On 1 January in Rome crowds gathered to view the annual Tuffo nel Tevere, by now one of the capital’s most unusual and popular New Year’s Day traditions.
At midday, immediately after the cannons fired on the Gianicolo, daredevil divers took the 17-metre plunge off Ponte Cavour into the icy waters of the Tiber below. This year saw the last plunge of Maurizio Palmulli, known to Romans as Mister OK, who has been the star of the show since 1989.
Following the end of Palmulli’s 25-year career, the mayor of Rome Gianni Alemanno presented him with a medal honouring him as “Guardian of the Tiber”. The 60-year old lifeguard passed the baton to Marco Fois who has participated in the New Year’s dive for the last 12 years.