Three tourists caused outrage after they stripped down to their bikinis and cooled off in a 400-year-old fountain to escape the summer heat.
The scantily-clad women caused uproar on social media after they enjoyed a summer-splash in the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola in Rome.
Locals fumed at their apparent lack of respect for the 17th century monument, after they were snapped in the act, and while pondering on their nationality decided that only the English or Germans would behave in such a ‘rude’ manner.
In the pictures, taken by a witness, the girls, who all have brown hair and appear to be in their twenties, are seen frolicking under one of the fountain’s jets and laughing as they cool off.
It is not clear how long they were in the fountain for or if they were punished for their actions.
Temperatures soared to 32C in Rome over the weekend, but locals saw this as no excuse to strip off and take a plunge.
Online magazine Trastevere vented its outrage about the act on twitter, posting: ‘It is very hot but the fountain of the Janiculum can not become a pool x tourists Rome deserves more respect!’
The post was re-tweeted over 300 times with many furious Italian tweeters replying.
One poster, named Lucien, wrote: ‘You should go and do something similar in England or Germany. I’m going to tomorrow in my boxer shorts and swimming cap.’
While a tweeter named Serena said:’These [women] are so rude.’
Other posters criticised the police for not arresting the women and the photographer for not stepping in and confronting the group.
However, one tweeter praised the women for taking a dip in the fountain and said at least their actions were making people aware of the monument.
They wrote: ‘These young girls are giving meaning to ancient remains that are generally ignored!’
Last year a group of English architects were accused of creating a scene similar to that of an ‘orgy’ after they splashed about topless in the fountain of the Naiads.
The group of six stripped off and took a dawn skinny-dip, but this time locals were amused rather than outraged.
One witness said: ‘It looked like an orgy in Ancient Rome. They were completely naked, the men, with their genitals on show, and the women were just running around topless. One of them was very young and blonde – quite attractive.’