Summer, for our northern hemisphere friends, has been a hot one, so it’s little wonder that tourists are seeking out opportunities to cool themselves, but stripping off in a national monument that honours those killed fighting for their country? Not a good idea.
A Russian tour guide, Maxim Maleckij, filmed two young men clad only in their underwear splashing in the water in one of the fountains next to the Altare della Patria (or the Altar of the Fatherland) in Piazza Venezia, in the heart of historic Rome.
The monument, also known as Il Vittoriano, honours the first king of unified Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II, as well as those killed fighting for their country. It is thus at the heart of annual war commemorations as well as Italy's Republic Day, The Local reported.
The offending tourists and their companions (who dipped their feet in the fountain) were believed to be English speaking.
One of the pair was further filmed lowering his briefs to pose naked.
When police were alerted to the incident, they said they were doing all they could to trace the offending bathers, whose actions "gravely offend national feeling and the memory of the fallen to whom the monument is dedicated".
Police have called on foreign consulates to help find those responsible for "this illegal and outrageous behaviour", releasing a photograph of the pair.
Rome's city ordinances prohibit behaviour that damages or disrespects its famous landmarks, which can be anything from trespassing on monuments to writing graffiti to picnicking.