Italy is once again confronted with “obscene” behavior by tourists, resulting in a high-profile cultural affair. This time, the object of the wrath of the locals was a traveler who was caught staging an impromptu nude photo session right on the steps of the legendary Cathedral of St. Andrew the First-Called in Amalfi.
“From driving up the Spanish Steps in Rome to surfing the Grand Canal in Venice to smashing sculptures in the Vatican. Some tourists this summer treated Italy like it was their own theme park,” CNN told CNN.
According to the publication, not only the girl, but also her two companions, who helped in a photo shoot on the coast of the Italian city of Amalfi, will be charged with “indecent acts” on charges of encroaching and desecrating the cultural and historical heritage of the country.
Monday morning at around 7:30 a.m., shocked locals filmed a woman posing in front of the doors of a cathedral dating back to 1067 in what was then Constantinople, and under a mosaic depicting St. Andrew, whose relics are said to be inside.
The shooting location was particularly painful for members of the community, complained art critic and writer Laura Thayer, who lives in Amalfi. “The fact that this happened in a church made this episode shocking. The Duomo is a place of worship and a place very close to the hearts of the Amalfis. This specific background affects the historical memory of the locals. The bronze doors are reminiscent of the days of the Republic of Amalfi. These doors open for processions, weddings, funerals – moments that create life. Yes, it's beautiful, but Amalfi is much more than a beautiful backdrop for a social media photo,” she said in an interview with the publication.
In a video posted on social media from the scene, one local resident and videographer was heard calling the tourists “crazy”. “Naked in the church,” she stated incredulously.
The cathedral, which dates from the 9th century, is dedicated to the Apostle Andrew the First-Called, and his relics are said to have been kept there since 1206. It was built during the heyday of Amalfi as a maritime superpower, rivaling Genoa, Venice and Pisa. Today its narrow streets are crowded with tourists.
Local website Positano News, which released the video, said the trio, who had not received permission to film, were caught by police before leaving the city. He added that their equipment didn't even seem to be professional.
Another local site, Amalfi Notizie, which posted the video on social media, said that a tourist who arrived at the church fully dressed and climbed the steps to undress , told the police that they were just taking pictures to preserve the memories of their trip to the Amalfi Coast, and not for advertising.
An Amalfi local police spokesman told CNN that the trio were British: a male photographer, a model and an assistant. Now they are all charged with “obscene acts in a public place.”
Earlier in September, two tourists also broke all etiquette and ignored the value of Italian architecture: they were caught taking a midnight dip in the Sant'Andrea Fountain in Amalfi. A baroque fountain from the 18th century is one of the city's landmarks, topped by a statue of Saint Andrew.
Amalfi has been “busier than ever” this year, according to Thayer due to abnormally warm weather, which is in no hurry to leave the region, crowds of tourists continue to arrive. “Episodes like this are a good reminder to respect the places we visit and the people who live there,” she added.
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