Active + Adventure

Aggro-Tourism: Stress-Busting Vacations

by Jason Harper


There's nothing like a gladiator movie to rev up the aggression. If your thoughts run to the history of ancient Rome, or to romantic notions of mano a mano combat in the Colosseum (or perhaps just Russell Crowe in a tunic), gladiator school might be for you. The Scuola Gladiatori in Rome is staffed by Italians who are fanatical about the warriors' history and weapons. For $135, the two-hour course covers both protocol and head-lopping maneuvers before unleashing your inner Maximus complete with wooden sword and era-appropriate armor. You'll also get to wield real metal weapons with blunted edges. Hard-core wannabes can sign up for the two-month course. Classes are held twice a week, and participants "graduate" as a specific type of warrior. A Retiarius-class gladiator, for instance, is outfitted with a loincloth, a weapon-entangling net, and a trident, while the Amazon classification is for chicks with dirks. (Obviously, Star Wars geeks have nothing on these guys.) Note to Mr. Crowe: Throwing phones is strictly prohibited.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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