Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi
Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, or Fountain of the Four Rivers, was built in 1651 and represents four major rivers of the worldPaul Hermans/Wikimedia Commons

A man's dip in a 17th century fountain in Rome has not gone down well with at least a local councillor. The young man who took a naked dip on the eve of Valentine's Day faces criticism for acting in a disrespectful manner at a heritage site.

A video posted online by councillor Nathalie Naim shows the man coming out of Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) at public square Piazza Navona in the Italian capital. Built in 1651, the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi represents the four major rivers of four continents - the Nile in Africa, the Danube in Europe, the Ganges in Asia, and the Río de la Plata in the Americas.

Naim published the video on her Facebook page. She said pedestrians were shocked to witness such an act.

"Live from Piazza Navona: a naked man entertains himself in the waters of the Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini, in total calm under the eyes of astonished passersby," Naim wrote.

She added that the laughter and applause heard in the video were those of the man's drunken friends and "other hooligans besieging places in the grip of alcohol".

Local Romans commented on Naim's video calling the man's act "unbelievable" and "shameful". Some of them even demanded that such lewd acts and vandalism be made a criminal offence and those accused of these acts be heavily fined. Others urged the authorities to impose a ban on public bath in fountains.

Nothing has been revealed about the identity and nationality of the man. Local media speculated that he could be an English rugby fan visiting for the Six Nations rugby match between Italy and England.