• A. Denise Beltré

The Angry Mime and Free Roman Soldier Photos

Updated: Mar 18, 2019

“Rome is not like any other city.” – Alberto Sordi.

Rome was everything I wanted it to be, and yet it held some unexpected surprises. Case in point the Angry Mime and the Roman Soldiers.

Actually, he may have been less a mime and more a statue. On that brilliant, sunny May afternoon as my university classmates and I made our way to the Coliseum along Via del Cerchi, we came across the man. He was dressed in a long white gown, with white gloves, and a white veil on his head. His face was also painted a pasty white. He stood atop a box in his costume, and stared blankly at the road behind us. We stopped to see if he would perform in some way. He made a slight motion, and as we followed his hands, we realized that he was asking for a donation. “Not without doing something first!” I called out to the statue. After another few seconds we realized that this was the bit: he had taken the effort to dress up and stand on a box. and therefore expected payment. (Clearly he had never visited Las Ramblas in Barcelona). As we walked away, he began yelling at us in a language (not Italian) that we didn’t comprehend. Apparently he didn’t know too many broke college students. Our precious euros were reserved for more important things (more on that later.)

As we continued on our way we could see the Coliseum in all of it’s majesty just ahead. Finally we were there! It was amazing, and as we neared we saw the crowds of students and other tourists, security guards, and Roman soldiers. Wait, you might think, Roman soldiers? That’s right, dear reader, there are Roman soldiers waiting for you at the Coliseum. They look quite realistic, and they are happy to relieve you of five euros to take a picture with them. But we preferred instead to indulge in more important activities, such as partake in a cone of bordering-on-illegal-it’s-so-delicious gelato than pay to take a photo. Which would you rather do? Not sure? Well there is a third option! And this is what my friend did. Have a friend set up about 15 feet away from the solder acting like they’re taking a photo of the coliseum. Then you walk up to the soldier and ask how much a photo is, laugh and talk and shake his hand while your secret paparazzo snaps tons of photos. Free pic for you! You’re welcome!

There is so much about Rome to discover. I’ll probably do a whole series on it because it really is a magical place. But the quirky things about it are what make it so memorable.The Angry Mime and Free Roman Soldier Photos

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