Live a day in the life of a gladiator with Gruppo Storico Romano or travel back to Ancient Rome at Roma World
Founded by Sergio Iacomoni, Gruppo Storico Romano is the first and only legit Gladiator school in Rome. It started innocently enough as a childhood game but over the years evolved into something a bit more than that.
Sergio, these days referred to affectionally by his friends and pupils as Nerone (after Emperor Nero), was Roman born and raised – and proud of it. Gruppo went from being a sort of secret, underground society to an experiment between a few friends. Founded appropriately on April 21st (Rome’s birthday) in 1994, Gruppo Storico Romano offers a variety of experiences and schooling – from private gladiator shows and reenactments, “Gladiator for the Day” experience for tourists, to their formal training to be an official gladiator where you’ll learn the techniques of gladiatorial combat. It is seriously a real school!
And now 26 years later, this official, cultural non-profit organization is recognized as one of the leading groups in Italy and all over the world. To quote the man himself…”Gladiator is like the Western version of martial arts”. It’s almost a magical term, says Sergio. But being a modern-day Gladiator goes beyond fighting to the sometimes death in the arena – it’s a way of life. One of discipline, bravery, honor, and respect.
And if all of that wasn’t enough…there’s the newly opened of Roma World, part of Cinecittà World, Sergio’s latest passion project where you can live a day in the life of a gladiator – quite literally. This miniature theme park out in the Roman countryside feels like you’ve stepped back into time and into another world.
After years of extensive research and study, Sergio ‘Nerone’ Iacomoni has managed to reconstruct a tiny Ancient Roman village. Browse through ancient handcrafted goods (the perfect souvenir), eat like a Roman sampling the ancient street food, drinks and dishes or test your bow & arrow skills with some archery shooting. There’s also an animal farm, birds of prey and gladiator shows and the option to camp outdoors overnight.
With plenty to choose from, Gruppo Storico Romano and Roma World offer really fun and unique open-air activities that are perfect for those with (and without) kids.