What's that old saying? "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." With the Cavalieri Hilton, you can do just that. The first of its kind, you can take part in the day Cavalieri Gladiator Training program - and live out your fantasy of being Maximus (Russell Crowe in The Gladiator), standing in the middle of the Colosseum in Rome. This is all of course without the barbarian hordes, tigers to claw out your eyes, blood, slavery and death.
Become a Gladiator in One Day
The "Scuola Gladiatori Roma" or (Roman Gladiator School) program was put together by the Gruppo Storico Romano, a group passionately devoted to ancient gladiator culture from the days of the emperors. Along with the Cavalieri Hotel, the program was created as a unique, quirky and entertaining activity for those visiting Italy's capital city, Rome.
The Gladiator Chant
The day of training begins in the hotel's 15-acre private courtyard - your battlefield. The lesson commences with the very first thing you need to know: how to salute the emperor.
"Ave Cesare! Morituri te salutant!" meaning, "Hail Caesar! Those who are about to die salute you." Known as the Gladiator Chant, gladiators in the arena about to fight would salute the emperor with this chant.
Next, you'll be outfitted with traditional clothing and gear for gladiators: a traditional tunic and belt (feel free to wear shorts underneath!), Roman sandals and a pair of iron/leather gloves. You'll also receive a wooden training sword - just to complete the outfit. Advanced gladiators receive a full set of armour from head to toe.
Let the Fighting Begin
After a short introduction to the history and culture of gladiators, your training will begin. Each beginner is given a rudis, or wooden sword, to be used for initial sword combat training. Advanced students are given iron swords, replicated after the traditional swords used in gladiator combat.
After two hours of training and test of endurance, beginners are given a medal and the title of tiro, a beginner gladiator.
The three-hour training program has a beginner as well as an advanced session. It is available for adults and children 7+ and each lesson can accommodate a group of eight. The cost is about €500 or $700 per person.
Don't forget to take pictures - who would want to miss out seeing you in a tunic?
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Gizelle Lau is a freelance writer & photographer in Toronto, Canada with a passion for food and travel. Located:
cities, culture, food/wine, paths-less-travelled, photography, wildlifeWebsite: http://www.gizellelau.com/blog.htm
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