The time I was accosted by gladiators

A picture doesn’t always tell the truth. I may look like I’m having a grand time in the first photo, but in reality I was being held hostage outside of the Rome Colosseum. I made the grave error of making eye contact with these hustlers, and smiling at them. Before I knew what was happening, the larger one pulled me into a tight grip and insisted that one of my companions take a photo. Then he made it clear he wasn’t letting me go until I paid him for the privilege. I fumbled through my purse, gave him a few euros, and let out a sigh of relief when he finally let me go. It was one of the most bizarre and creepy experiences I’ve ever had, to be captive in a public place, no one around me the wiser. Be very careful if you go to Rome, and don’t believe everything you see in a picture.

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Never smile at a man who makes a living trying to kill people.


The Rome Colosseum, in all its gory – oops, I mean glory.

8 thoughts on “The time I was accosted by gladiators

    • The funny part is that I didn’t realize how scary until this past weekend when I was looking at old photos and saw it. That’s when I realized how truly horrible the experience was, when I saw how seemingly happy I looked in the photo, but really was not. It made me wonder about all of the people and photos we see that don’t tell the real story.


      • Don’t be hard on yourself. You were out of your element, and they knew it and took advantage. I’ve been lucky on the very few trips I have taken abroad, but a friend of mine went to France with her sister, and had a very scary experience with a street vendor who wouldn’t take no for an answer. He followed them for a couple of blocks, yelling and threatening, and only left them alone when they ducked into a store to get away.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve been there and understand how aggressive they can be, especially with women. Italian men throughout Italy are very bold and aggressive. That aside, the Colosseum is amazing. If the site of it doesn’t get ones heart racing you probably have a pulse. The history in Rome is crazy.

    Liked by 2 people

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