Idiot tourist fined $25,000 for tagging the Colosseum

Rome is already a tourist money pit -- just look at the ridiculous prices for gelato, the airport taxi scams, and all the money people literally throw away in the Trevi Fountain. Even if you manage to not get pick-pocketed, you'll still probably go home without any money.

But one guy took spending to a new level after he was fined a staggering $24,872 (or 20,000 euros) for scrawling the letter “K” on a wall at the Colosseum with a sharpened stone. The 42-year-old Russian man was caught in the act by a security guard and reportedly arrested at the historic site, before being issued the sky-high fee, and sentenced to a four-month suspended prison term.

"The damage to the monument is notable”, Mariarosaria Barbera, a superintendent at the Colosseum told local news agency ANSA. "The incision cut out part of the surface of the structure and compromises its conservation and image". And as Rosella Rea, director of the monument emphasized to the Guardian, “You cannot write on a historic wall, it’s absolutely forbidden". Well, it's not that you can't... just that you shouldn't.

The 10-inch inscription isn't the first act of vandalism at the Colosseum this year, however; four other tourists from Canada, Australia, and Brazil have all doodled on the ancient landmark’s walls, but escaped paying a fine as they were all minors.

Was that letter K really worth 25k? Probably not.

Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. Yes, that's a British accent. No, she doesn't watch Doctor Who. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.