Thursday, May 20, 2004

When in Rome

With all the current interest in the ancient world stirred up by such movies as "Gladiator" and "Troy", the regional government along with two historical societies is offering free Latin classes to tourists in a bid to lure even more of the sword-and-sandals loving crowd to Rome.

'Given all the excitement over the Roman Empire lately, we thought it was crazy not to do something here in the heart of it all,' said Alessandro Pediconi, one of the organisers.

The first courses are being offered for English and French speaking tourists using a comic book starring 'Caesar' and featuring cursory history and language lessons.

For those itching to really live the Roman experience, organisers plan to team up this summer with the Scuola Gladiatori Roma, or gladiator school, to offer a package with Latin classes and a crash course in gladiator fighting.

After donning tunics and helmets, tourists would also be treated to a typical Roman feast."
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