A tourist was caught riding a moped through the Campanian site of Pompeii on Wednesday. He was immediately caught by security and police at the scene.
The tourist – aged 33 and Australian – illegally entered the site through the service entrance, Porta Vesuvio, piggybacking on legal cars entering, the archaeological park explained in a statement.
A few minutes later security personnel caught him and detained him until the police arrived.
It is believed that he traveled about a mile before he was caught. The tourist claimed that he did not know that the world famous archaeological park was off limits.
The park said in a statement that it did not enter or damage any part of the ancient city.
“The route taken is a dirt road outside the ancient city walls, which is used by site vehicles for excavation work,” he said.
“It is safe, restored and not accessible to the public. So at no time was there any danger to visitors or to the archaeological heritage.”
He stressed that the episode only lasted for a few minutes “due to the efficient operation of security guards and CCTV.”
Pompeii is one of the most important and fragile sites in the ancient world. Frozen in time by a volcanic eruption in 79 CE, it still regularly surprises with new excavations.
Main image: Pompeii Archaeological Park