Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 / Updated 

A man scaled the dome of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Saturday, protesting Italy's tough austerity programs.

When bar-owner Marcello Di Finzio, 49, got on to the famous rooftop, he unfurled a banner calling for Pope Francis to step in and help those hit hard by the financial crisis and push an end to the austerity program.

The banner read, "Stop for God's sake, you are killing us. Give us back our lives."

Italian media reported that shortly before his climb he also posted a message via social media.

He wrote: "They have taken everything from me, but they won't take my dignity as well".

Italian businessman Marcello Di Finizio stands on the dome of St Peter's basilica to protest in Vatican City, Vatican, March 29.ANGELO CARCONI / EPA
— Mel Bailey