Did you hear about the man who carved his name into the walls of the Colosseum in Rome last week? RELATED: The 30 Best Souvenirs I Brought Home From My Trip to Europe – And They Took Up Absolutely No Room in My Bag

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The man carved “Ivan+Hayley 23” into the historic structure and an American from California, Ryan Lutz, posted the video (embedded below) which enraged not only Italians but people from all over the world.

YouTube video

According to CNN: “Italy’s culture minister is calling for a man to be “identified and sanctioned” after he was filmed allegedly carving his and his fiancée’s names into the Colosseum in Rome. Gennaro Sangiuliano tweeted on Monday: “I consider it very serious, unworthy and a sign of great incivility that a tourist defaces one of the most famous places in the world, a historical heritage (site) such as the Colosseum, to carve the name of his fiancée.”

We all knew it wasn’t going to take long to identify the alleged perpetrator and I’m happy to learn that he wasn’t an American because an act like this that gets this much international attention, reflects poorly on the country, not just the individual.

Per Euro News, the culprit is “27-year-old Bulgarian-born fitness instructor Ivan Dimitrov,  who also goes by the name Ivan Hawkins. He and his long-term girlfriend 33-year-old Hayley Bracey reportedly live together near the city of Bristol in southwest England. Bracey is thought to run her own sports nutrition business.”

This was obviously a grave mistake; their lives will be forever changed by this incident. I’m sure their business will crumble, at least the short-term, and Ivan is facing a large fine and jail time.

Gennaro Sangiuliano, Minister of Culture of the Italian Republic, wrote in a tweet (Google Translate translated it): “I consider it very serious, unworthy and a sign of great incivility that a tourist defaces one of the most famous places in the world, the Colosseum, to engrave the name of his fiancée. I hope that whoever did this will be identified and sanctioned according to our laws.”


Gennaro retweeted the NY York Times’ post that read: “Ivan + Hayley 23/6/23.” A tourist decided to immortalize a visit to the Colosseum in Rome by scratching their names into one of the walls of the nearly 2,000-year-old monument. He now faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to 15,000 euros.”

The incident took place on June 23 and I just happened to be in Rome and visited the landmark the following day. I can confirm that the Colosseum and the rest of Rome is a complete zoo. Tourists galore and lines for as far as the eye can see TIP: Either pre-book your tour with a company like GetYourGuide or just go and you will find roving agents who will offer you a ‘skip the line’ ticket for as low as 30 euros apiece. Just be sure to pay by credit card so you don’t get scammed. If they’re legit, they will walk you to the office next to the entrance where you will pay. Just know that by not booking in advance, a tour might not be available for a few hours. It’s also extremely hot so bring water, sunscreen and even an umbrella and/or portable fan.


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