Italian tourists skinny-dipping in ancient Roman fountain spark outrage: 'Italy is not their home bathroom'

Italian police are on the hunt for two English-speaking tourists who went skinny-dipping in an ancient memorial fountain in Rome.

The two unidentified men stripped down to their underwear and climbed into the water at the Altare della Patria in Piazza Venezia Sunday, BBC reports.

The historic site, also called Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele, is a tribute to Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy after the country's unification, and houses the “tomb of the unknown soldier,” a place where “the eternal flame shines and which is always guarded by two soldiers,” according to Rome’s tourism website.

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In a video of the incident posted to a Roman blog, the duo can be seen splashing around the fountain and laughing, and one even pulls down his pants to pose for a photo.

Italian officials are outraged over the perps’ behavior, who will be facing a fine of at least $460 each if they’re caught.

Matteo Salvini, the country's deputy prime minister, tweeted: "I will know how to educate these idiots if they are caught. Italy is not their home bathroom."

Authorities say the pair’s actions “seriously offend the national sentiment and the memory of the fallen whom the monument is dedicated to” and they’re seeking “an effective collaboration to identify those responsible for this illegal and outrageous conduct,” according to a statement.

The historic site, also called Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele, is a tribute to Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy after the country's unification, and houses the “tomb of the unknown soldier.”

The historic site, also called Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele, is a tribute to Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy after the country's unification, and houses the “tomb of the unknown soldier.” (iStock)

Italy has seen its fair share of badly behaved tourists, especially during the summer months when the weather is hot and people seek to cool off in fountains.

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In 1999, the country passed a law banning wading in the fountains, and more recently, Roman officials have begun issuing harsh fines for other disrespectful and potentially harmful acts like eating, drinking or sitting on the fountains, The New York Times reports.

“It is unacceptable that someone uses them to go swimming or clean themselves, it’s a historic patrimony that we must safeguard,” Virginia Raggi, Rome’s mayor, told the Times in 2017.