A massive unauthorized rave near Rome that began overnight Friday August 13 was finally halted by Italian police yesterday. The illegal event, which was on its sixth day, attracted thousands of young people from all over Europe.
Despite at least one death and several hospitalizations due to alcohol consumption, authorities struggled to bring the event to an end.
On the shores of Lake Mezzano in Viterbo, north of Rome, the capital of Italy, there was a vast agglomeration of motorhomes, caravans, cars and tents.
Under the scorching sun, the music blew up and the ravers danced, fueled by drugs and alcohol. Yesterday marked the sixth day of the illegal holiday which was described by Lazio region health adviser Alessio D’Amato as “out of control”.
Organizers initially said the event would run until August 23.
A participant who left the rave told Italian media that the site is like a small town.
âThere were bars and services of all kinds,â he said, âPizza places, necklaces vendors, bars. One person was making grass pizzas. I also met readers. cards, âthey said.
One confirmed death, one baby born
During the six days, the underground rave degenerated into chaos.
There has been one confirmed death of one participant – the 24-year-old, born in London but residing in northern Italy, dived in Lake Mezzano on Sunday evening and was no longer coming out. Police and firefighters found his body in the water.
There have also been reports of rape victims and participants hospitalized in alcohol-induced coma. Another hospitalization was the result of a Covid-19 infection, raising fears of a much higher number of contagions.
Local media also said a baby was born during the event.
And the ravers who left the party also spoke of the horror of seeing dogs dying of thirst and hunger, abandoned by owners caught up in the party.
The agricultural land where illegal harvesting took place belongs to Piero Camilli, mayor of the nearby Grotte di Castro. He spoke angrily about the slain sheep, the garbage dumped around the site and the syringes left on the ground.
Silvano Olmi, regional president of the environmental group Fare Verde, expressed his concerns for the local flora and fauna.
“The illegal rave party, which has been active for days, is causing serious damage to the environment and to agriculture,” he said. “There have been six stages erected, a few mobile kitchens and thousands of motorhomes and caravans. In addition, the loud music and the massive presence of people and cars disturb the wildlife and create serious problems near the lake,” did he declare.
Although the police were unable to end the event until yesterday, they had blocked access to the site and were checking those leaving for drugs.
However, the authorities announced yesterday morning that an operation had started to clean up the area.
Many participants left overnight and the rest were dispersed during the day as organizers finally gave in to demands to stop the rave.
Today, a big cleanup is underway.