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Australian tourist rides moped through Pompeii, leading to arrest

CCTV footage shows the moment the man broke into the site on August 10, 2022
CCTV footage shows the moment the man broke into the site on August 10, 2022   -   Copyright  http://pompeiisites.org/
By Alessio Dellanna

An Australian tourist is facing charges in Italy after getting caught riding a moped through the ruined city of Pompeii. 

Tourist vehicles are banned from the 2,000-year-old site, a once-bustling Roman settlement that was destroyed in a volcanic eruption in 79 AD.  

The incident happened on Wednesday, and police say the 33-year-old tourist has been charged with "unauthorised access."

"No danger was posed to the visitors or the site at any moment. The incident ended after only a few minutes thanks to the archaeological park's efficient patrol service," police said in a statement. 

Italian media reacted with outrage to the incident, calling the Australian a "barbarian" even though he didn't travel on any original roads and no artefacts were damaged.

Authorities believe the man, who later apologised, broke into the site through a gate used by maintenance vehicles.

This is just the latest episode of rule-breaching in Pompeii. In 2020, another tourist enraged locals by stepping onto an old building to take a selfie. The woman was never identified.