Jumping into icy cold water outdoors in the middle of winter might not be everybody's idea of having a good time -- but plenty of people seem to do it -- especially around Christmas and New Year, that attract the hardy revellers.
GV PAN FROM Crowd ALONG bridge over River Tiber, Rome
GV PAN FROM Boat TO canoe
GV ZOOM BACK FROM MAN seated on bridge TO boat through arch of bridge
GV Man jumps from bridge into Tiber PAN as he swims to boat
SV Man out of water and being greeted (2 shots)
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Background: Jumping into icy cold water outdoors in the middle of winter might not be everybody's idea of having a good time -- but plenty of people seem to do it -- especially around Christmas and New Year, that attract the hardy revellers.
SYNOPSIS: And in Rome it's the River Tiber. A large crowd gathered along the banks and in small boats on Sunday (1 January) in anticipation of the fun to come. Legends surrounding the first man to perform this feat say that Horatius Cocles defended the Sublician bridge across the river against Etruscan invaders in the sixth century BC and then threw himself into the Tiber and swan to the other side.
65 year old fisherman Spartaco Bandini has taken it upon himself to maintain the tradition. He took over from a Belgian who did the same thing on special occasions until a heart attack put him out of action two years ago.
Signor Bandini is one of those people who perform amazing feats of self-inflicted torture not for money, fame or glory but simply for the good, clean fun of it -- and the entertainment of those who happen to be around to watch. Apparently none the worse for his ordeal, the proud successor to Horatius Cocles climbed out of the icy water to a warm reception from the onlookers.