California Tourists Carve Their Initials into Ancient Landmark in Rome

Loud, obnoxious, and stubbornly English-speaking, Americans abroad do not have the best reputation -- and this story isn't likely to help us out. Two American women were reportedly caught etching their initials into the Colosseum in Rome, and then taking proud selfies with their handiwork. Is it any wonder we're called "Ugly Americans"?


The women, ages 21 and 25, who are reportedly from California, snuck away from their tour group and were able to carve each of their first initials into the ancient landmark before being caught. There are plenty of signs around the Colosseum, which dates to AD 80, not to deface the property, but that didn't stop these entitled women from trying.

Then, they were apparently so thrilled with defacing a world famous monument that they took selfies of it. I'm sure they would have gladly drawn a moustache on the Mona Lisa and taken a selfie with that -- or maybe graffiti tagged the Leaning Tower of Pisa and posted it to Facebook.

You can somewhat excuse this behavior in children or even teens -- but these are adults. Truly shameful!

I would really love to see someone come to their homes and scratch their names into their living room walls. I bet anything they wouldn't be happy about it!

I traveled all over Europe when I was 19 through 21, saw every famous monument imaginable, and it never occured to me to do something like this. And, I have to say, Americans are some of the worst when it comes to being annoying while traveling. I have traveled a lot, and it's usually the Americans who are the most entitled, ignorant, and of course, garishly dressed.

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But that said, it's not just Americans who act in such poor taste. The Colosseum has been defaced before -- in fact, there were five incidents of it in the past year, and the defacers were from all kinds of countries.

Some say the Colosseum is too big to be properly watched and should be closed to the public, however, I say millions of people shouldn't be punished for the bad behavior of a few. Unfortunately, you don't have to pass an IQ test to get a passport.

Do you think Americans abroad act worse than other nationalities?

Image via Moyan Brenn/Flickr

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