A Russian tourist learned over the weekend in Rome that drone flights over the Vatican are not such a good idea: For violating the ban on flying in the security zone, the aircraft was confiscated by the police.
Similarly, the 41-year-old’s recordings have been captured. In addition there was an advertisement of the Carabinieri on the Petersplatz. He had not known that drone flights were banned there, the man explained, according to Italian media reports (Monday), after he was caught maneuvering the drone outside St. Peter’s Square by patrolling police officers.
Since 2016, 20 tourists have reportedly received charges for unauthorized drone flights in Rome so far, including professional photographers and documentary filmmakers. In August, a 37-year-old U.S. man was reported for flying a drone over the Pantheon.
Increased security measures have been in place around the Vatican since the Holy Year 2015/2016. Among other things, military vehicles control access routes to the Vatican; airspace is closed off. Under the impression of the terrorist attacks in recent months in various European cities, the measures are maintained.
Drone flight ban over the Vatican
A ban on drone flights is in place over the Vatican and parts of Rome’s historic city center, including the immediate vicinity of the Vatican. Violations can be punished with up to two years in prison and a 500 euro fine. At the end of August, a drone flight in the Prati district near the Vatican triggered a terror alarm and a large-scale police operation. According to the Vatican press office, however, no terrorist threat was amed at the time.