Well, as the AFP put it, “after two millennia, the last centurions have finally been banished from Rome.” Beginning yesterday, street performers dressed as centurions and gladiators have been banned from the streets around the Colosseum as well as the rest of the city over concerns that tourists were being ripped off. City commissioner Francesco Paolo Tronca said that rickshaws were also being outlawed. The measure was passed to “Defend the reputation of Rome by protecting tourists from scamsters.”
While many visitors enjoyed their exchanges with the would-be centurions and were happy to cough up five euros ($6) or so for a souvenir photo, recent months had seen some acting in what the decree termed an “inappropriate, insistent and sometimes aggressive,” manner to obtain larger sums from tourists.
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