Australian tourist rides moped through Pompeii, leading to arrest

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Australian tourist rides moped through Pompeii, leading to arrest

An Australian tourist is facing charges in Italy after getting caught riding a moped through the ruined city of Pompeii.

Tourist vehicles are banned from the 2,000-year-old site, a once-bustling Roman settlement that was destroyed in a volcanic eruption in 79 AD.

The incident happened on Wednesday, and police say the 33-year-old tourist has been charged with "unauthorised access."

"No danger was posed to the visitors or the site at any moment. The incident ended after only a few minutes thanks to the archaeological park's efficient patrol service," police said in a statement.

Italian media reacted with outrage to the incident, calling the Australian a "barbarian" even though he didn't travel on any original roads and no artefacts were damaged.

Authorities believe the man, who later apologised, broke into the site through a gate used by maintenance vehicles.

This is just the latest episode of rule-breaching in Pompeii. In 2020, another tourist enraged locals by stepping onto an old building to take a selfie. The woman was never identified.