When a man drove his car down the legendary Spanish steps in Rome's Piazza di Spagna, he left a trail of destruction. At least three of the 135 steps were damaged in the peculiar incident-one of three similar incidents to have occurred so far this year. Police have closed off a section of the eighteenth-century structure while they explore ways to protect Europe's longest and widest staircase. ‘We need to prevent people from using the most beautiful steps in the world to show off or to create publicity', said municipal council president Orlando Corsetti. ‘I don't think barriers, which are aesthetically ugly, are the answer, but preventing the passing of cars with a decorative solution, such as flower pots placed at metre-and-a-half gaps and positioned high up on the steps, seems an acceptable solution', he added.