STORY: CCTV video released by Polizia Roma Capitale (local Rome traffic police) showed the man driving a Maserati vehicle down the steps, damaging the landmark before fleeing, police said in a press release on Friday (May 13).
The Saudi man was stopped by border police when he returned the luxury car to the rental company at Malpensa airport, police said.
The 135 steps were built in 1726 to link the piazza at their base with the Church of the Most Holy Trinity at the top of the Pincio Hill.
Italians know them as “La Scalinata (Staircase) di Trinita dei Monti,” a reference to the church at the top. In English, they are known as the Spanish Steps because the Spanish embassy to the Vatican is located at their base.
The site is beloved by tourists and was immortalised in the 1953 romantic comedy “Roman Holiday” with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.