By no means should anyone speak to the Roman soldiers who parade around the old city in Rome. Most are ex-criminals who try to con you out of your money. They will work in groups of two, one will ask you if you want a picture with them, the other soldier will take the camera (this is the best part) and take the picture of you with the soldier. Out of no where after the picture is taken, a nap sack shows up and the soldiers ask you for money (mind you, they have your camera in their possession still), "xcussie, xcussie, 10 euro". So do not let them fool you like they fooled my friends.
Unique Suggestions: TELL THEM YOULL TAKE THE PICTURE!
All around the Colliseum are men dressed as Gladiators and Roman soldiers willing to be photographed with you but please be aware they do charge for this - and it can be very expensive. I was about to take a photo of my friend stood alongside a soldier, when his three companions also joined in with a forth taking the camera and hustling me into the photo as well. Not really my cup of tea, but I went along with it. When the photo was taken the ringleader demanded 20 Euros from my friend, who protested the amount but the soldier was quite agressive telling him that four soldiers had posed with him. He also hung onto the camera until the money was handed over.
Maybe we were naive, but it really wasn't apparent beforehand that they charge for posing with tourists and certainly no prices were mentioned. Once aware we saw many other tourists pose and then looked surprised at being charged.
Unique Suggestions: Check the price upfront.
Fun Alternatives: We also noticed some tourists take photo's of the gladiators and soldiers from a distance, therefore not incurring a charge.
At the Coloseum are guys dressed as ancient Roman soldiers that offer to go on the picture with you in their classical uniforms. Don't fall for it, they will ask you a very high price for it.
Unique Suggestions: Ignore these guys or sneakily take a picture from them with your zoom lens from a large distance.
Many folk would probably love seeing these Roman chaps all dressed up as Roman soldiers.
They pose with people for photos for a donation.
I watched a couple of them for a while and came to the conclusion that it is a rip-off.
They do silly things (like pretending to kill someone with their sword!), make silly poses and generally act a bit roguishly.
It just seems a bit farcical to me.
I have read about the men dressed in gladiator suits out in front of the Colosseum and was ready to avoid them at all cost. But come to find out, one of the ladies in our group knew one of these guys. His name is Maurizzo and was in the beginning of the film Passion of the Christ. He was so nice and took pics with all of us. All it cost was a home cooked meal of salsbury steak and gravy.
When my sister-in-law and I visited the Colosseum, we naively said, " Wouldn't it be great to have our picture taken with one of the Roman Guards in period costume?"
When we asked one, he was so innocent acting and agreed readily. Of course, after the picture was taken, he said, "That will be
( $5.00 in American currency)". We paid.
Unique Suggestions: I just read this week in "The Chicago Tribune" travel section that the practice of charging tourist to have pictures taken with guards has been banned.
Let me know if it has.
Fun Alternatives: An alternative would be:
Don't have your picture taken with the guards.
Ask BEFORE the picture is taken what it will cost.
The folk who dress up as soldiers, gladiators etc seem very friendly , wanting to take a photo of you beside their colleagues, but then DEMAND payment in a most unfriendly way. They should tell you first that it is a business transaction.
We hadn't had time to change any money when we strolled down to see the Colliseum , and my grand-daugher was fascinated by them and wanted a picture. But their aggressive attitude when we said we'd no money meant she went into a panic whenever she saw anyone dressed as a Roman again.
Unique Suggestions: Refuse unless you are sure it is not payment for a service. After all that is how they make their living.
Fun Alternatives: I snap them when they are busy touting other potential customers.
Watch out for the men dressed as gladiators in front of the colosseum. They will let you take your picture with them, but then they will want money (US $10-$20 for each gladiator). Be forewarned.
Unique Suggestions: Go in the early morning or late in the day to beat the crowds.
Around the Colosseum you will find numerous roman soldiers dressed in so called historic costumes.
What they do is that they will pose with you in different ways you can choose.
Unique Suggestions: This costs. Why would you want to pose in such a charade?
Fun Alternatives: Run as fast as you can but run.....
Dont be fooled by the dressed up Roman soldiers outside the Colosseum. They will encourage you to take a picture with them. As soon as you do that, they will say you owe them money. They will not say the picture costs money beforehand. Be careful.
Unique Suggestions: Just ignore the obnoxious scam artists.
At the Coliseum, you'll see some local men dressed up as gladiators. They'll tell you to take a picture, but often won't tell you to pay until after you've taken the picture. I don't know how much in Euros, but when I was there it was usually 1000 Lira per picture. Sometimes they'll just pose for you, other times they'll do silly things for the camera - make you wear their gladiator hat or pretend to chop your head off with their sword.
Unique Suggestions: If you see these gladiators and want to take a picture, be aware that you'll have to pay them.
Fun Alternatives: Just ignore them and don't take a picture!
...so when you do visit the Colosseum (or Colosseo as the locals say), you'll be bombarded with guys in gladiator suits and fake swords - some with their own portable pedestals - barking for a photo with them.
Unique Suggestions: These guys are not bad by any means, but can be a little pushy and annoying. The Colosseum is one of Rome's most amazing sights as well as truly an ancient wonder - and part of me feels that it shouldn't be so commercialized in such a tacky way.
Still, a guy's gotta make a euro.
Fun Alternatives: If you really have a photo of yourself being the middle of a gladiator sandwich, then by all means, veni vidi and vici.
If you have to have a shot of one of these guys - move back toward the perimeter of the colosseum, use your zoom lens, and make believe you're getting a panoramic shot. You're apt to catch at least 3-4 gladiators per shot!
There are men dressed as gladiators in front of the Coliseum. They won't tell you before, but after you have your picture taken with them with your own camera, they'll ask you for money. I think we ended up paying about $5 per camera. If we had known this ahead of time we wouldn't have used everybody's camera. It would've been cheaper just to make a copy of our pictures.
Avoid at all costs the wastrels and conmen that dress up as Roman soldiers and grab tourists for photos with their smelly gear.... they ask a fortune for a picture with them (your camera!) and then get nasty when you refuse to pay $25 or the equivilent!
Usually found by the Forum and Coleseum.
Since I posted originally, the Rome authorities have tried to remove these people from bothering tourists.
When you go to the Colloseum, beware of the men dressed as gladiators. You can get your picture with them (with your camera) and then they will demand 5 euros from you.
Unique Suggestions: Don't get your picture with them.
Fun Alternatives: Get your picture with your travel partner. You obviously know that person and it will be a better memory than some guy you don't know in a costume.