Beer-Drinking Tourists Broke Into This World-Famous Landmark

One of the new seven wonders of the world, according to Britannica, the Colosseum in Rome is a marvel of architecture and construction that still stands today — nearly 2,000 years after its completion — as one of the world's most important historic relics. It is a reminder of both the vast power and brutality of the Roman Empire.

Construction of the Colosseum, which could accommodate 50,000 spectators, began around the year 70 A.D. and was completed in 80, a remarkable achievement at the time (via BBC). But inside its imposing columns and stately arches, thousands of people deemed criminals by the Ancient Romans were killed as thousands of viewers cheered. Throughout its history and even today, the Colosseum is seen by some as a sacred spot where many martyrs lost their lives. For others, it is a reminder of both the genius and creativity of the human mind. For a couple of thirsty American tourists, however, it just seemed like a good place to toss back a cold one.

Colosseum drinkers were issued hefty fines

According to CNN, two American tourists recently decided to make the Roman Colosseum their own personal beer garden when they broke into the historic site to enjoy a couple of cold brews. The incident took place at 5:30 a.m. local time while the site was closed to the public, per Food & Wine. The pair, aged 24 and 25, climbed over high railings to gain entry to the Colosseum and up the amphitheater's ancient steps to the second level. There, they perched outward, sat under one of the iconic arches facing the city. The trespassers were noticed by a passerby who notified the police. The men were stopped while walking along a city street and issued a fine of €800 (or $900).

Before the pandemic, more than 7 million people visited the Colosseum annually. While the Americans are not accused of any crime other than trespassing, the historic site is a frequent target of vandalism by tourists. In 2014, a Russian visitor was fined €20,000 for carving a "K" into a Colosseum wall, and in 2019, a German student carved his initials into one of the ancient walls. Food & Wine pointed out that with that $900 fine, the Americans' beers might be the most expensive ever drunk. We don't know what exact beer the trespassers were drinking, but it's likely one they won't soon forget.