Rome Tour Operator Threatens To Jump From Top Of Colosseum

Open Jaw

Is Rome going too far in its crackdown on those who seek to make a living from the city’s busy tourist trade?

One ‘tour operator’ thinks so, and he climbed to the top of the Colosseum to make his views known. He also threatened to jump before being talked down and arrested on Friday after a 2 hr. standoff.

The man was furious over a recent order by Rome’s City Commissioner which banned guided tours being sold on the streets of Rome, La Repubblica reported. “We pay our taxes, we are Italian and we want to work,” the man shouted from the top of the Colosseum. “This order has put all of us out of work and 45 tourist agencies that employ 2000 people risk bankruptcy,” he continued.

“Rickshaws and gladiators are illegal but we are not. We are just doing what people do at tourist hotspots the world over. This new law will kill our sector and put 2000 jobs at risk.”

Most tourists will likely be relieved that Rome has cracked down on men who dress up as gladiators and centurions and offer to pose for photographs in return for €5. Like their faux superhero counterparts in Times Square, some have been accused of harassing tourists and demanding extra cash.

The city has gone further, outlawing touts approaching tourists and selling bus tours or tickets to historic monuments. Pedicabs have also been banned. Authorities say they are beefing up security and ridding Rome of nuisance characters preying on tourists, but some critics say they are going too far.

Rome is on the verge of a big new Catholic event. The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy will run from the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (08DEC15) to the Feast of Christ the King (20NOV16).

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