An answer to the decline in the number of tourists visiting Rome is a Disneyland-style theme park dedicated to life in the ancient city, according to deputy mayor, Mauro Cutrufo.

After years of increases in the number of tourists, figures for 2008 are down by about five per cent over the same period last year. The city has previously been impervious to the drop in tourists and is only now feeling the pinch, although less than in other parts of Italy.

The plan that Cutrufo is proposing is a family-friendly entertainment 500 hectare park just outside Rome with attractions based on life from the ancient city. Visitors would be able to enjoy rides through replicas of the Colosseum and gladiator fights. The model would be Euro-Disney in Paris and the result, according to Cutrufo, would be