Subscribe to Newsletter

Centurion impersonators banned from Rome

Tourist safety concerns spark crackdown

It’s taken some two thousand years, but the last centurions have finally been expelled from Rome. But the centurions who were this week banished from the Eternal City weren’t real centurions (obviously), but impersonators who gave tourists the chance to be photographed with them in front of landmarks such as the Roman Colosseum – sometimes for as much as €5 (AU$7.50).


The move to ban the modern-day centurions from tourist sites comes as Rome prepares for the Catholic Holy Year, or Jubilee, which will be held in December and is expected to draw millions of extra tourists to the city. Additional security measures are also in place.


“These individuals often act inappropriately, they are persistent and at times aggressive,” Rome’s city hall said in a statement, adding that the Centurions threatened the “respectability” of the city’s many monuments.


How you can win a trip to Italy

WTF? Anger after service charge triples coffee bill

Couple outraged over $60 gelato bill in Rome bar


But the Centurions aren’t the only tourist “traps” to have been targeted by officials, with rickshaw rides and other wheeled vehicles now forbidden in some parts of town, and those peddling tour or museum tickets also banned, AFP reported.


A report in the Italian paper, Il Messaggero, estimated the Centurions, many of whom travel hours to the tourist sites, could take home up to €400 (AU$600) a day, or €12,000 ($17,000) a month, tax-free. 


Click here to read the latest issue of traveltalk Click here to read the latest issue of traveltalk
Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 27 November 2015

comments powered by Disqus