ROME, June 13, 2007 -- A 24-year-old Colombian man, perhaps unfamiliar with Rome's streets, took a spin down the city's famous 18th century Spanish steps at dawn today.
He turned left onto the famous stairs — one of the favorite tourist stops in the heart of Rome — from the street above and drove down the first seven steps, stopped, got out of his car looking surprised and immediately got back into it and drove down the next set of stairs to the first landing.
The driver then stepped out of the car again and, with the help of about 70 people who were enjoying the summer evening on the steps, pushed his Toyota Celica down the remaining stretch to the square below.
Four of the people who helped him push the car were taken in for questioning. A Breathalyzer test was administered twice, and both times the man was above the legal limit. The man has been charged with drunken driving and damaging a historic monument, and his car, driving license and car papers have been confiscated by the police.
City officials were summoned to check the state of the steps.
Massimo Cozzoli, a spokesman for the Rome city police, told ABC News, "You are allowed to go down the Spanish steps, but not in a car!"