Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Gladiator Theme Park for Rome

Officials in Rome, Italy, have announced plans to build a theme park in the Eternal City. The yet unnamed attraction will depict life in Rome 2,000 years ago, from the open-air forum to the raucous Colosseum. Deputy Mayor Mauro Cutrufo says they are using Euro Disney as their model.

With the number of tourists to Rome down by 5 per cent this summer, city fathers are looking for new ways to lure visitors. The city's new administration plans to build the $735 million Ancient Rome theme park on 988 to 1,235 acres. Cutrufo says the aim is to have the “family friendly entertainment park” open for customers within three to four years.

Instead of Pirates of the Caribbean, visitors would be offered rides through a replica of the Colosseum where they could watch gladiators fighting each other or wild animals as the Emperor looks on. The park would offer attractions based on life both in republican Rome, ending with the murder of Julius Caesar and civil war, and the power and might of the Roman Empire. Some regional officials have already come out against the "Americanization" of Roman history. (Sydney Morning Herald)

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