The Italian Almanac

trevi fountain

Italian News - July 13

Rome's Trevi Fountain was 'netted' by environmentalists protesting against the use of illegal nets by Italian fishermen. Dozens of bewildered tourists looked on as a Greenpeace activist dressed like a mermaid waded into the waters of the landmark fountain.

The fisher girl proceeded to clamber up onto the artificial rocks incorporated into the 18th-century monument and lie down in its shallow waters. The activists then spread a giant red net across her and the rest of the fountain. Other protesters climbed onto the carved rocks to display two large banners. One bore the slogan 'illegal fishing kills the sea' while the other said 'the only net needed is a net-work of marine reserves'.

The protest lasted more than 30 minutes before plain-clothes police moved in, removing the net and peacefully persuading the activists to get out of the fountain. The crowd-stopping spectacle was part of stepped-up protests by Greenpeace and other environmental associations over the continued use of banned drift nets by Italian fishermen.