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Tourist illegally takes joyride through ancient site of Pompeii on a moped

Tourist illegally takes joyride through ancient site of Pompeii on a moped

The tourist claimed not to have known the area was off limits

An Australian man has been arrested after apparently taking it upon himself to try and explore the ancient city of Pompeii on a moped.

Mopeds are undoubtedly a common site in Italy, but they definitely have their time and place, and a town thought to have been built around the 9-8th century B.C shouldn't really be considered one of them.

The tourist was spotted on Wednesday (10 August) driving through the Campanian site of Pompeii; the city which has been preserved since the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.

Pompeii is a popular site for tourists in Italy.
Sorin Colac/Alamy Stock Photo

A press release from the official Pompeii Sites website explained the man managed to gain entry to the site through the Porta Vesuvio service gate, where he followed cars from construction companies which were driving into the area.

He was spotted by the Park surveillance team, which jumped to 'immediate action', but the joyrider is still thought to have travelled for around a mile before he was caught.

Thankfully, the park assured the man had only ventured on an 'external stretch of the city', rather than revving his moped along the precious ancient roads.

"The stretch traveled is an avenue outside the walls of the ancient city, in beaten earth, used by companies engaged in excavation, safety and restoration works and not accessible to the public," Pompeii Sites explained. "Therefore, there was no danger neither for the visitors of the site nor for the archaeological heritage at any moment of the episode."

The statement said the incident 'ended after a few minutes' with the help of 'the efficient surveillance and video surveillance service of the Archaeological Park'.

The tourist claimed he didn't know the site was off limits.
Pompeii Sites

After being spotted by the surveillance team, the tourist was reported for unauthorised access to the site and held by security until police arrived. He has been described as a 33-year-old Australian man who claimed not to have known the famous archaeological site was off limits to his adventure.

The joyride comes just weeks after two American tourists were fined for throwing an electric scooter down Rome's famous Spanish Steps, causing damage estimated to be worth €25,000 (£21,150).

A statement from the city's Capitoline Superintedency cultural heritage office explained: "A couple of American tourists launched a scooter three times down the steps of Trinità dei Monti, damaging the third-to-last travertine step of the second ramp on the side towards the climb of San Sebastianello."

The pair were fined €400 each and banned from visiting the area around the steps for two days.

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Featured Image Credit: Pompeii Sites/Christine Webb/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Travel, World News