fendi—and it seems that it’s been during this period that the rodents have taken a liking to the legendary spot. The City Council is reportedly already in conversation with the companies in charge of maintaining the historic monument.
According to Viviana Piccirilli, president of the Association of Residents in the Historic Center of Rome, the infestation is the result of the high summer temperatures and the amounts of garbage that plague the Italian capital.
“It’s not just a management problem,” Piccirilli said. “The rats are coming out because it’s hot and they are looking for water. The refurbishing works have made things worse, but it’s also the rubbish created by the restaurants around it and the tourists. It’s a civic problem.”
And it gets worse. Corriere della Sera reports that tourists are not merely disgusted or frightened by the rodents, they are also shocked by the sight of their dead bodies, scattered around the site.
Numerous photos documenting the decline of the monument have been making the rounds through social media and other online outlets.
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