An out-of-control drone operated by a tourist crashed onto the roof of Rome’s historic Palazzo Venezia on April 23, in Italy’s third such drone-related incident this month.
At around 7 p.m. on Saturday evening, a 39-year-old Argentine male lost control of his drone while he was in the central Piazza Venezia, a short distance from the Campidoglio and the Roman Forum, the Carabinieri police confirmed to CNN.
The 15th-century palazzo is where the dictator Benito Mussolini delivered some of his notable speeches.
The man “was probably unaware of the ban on drone overflight” that is in force over the skies of the whole city of Rome and the Vatican, captain Matteo Alborghetti of the Carabinieri said.
“Fortunately, there were no repercussions, no one was hurt, and the roof of Palazzo Venezia was not damaged,” he added. The drone has been seized and the tourist risks criminal prosecution.
Similar incidents with drones left free to fly over Italian monuments and squares are increasingly frequent and the one in Rome was not even the most recent.
In Pisa on Monday afternoon a 32-year-old Romanian tourist was stopped while he was flying his drone over the Piazza dei Miracoli, near the famous leaning tower, a statement from the Pisa Police Headquarters says.
“He wanted to take more evocative images of the Tower” Virgilio Russo of the police headquarters told CNN.
In Italy, Russo explains, the regulations for flying drones 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 authorization from the prefecture and the police.
Just a few days ago on April 18, also in Pisa, two Mexicans aged 18 and 26 risked ruining the medieval tower when their drone hit it, fortunately without causing any major damage, the Police told CNN.
CNN’s Maureen O’Hare contributed to this report.