Rome experiments with policing tourists at Trevi Fountain

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ROME (Reuters) - Visitors to Rome’s Trevi Fountain were on their best behavior on Tuesday as the city started testing out a plan to clamp down on tourists dipping their feet into the basin of the centuries-old landmark.

A public outcry over inappropriate behavior at the Italian capital’s monuments prompted the mayor to decree in June that anyone caught paddling in fountains or picnicking on their pedestals could be fined up to 240 euros ($280.44).

Volunteers in police uniform patrolled the crowd around the travertine basin which surrounds the stone rendering of Tritons guiding the shell chariot of water god Oceanus.

“At this initial stage, they are here to help people enjoy the monument when it is at its most crowded, trying to ensure people observe the mayor’s decree,” local police commander Diego Porta told Repubblica TV.

Italy’s culture minister has suggested crowds should be limited at some of Italy’s heritage sites, which include the entire historic centers of some cities including Rome.

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Reporting by Max Rossi, writing by Isla Binnie, editing by Pritha Sarkar