Vacationers in Italy are behaving badly this yr: Here is why

Tourists in Italy are behaving badly this year: Here's why

(CNN) — Swimming in UNESCO-protected canals. Breaking into historic sites. Driving down the world’s most famous staircase. And just when you thought that was as bad as it gets: smashing priceless sculptures in a fit of pique.

As travel restrictions dropped this summer and tourists flooded back to Europe, the news of visitors behaving badly in Italy just kept coming.

In June, two American tourists caused $25,000 worth of damage to the Spanish Steps in Rome, when they pushed — and then threw — their scooters down them.

Surely that’s everything?

But is this worse than usual, or have we just forgotten how badly people behave when they’re on vacation?

International visitor numbers from January to July 2022 were up 172% on 2021 and even 57% on pre-pandemic records, according to ENIT, Italy’s tourist board.

Eike Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence — Italy’s most visited museum in 2021 — says that tourists behaving badly is nothing new.

“I don’t think it’s worse this year…