once in a while
Good news about the colosseum!!!
Since late november last year, the mayor decided no more fake gladiators, no souvenirs vendors, no trucks selling food and water making business in the amphitheater area.. Eventually the colosseum square is empty!!
The decree of the mayor recently expired but luckily the new one confirmed the same intention of the previous.
You'll be free to wander around in an empty square especially if you take a tour early in the morning. Your shots won't need any Photoshop adjustment afterwords!! There was a time when taking a panoramic picture of the amphitheater meant to include modern stands, vans and trucks 10 feet far from it!
Since the moment when it became a unesco site, for a matter of decorum and dignity, it was adviseable and probably requested by the same unesco, to clear the surrondings by activities clearly contrasting with the image of the amphitheater..
but now let's talk about any individual issue.. Speaking about the first category, the gladiators that is, well.. It is almost 30 years that this and not only this area of the city has always been surrounded by people wearing fancy clothes inviting tourists to take pictures with them and then asking for money.
First of all I would suggest them to revise their outfit.. If the intention is to dress like a gladiator they'd better not wear clothes and garments of the ancient Roman soldiers.
Except for the fake "gladio" (something in between a sword and a knife and provoding the root to the word gladiator) their uniforms vaguely recall those of the ancient Roman common soldiers!
Also, they ask for money and sometimes they do it in a rough way..
Some tourists know it and so they don't even approach them; most of the people ignore them or don't accept any form of interaction.
Probably, if properly regulated, the gladiators would be another touristic opportunity for the city.. A folkoristic attraction offered by regularly licensed people with a rate table and operating in areas like shopping districts or major streets far from historic sites and archaeological areas.
The Colosseum has always been a profitable location for people with trucks selling food and drinks at unreasonable prices taking advantage of being the only chance for the tourists to find relief especially in the hot summer days, in the immediate surrondings of the main attraction of the city.
Regarding the same problem let's consider the souvenirs vendors whose stands at least some of them, hard to believe, were practically attached to the exit of the Colosseum.
There's something to say though.. There are no more souvenir stands but a lot of illegal vendors with no stands bothering tourists asking them a lot of times, even after their refusal, to buy something. The police, sometimes undercover, tryes to reduce the phenomenon, as the cops show up they run away to come back as they leave the area. So there's still a lot to do but definitely a good start!