Tourists crash drones into Italian landmarks in Rome and Pisa 2022-04-27 08:45:08


(CNN) – An out-of-control drone piloted by a tourist crashed onto the roof of Rome’s historic Palazzo Venezia on April 23, in the third such drone incident in Italy this month.

At around 7 p.m. on Saturday, a 39-year-old Argentine man lost control of his drone while in the middle of Piazza Venezia, a short distance from Campidoglio and Roman Forum, Carabinieri police confirmed to CNN.

The 15th century palace is where the dictator Benito Mussolini gave some of his notable speeches.

Captain Matteo Alberghiti of the Carabinieri said the man “may not have been aware of the ban on flying drones” in place over the entire city of Rome and the Vatican.

“Fortunately, there were no repercussions, no one was injured, and the roof of the Palazzo Venezia was not damaged,” he added. The drone is captured and the tourist risks criminal prosecution.

Similar incidents with drones left free to fly over Italian monuments and arenas are frequent, and the one in Rome wasn’t even the most recent.

Tourists take pictures with the Leaning Tower of Pisa in November 2018.

Tourists take pictures with the Leaning Tower of Pisa in November 2018.

Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images

In Pisa, a 32-year-old Romanian tourist was stopped on Monday afternoon while flying his drone over Piazza dei Miracoli, near the famous Leaning Tower, according to a statement from the Pisa Police Command.

“He wanted to take more evocative photos of the tower,” Virgilio Russo of police headquarters told CNN.

Russo explains that drone regulations in Italy are more restrictive than in some other countries. To fly a drone in an urban or otherwise crowded area, you need a special license provided by the Civil Aviation Authority, Enac, as well as a permit from the prefecture and the police.

Just a few days ago on April 18, also in Pisa, two Mexicans aged 18 and 26 risked destroying the medieval tower when their drone crashed into it, fortunately without causing any major damage, police told CNN.

CNN’s Maureen O’Hare contributed to this report.