US tourist is fined £500 for trying to drive his rented Fiat Panda across famous medieval Ponte Vecchio bridge in Italy as he tried to find somewhere to park

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An American tourist has been hit with a €500 fine this week after attempting to cross the famous medieval Ponte Vecchio bridge in Italy in a rented Fiat Panda.

The Californian man, who has not been identified, was reportedly searching for a parking spot.

He told police he was unaware he was even on the famous bridge, which is generally heaving with tourists and one of the most famous sites in Florence.

The Ponte Vecchio is a 98ft landmark crossing the Arno River, famously narrow and the cobblestoned walkway is lined with shops.

The original bridge was built in 996 and finished in 1345, but has since been swept away by floods and rebuilt several times over.

A City of Florence spokesperson told CNN the man was also fined for driving without an international driver’s permit.

The man, 34, attempted to cross the bridge on the afternoon of January 26 in a rented Fiat Panda. 

He was swiftly stopped by police, and reportedly told them he had bee planning to explore Florence by car. 

The bridge is the only one in the entire city which was left standing after World War II, narrowly escaping the bombing.

It is about to undergo a renovation project worth €2 million.