Visitors to the Vatican hoping to catch a glimpse of the Pope have instead witnessed a one-man anti-government protest on the dome of St Peter’s Basilica.
The man refused to come down on Wednesday despite being perched on a ledge for 24 hours.
Identified as Marcello Di Finizio, he shocked onlookers by abseiling into place from near the top of the dome.
He unveiled a banner reading “Help! Enough Monti, Enough Europe! Enough Multinationals!”
The beach bar owner has said he is angry about an EU directive and Italian government plan to auction off seafront licences from 2016.
He argues local companies risk losing out to big business.
He has staged several other protests against the plans, including a shorter one on St Peter’s Dome in July.