PALERMO, Sicily: An investigation has been launched after Sicily's famed Scala dei Turchi cliffs were vandalized overnight on January 7.
The white marble cliffs shaped like a staircase, which attract thousands of tourists annually, were streaked red.
Sicily President Nello Musumeci condemned the "cowardly gesture."
The Scala dei Turchi, which was said to have once been a hiding place for pirates, are one of the island's most popular tourist attractions.
The cliffs near the southern town of Realmonte appear regularly as a backdrop in the popular series about the Sicilian detective, Inspector Montalbano.
The red stains, created with a mix of red plaster dust and water, can be removed, with volunteers helping in the cleanup.
Local police are also reviewing CCTV recordings and the island's stores to trace anyone who recently bought red plaster.
The cliffs have hit the headlines more than once in recent years. In 2020, Italian prosecutors took control of the area, saying it was being poorly managed.