An Aussie tourist has been labelled a “barbarian” by international media for riding a moped almost two kilometres through the ancient ruins of Pompeii in Italy.

Pompeii is universally known for the infamous volcanic eruption that occurred at a nearby volcano, Mount Vesuvius, in 79 CE that covered the city in approximately 6m of ash and debris, and killed up to 16,000 people. The remains weren’t found until sometime in the late 16th century.

The tourist was unlicensed, and reportedly entered the Unesco world heritage site through a service gate that is designated for cars from construction companies to enter.

An image of the Aussie tourist driving a moped through Pompeii
An image of the Aussie tourist driving a moped through Pompeii

“The route taken is a dirt road outside the ancient city walls, used by site vehicles for excavation works,” the park said in a statement.

“It is safe, restored, and not accessible to the public. So there was no danger for either visitors or for the archaeological heritage at any point.”

The park said that security guards apprehended the man before any damage could be done to the site, roads or artefacts. The man – who hasn’t been named – has stated that he wasn’t aware that he was driving through the ancient site.

Upset social media users have shared their distress over the incident online.

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What not to do in Italy!” Wrote one user with an article about the trespassing linked.

Another tweeted, “Australian tourist is caught going on a joyride through Pompeii’s ruins, do tourists have no respect?!”

A third person posted on Twitter, “Idiot tourist from country that starts with ‘A’ arrested for riding a moped through the ruins of Pompeii. No not America”.

Italian media has echoed the sentiment of the disgruntled social media users, which one local Italian publication branding the man a “barbarian”.

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