A Tourist Crashed a Drone Into the Roof of One of Rome's Most Historic Buildings — How it Happened

"Fortunately, there were no repercussions, no one was hurt, and the roof of Palazzo Venezia was not damaged."

A tourist crashed a drone onto the roof of a 15th-century building in Rome known for its history as the site of dictator Benito Mussolini's speeches.

The Argentinian tourist crashed the drone onto the roof of the historic Palazzo Venezia at about 7 p.m. on April 23, CNN reported on Thursday, citing the Carabinieri police.

Carabinieri Captain Matteo Alborghetti told the network the tourist "was probably unaware of the ban on drone overflight" over Rome and the Vatican, adding that, "Fortunately, there were no repercussions, no one was hurt, and the roof of Palazzo Venezia was not damaged."

Following the incident, Italian officials seized the drone while the network reported the tourist may risk criminal prosecution.

The building, which sits just off the famous Piazza Navona, served as the residence of popes, cardinals, and ambassadors for centuries before being used by Mussolini to address gathered crowds. Now, the building functions as a museum where visitors can walk through history.

Exterior of the Palazzo di Venezia museum with church dome in the foreground.
The Palazzo di Venezia. Eye Ubiquitous/Getty Images

Drones may produce some amazing photos and videos, but they aren't permitted everywhere. In the United States, for example, the Federal Aviation Administration regulates when people can fly drones and where.

And if someone is planning to travel with a drone, there are a whole other set of rules to consider like taking out the batteries and checking local flying rules for your destination. In Italy, that means people cannot fly drones above a populated area, at night, or within 5 kilometers of an airport, according to DJI.

While a drone may not be the best way to see Rome, travelers won't regret a stroll through nearby Via del Governo Vecchio with its vintage shops, aperitivo bars, and — of course — plenty of pizza and gelato spots.

And getting to Italy is easy with flights available on new Italian flag carrier ITA Airways as well as on business class-only airline La Compagnie, which launched a new nonstop route between Milan and New York this month.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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