Italian student protesters occupy Leaning Tower of Pisa

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Media captionStudents targeted the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Colosseum in Rome

Italian students protesting at education reforms have targeted two top tourist attractions, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Colosseum.

Tourists were evacuated as some protesters hung out a banner from the top tier of the medieval tower while hundreds more stood by on the ground.

In Rome, students jumped over turnstiles to protest briefly inside the ancient amphitheatre.

The Italian parliament is due to vote on the reforms on Tuesday.

Students and academics are outraged over cuts of around 9bn euros (£8bn, $12bn) and the proposed loss of 130,000 jobs in the education system, AFP news agency reports.

In Pisa, about 2,000 students marched through the city, forming a human chain around the tower to prevent tourists from entering, the Italian news agency Ansa reports.

The tower was closed to the public with the students still inside, an AFP photographer said.

Some of the protesters at the Colosseum climbed up the face of the ancient ruin to hang a banner reading "No Cuts, No Profit!".

Others lit red smoke flares and shouted slogans as confused tourists looked on. The students later left.

Image caption There were clashes in Florence

As the reforms were being discussed in parliament, hundreds of students with banners and smoking flares marched nearby, chanting: "We'll block the reform."

"We'll besiege every palace and we will not give the government a break until it resigns," one of the students shouted through a loudspeaker, according to Reuters.

"Their reform will not pass."

Student protests were also reported in other Italian cities, with clashes reported in Florence and Milan.

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