With aggressive photo-bombing netting some costumed fakers €12,000 a month, action is needed
By Michael Day, Rome @michael2day
Even as restorers scrape centuries of grime from the Colosseum, Rome’s authorities are planning a ground level clean up by cracking down on the costumed legionnaires and centurions who pose for photos with tourists before demanding cash with menaces.
The motley crew of faux-soldiers and gladiators from the ancient world who operate around Italy’s top monument appear more Carry on Cleo than Antony and Cleopatra. But that does not stop them pocketing upwards of €400-a-day from intimidated visitors.
Some of the greedier legionnaires make up to €12,000 a month, which sounds extraordinary, but adds up, given they are said to pose for photos 10 times a day, on average – and often demand €50 or more a time.
Commissioner Francesco Paolo Tronca, who is temporarily in charge of the capital following the ousting of Mayor Ignazio Marino, has said he wants the tawdry spectacle to end. (Click Here to Read More...)
--Warning from Grand Voyage Italy: Don't make the mistake of trying to take your own photo of these costumed bullies. If they catch you lifting a camera and pointing it at them, they'll surround you, chase you down and bully you into paying 20 Euros for the mistake--or talk you into paying 50 Euros or more for them taking a photo for you. These guys are seedy... think of them just like the unauthorized Mickey Mouse, Pooh Bear and ratty looking Elmo costume thugs on Times Square in New York. --JF