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togaAccording to Variety, the city of Rome and Cinecitta Entertainment are moving forward with plans for a vast Hollywood-inspired ancient Rome theme park being touted as Italy’s answer to Euro Disney in Paris. Called Cinecitta World, the long-gestating theme park centered around Roman life 2,000 years ago, will become an operative project “in the next few months,” Cinecitta Entertainment topper Luigi Abete announced at a Rome conference on tourism in the Italo capital. Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno said city administrators have located a roughly 650-acre area for the park in Castel Romano south of Rome, partly on the backlot of the former Dino De Laurentiis studio complex known as Dino Studios, which Cinecitta now owns.

“The movie ‘The Gladiator’ has greatly contributed to projecting an image of Rome associated with its ancient past around the world; this in turn has produced an excellent flow of tourism,” Alemanno said as he tubthumped the theme park project.

Tourism in Rome was reportedly down 5% last summer, besides which Paris is estimated to have twice as many visitors per year.

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