Vadis al Maximo
Historical Revival of the Roman Empire
and Chariot Races at Circus Maximus

Historic and Cultural Project for an economic & turistic development
by Franco Calò

VADIS AL MAXIMO


 

ITALIA! ARTICLE

JULY - AUGUST

'LIKE NASCAR ON SPEED'

Chariot Racing Might Return to Circus Maximus

By Josh Ward
07/16/2008

If one Italian entrepreneur has his way, Rome's Circus Maximus will once again play host to roaring chariot racing. It's time, he says, for Romans to once again leave the Gauls and the Huns in their dust.

Ben-Hur Redux? An Italian entrepreneur is hoping to bring back ancient Roman chariot racing -- and modern Roman pride.

It's a situation that keeps Franco Calo` up at night. Across Europe and the world, chariot racing, perhaps the most Roman of all sporting events, is enjoying a renaissance of sorts. Events are held in cities from Bulgaria to Germany to France. There is even a hippodrome in Brazil.

But in Calo's native Rome? So far, the 27th generation Roman points out ruefully, there is nothing. That, though, is something Calo is setting about to change. He is pushing for the Italian capital to reclaim chariot racing and establish an event of its own.

"Rome is the only large Italian city without a unique historical manifestation, such as Siena's Palio horse races or Venice's Regata Storica," Calo told SPIEGEL ONLINE. He is slightly more pointed on his Web site Vadis al Maximo: Do Romans, he asks his readers, really want "to come in third behind the Gauls (the French) and the Huns (the Germans), when it comes to Romanness?"

Calo is especially annoyed that many of the races currently held outside of Italy show major shortcomings when it comes to historical accuracy. The re-enactments near Berlin particularly upset him. His Web site links to a video of the chariot races held annually in the city's Karlhorst district, but he warns that: "The site is only to be viewed by those with strong stomachs, as it contains horrific images, such as chariots being pulled by ponies and fake Roman soldiers, all blond and wearing disordered plumes."

The Phenomenon of the Great Spectaclee

Such carelessness with past Roman glory simply won't do for Calo. It is time, he says, for chariot racing to come home to Rome -- and more specifically to the Circus Maximus, the site of Rome's earliest and largest circus and host to innumerable chariot races through the ages.

"After a prolonged and undeserved historical silence," Calo announces on his site, "there is finally an initiative to commemorate the glorious past of the Eternal City."

That, though, isn't all. Calo, who works in the Italian film industry, would also like the chariot racing event -- tentatively scheduled for three days starting on Oct. 17, 2009 -- to be accompanied by bits of historical authenticity across the Italian capital. In addition to the races, Cato envisions Roman squares dressed up to look like ancient Rome. He has his eye on props from Cinecitta film studios, the Italian production lots where "Ben Hur" -- the 1959 film whose chariot scene is widely considered to be one of the most spectacular scenes in the history of cinematography -- was filmed.

"I spent five years in Los Angeles," Calo says. "In America, I had the chance to witness the phenomenon of the great spectacle."

Circus Maximus is not what it once was, but it is still a popular place in Rome -- especially when Italy won the 2006 World Cup.

Still, as large as Calo's dreams are, so too are the potential hurdles. While he claims that he has lined up some potential sponsors, the site itself, Circus Maximus, is hardly what it used to be. Most of the circus' materials have been carted off over the centuries to be put to use in other buildings, and its grounds are now officially protected as a park. Nowadays, it is mostly used as a dog-run and a place for Romans to go jogging.

Plus, the film studio says it has not yet been contacted about the myriad statues, chariots, armor and catapults Calo would like to use for his re-enactment. Indeed, a representative of the studios says it doesn't even have some of these items in the first place.

NASCAR on Speed

Most challenging of all, however, is getting permission from the city to stage the event in the first place. "We've reached an important moment and we've passed most of the big tests," Calo insists. Marco Pomarici, the chairman of Rome's municipal counsel who is second in charge behind the mayor, has voiced his support for the project, according to Calo.

But Calo will also have to obtain permission from cultural heritage officials, who have been presented with an impact assessment and are currently reviewing the proposal.

Jeremy Hartnett, a professor at Rome's Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies and an expert on ancient Roman urban society, for his part, is skeptical that they will be cooperative. "I can't imagine they'd let him do this," Hartnett told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "One thing we know for sure about Roman chariot racing is that it was extremely dangerous. It was like NASCAR on speed."

Still, Calo figures if chariot races can be held elsewhere, then it certainly should be possible in Rome. Plus, it can be big business. Stellan Lind, for example, a Swedish citizen currently living in Jordan, runs a company devoted to staging such races. Called the Roman Army and Chariot Experience (RACE), Lind's company recreates Roman army displays and chariot races for tourists twice a day year-round. Although the races are choreographed, the hippodrome the races are held in -- located in Jaresh, Jordan -- was built by the Romans and his chariots are based on the original designs of Alfredo Danesi, the Italian expert who made the chariots used in 'Ben-Hur.'

A Porsche Chariot?

"The movie industry -- and especially 'Gladiator' -- has created a new interest in all things Roman," Stellan Lind told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "I always tell people that it's just like today's Formula 1. And, really, what's the difference? What we enjoy watching doesn't change."

In France, film director Robert Hossein transformed Paris's Stade de France into a venue for putting on five re-enactment performances of the "Ben-Hur" racing scene in September 2007. The $17-million (€10.7 million) event used hundreds of extras in period dress and drew nearly 300,000 spectators.

Calo also hopes his events can have international and even corporate flair. "Different companies could sponsor the various chariots," Calo says, "so you could have, for example, a Porsche chariot or a Mercedes chariot."

"And can you imagine," Calo added, "German charioteers driving Arab horses?"

But, of course, where does that leave the Italians and, more importantly, Roman pride? "It's ironic," says Hartnett, "that the people that the Romans conquered are the ones who want to play Romans. You never see modern Italians getting excited about dressing up as Romans."

http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,566242,00.html

Roman chariots to thunder around Circus Maximus once more
By Nick Pisa in Rome
15/07/2008

The thunderous sounds of Ancient Rome's chariot races could once more echo around the Eternal City, with plans to stage an event in the Circus Maximus.

For hundreds of years, citizens of the Roman Empire watched chariots tear around the famous racetrack at the foot of the Palatine in what was the Formula One event of its time.

Now the historical society, Vadis Al Maximo (To the Maximum), is in talks with city officials to bring the event back – with perhaps slightly less blood and carnage as depicted in the film, Ben Hur.

Franco Calo, of Vadis Al Maximo, said: "The event would last three days, starting on October 17, at the same period when the race took place in Roman times.

"According to our calculations, the Circus Maximus area could hold up to 35,000 people. If possible, we hope to involve charioteers from all over the world."

In Ancient Roman times, races were held using either two or four horses but sometimes skilled charioteers would use up to 10 to impress the Emperor.

As in modern day Formula One there were various teams and winners would be given wreaths made from laurel leaves, as well as prize money.

Successful charioteers were hero worshiped and treated as celebrities but their life expectancy was not very high.

The most famous was Scorpus, who won over 2000 races before being killed in a collision at the meta, the column used as a turning point at one end of the track, aged just 27.

Horses, too, could become celebrities, but their life expectancy was even lower with many killed or maimed in spectacular crashes.

Mr Calo said he hoped the plan would extend beyond the Circus Maximus, which is now being used as a park, with recreations of other pars of Ancient Rome around the city.

"All the main squares of the capital would be transformed into scenes from Ancient Rome, using props on loan from the Cinecitta film studios.

"Various screens would need to be installed at various points outside the course so that people could watch the races."

Restoring the Circus Maximus would include setting up platforms, security exits, a stage at the centre of the course, a ditch and outdoor stables.

A city council spokeswoman said: "This is something that has been proposed to us and we are looking into the feasibility of arranging it.

"At the moment nothing definite has been arranged, it is merely at the proposal stage and is with both the department of culture and of sport and they will have the final say."

Civil authorities would be used to arrange parking and security and riding groups will look after the horses and race training.

It would not be the first time that the Circus Maximus has been used as an open air venue.

In recent years it has hosted concerts and rallies and in 2006 it was the scene of the welcome home party for the victorious Italian World Cup team, attended by more than a million people.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/2403948/Roman-chariots-to-thunder-around-Circus-Maximus-once-more.html

 

Yummy Sushi Pajamas

July 16, 2008
Too Excited To Think
Filed under: Celebrations, Italiano, Travel Bug, Wishlist — Yummy Sushi Pajamas @ 7:24 am
 
Must Go To Rome Now….

This is what happens when I subscribe to the feed for Italy magazine.  I become aware of the following:

Chariot racing could return to Rome

”The event would last three days, starting on October 17, at the same period when the race took place in Roman times,” explained Vadis Al Maximo head, Franco Calo.

”All the main squares of the capital would be transformed into scenes from Ancient Rome, using props on loan from the Cinecitta film studios,” said Calo.

Read the rest of the article HERE.  Now I have to get to Rome to see this.  I mean, how could I miss it?  Reenacted chariot races?  Rebuilt Circus Maximus?  Ancient scenes from my favorite period in history all over my favorite city?

Personally, I think this is awesome.  I imagine if I lived in Rome I might think otherwise, as I am sure all of the changes will result in crowding, traffic, hassle, and general frustration.  However, once it is done I think it becomes one of those once in a lifetime, never forget it types of experience.

Must. Go.

http://yummysushipajamas.wordpress.com/2008/07/16/too-excited-to-think/

The Mail on Sunday (London, England)
July 20, 2008

L'histoire & la Cité
Rome en octobre

http://technorati.com


http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=24882&OB=DESC


http://arltblog.wordpress.com/2008/07/16/proposal-for-circus-maximus-races-once-more/

Wagenrennen - Alter neuer Sport


RESEARCH LINKS


Chariots To Race In The
Circus Maximus Again?


Chariots To The Max
July 30, 2008


Chariot Racing Revival
August 12, 2008


Chariots To The Max
August 10th, 2008 Posted in Luxury Travel


http://www.lifeinitaly.com/news/news-detailed.asp?newsid=10280

Chariot racing revival in Rome?
Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Historical society Vadis Al Maximo wants to bring chariot racing back to the Circus Maximus.

It’s not as insane as it sounds, actually. Quadriga races have been held in Jordan and France over the past couple of years, with more to come this year in Germany and Bulgaria.

The thing is, the way these guys are going about it seems overly ambitious, to put it mildly. I really don’t see them pulling this off in a year. I don’t see the city of Rome pulling something like this off, and it doesn’t have to beg, borrow and steal the necessary permits like a private organization does . . .

CANADA

World Report - Europe

IRELAND

USA


Chariot racing to be revived in Rome in 2009
Wednesday, July 09, 2008 at 6:03 PM

Washington D.C.

Imperial Chariot Racing Revived in Rome
http://www.examiner.com/r-1050478~Imperial_Chariot_Racing_Revived_in_Rome.html


Chariot racing to be revived in Rome in 2009
http://en.rian.ru/world/20080708/113531821.html

http://www.eurobookings.com/travel-news/rome-back-in-time-at-berlin-festival.html

HNN
http://hnn.us/roundup/entries/52360.html

 


 


HUNGARY

http://www.mult-kor.hu/cikk.php?article=21189


Feltámadnak a Circus Maximus ókori versenyei


http://targovishte.com/news.php?day.20080716

ROMANIA

http://stiri.kappa.ro/externe/carele-revin-strazile-romei/stire_145361.html


Carele de lupta revin pe strazile Romei

http://www.stiripescurt.ro/stiri/carele-de-lupta-revin-pe-strazile-romei/75911.html


Carele de lupta revin pe strazile Romei Joi, 17 Iulie 2008
http://www.ziare.com/Carele_de_lupta_revin_pe_strazile_Romei-360597.html


http://www.gardianul.ro/2008/07/17/externe-c3/carele_de_lupta_revin_pe_strazile_romei-s117310.html


http://www.eurotrib.com/comments/2008/7/13/94634/6860/3

KAZAKHSTAN


http://mellon.kz/news/find.php?q=vadis&date=yes

UKRANIA

http://www.k-news.org.ua/item/70866/

www.podrobnosti.ua/culture/traditions


http://novosti.ua/history/40286


http://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=46788.0

current.....canale 130 di Sky Italia
Nascar_on_speed_chariot_racing_might_return_to_rome_s_circus_maximus


http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=147102

"BIG BLOGGER"
http://www.bigblogger.org/bigblogger/index.php?post/2008/07/16/Rome-en-octobre


http://www.atrium-media.com/rogueclassicism/Posts/00008259.html

 Too Excited To Think
http://yummysushipajamas.wordpress.com/2008/07/16/too-excited-to-think/


Chariot racing could return to Rome
http://www.italymag.co.uk/italy/lazio/chariot-racing-could-return-rome

http://www.bike-board.de/community/forum/showthread.php?t=103492

BULGARIA

POLAND

http://www.malygosc.pl/?grupa=4&art=1217232083


http://www.maly.goscniedzielny.pl/wydruk.php?grupa=4&art=1217232083


http://www.niezalezna.pl/article/show/id/5632

LITHUANIA

Į Romos Didįjį cirką grįš
karo vežimų lenktynės

RUSSIA


http://www.7sport.net/archive7ds/2008/07/18/ls_1style/index.htm


http://www.vsesmi.ru/news/1864600/


http://www.mobus.com/109589.html


http://www.zaharprilepin.ru/ru/rcn/2008/07/2381.html

O погодных условиях

mixzona.ru

Смотрителям тв


http://www.rol.ru/news/hobby/travel/08/07/18_002.htm

tuchivkuche.ru

telepriemnik.ru


http://www.travel.ru/news/2008/07/17/125128.html


http://news-tourism.ru/content/view/27/1/


http://veslo.org/v/6074-44.html

 

 
среда, 16.07.2008, 16:43:05 обновить
Главное

В римский Большой цирк вернут соревнования колесниц

Итальянское историческое общество Vadis Al Maximo ведет переговоры с мэрией Рима о возвращении в Большой цирк (Circus Maximus, Circo Massimo) традиции ежегодных гонок на колесницах, известных по античным источникам. Как пишет британская газета The Telegraph, предполагается, что состязания, "Формула-1 древности", будут проходить в течение трех дней, начиная с 17 октября.

В древности Большой цирк вмещал примерно 35 тысяч зрителей. Сейчас он представляет собой что-то вроде парковой зоны, и его используют для массовых мероприятий: например, в 2005 году там проходила итальянская часть музыкального марафона Live8, а в 2006-м в цирке чествовали итальянскую футбольную сборную, победившую на чемпионате мира 2006 года.

Скачки в Большом цирке были одним из самых популярных зрелищ в древнем Риме. К IV веку нашей эры в городе проходило более 60 соревнований ежегодно. Победителей награждали огромными призами: писатель Марциал упоминал о колесничем Скорпусе, который за час мог выиграть 15 мешков золота, а всего за свою жизнь он победил на скачках более двух тысяч раз.


turisru/news/16/07/2008/110762

В Рим вернутся скачки на колесницах

16.07.2008 | Новости
 

Историческое общество Vadis Al Maximo собирается вернуть в Рим гонки на колесницах и ведет переговоры с администрацией столицы Италии о том, чтобы возобновить в Большом цирке ежегодные гонки на колесницах, проходившие во времена Римской империи. Проходить, по замыслу организаторов, бега должны осенью с 17 по 19 октября.

Circus Maximus в лучшие времена вмещал около 35 тысяч человек. Сегодня на  его пустнынной  территории гуляют туристы и изредка проводятся массовые мероприятия. Так, в 2005 году именно в Большом цирке проходил музыкальный марафон Live8, а в 2006 году чествовали футбольную сборную Италии, ставшую чемпионом мира. Тогда на территории Большого цирка собралось около миллиона человек, сообщает Telegraph.co.uk.

От высоких трибун, помещений и разделительной полосы с колоннами в Большом цирке уже ничего не осталось. Сейчас это пустынная территория с редкими деревьями по краям выжженого солнцем прямоугольника. А ведь в IV веке нашей эры это было одно из самых крупных спортивных сооружений мира и на его территории бега  устраивались более 60 раз  в год. Скачки были одним из самых популярных зрелищ в Риме, а победители становились знамениты на всю Римскую империю и получали огромные, даже по нынешним меркам, призы.

 

Chariots may return to Rome  8:15AM Thursday Jul 17, 2008
The thunderous sounds of ancient Rome's chariot races could once more echo around the Eternal City, with plans to stage an event in the Circus Maximus at the foot of the Palatine. Now an historical society is in talks with city officials to bring the event back Franco Calo, of Vadis Al Maximo, said: "The event would last three days, starting on October 17, at the same period when the race took place in Roman times. If possible, we hope to involve charioteers from all over the world."

Rolling back into Rome, it's Ben-Hur; DRAMA: Charlton Heston in Ben-Hur.

IN ROMAN times the cheering crowds gathered in their thousands at the Circus Maximus to watch the thrills and spills of chariot racing.

The exciting atmosphere and dangers of the spectacle at the ancient racetrack in Rome was famously captured in the 1959 blockbuster movie Ben-Hur, starring Charlton Heston.

And now the Italian capital could host the sport again.

Historical society Vadis Al Maximo (To the Maximum) hopes to stage a major event next year and is in talks with city officials.

Spokesman Franco Calo said: 'It would last three days, starting on October 17, at the same period when the race took place in ...

Proposal for Circus Maximus races once more        Posted on by arltblogger

For hundreds of years, citizens of the Roman Empire watched chariots tear around the famous racetrack in what was the Formula One event of its time. Now the historical society, Vadis Al Maximo (To the Maximum), is in talks with city officials to bring the event back – with perhaps slightly less blood and carnage as depicted in the film, Ben Hu.
Franco Calo, of Vadis Al Maximo, said: “The event would last three days,
starting on October 17, at the same period when the race took place in Roman times.


 
2008-07-15 12:08
Chariot racing could return to Rome
 
Historical society hopes to stage event next year
 
 (ANSA) - Rome, July 15 - The ancients' version of Formula 1 could once again enliven the Italian capital, with a series of high-speed chariot races.

The historical society Vadis Al Maximo hopes to stage a major event next year, which would reproduce the thrills and spills of competitive charioteering, beloved of both the Romans and Greeks. ''The event would last three days, starting on October 17, at the same period when the race took place in Roman times,'' explained Vadis Al Maximo head, Franco Calo.

''If possible, we hope to involve charioteers from all over the world''. The initiative is still being studied by various municipal departments but if given the go-ahead, it would be staged in October 2009, as a city-wide event. ''All the main squares of the capital would be transformed into scenes from Ancient Rome, using props on loan from the Cinecitta film studios,'' said Calo. But the effort involved in staging such an event would be enormous. ''According to our calculations, the Circus Maximus area could hold up to 35,000 people,'' he said. ''Various maxi-screens would therefore need to be installed at various points outside the course so that people could watch the races''. Restoring Rome's Circus Maximus would include setting up platforms, security exits, a sidewalk, a stage at the centre of the course, a ditch and outdoor stables. It would also require the assistance of other organizations, including the sports department of Cinecitta for costumes and scenery, municipal authorities for public parking and security, and riding groups for the horses and race training.

Although the Circus Maximus was the backdrop for a variety of games in Roman times, chariot-racing was the most important and popular event. At its height, the course could accommodate 12 chariots, each drawn by teams of four horses. Like Formula 1, the race was fast-paced and dangerous, often ending in crashes in which competitors died. The course covered a distance of about 6.5 kilometres and started at one end of the track, where teams were released from staggered starting gates to ensure everyone travelled equal distances - just like in modern races. Spectacular, four-horse chariot races have already been staged in several locations abroad over the last few years. The first took place a few years ago in a rediscovered Roman hippodrome in Jerash, Jordan, while the Stade de France in Paris has hosted two such events.
 

Feltámadnak a Circus Maximus ókori versenyei

Hamarosan újra száguldó szekerek hangjától lesz hangos az Örök Város: október közepén rendhagyó versenyre kerülhet sor a Circus Maximus omladozó romjai között. Négyszáz éven át a kor Forma 1-es vetélkedőiként kocsiversenyek szórakoztatták a közönséget: az ókorban a fogatok 2 vagy 4 lóval versenyeztek, és a képzett kocsihajtók egyes alkalmakkor akár 10 lovat is befoghattak maguk elé, hogy ezzel is lenyűgözzék a császárt. A versenyeken több csapat küzdött egymással, és a nyertesek komoly pénznyereményt és egyéb kitüntetéseket kaptak. A sikeres versenyzők a korban hősök (mai kifejezéssel sztárok) voltak, ám ez a a legtöbbször nem tartott sokáig, ugyanis életük igencsak rövid lehetett. Közülük is a leghíresebb Scorpus volt, aki 2000 versenyt nyert meg, és halálát is a pályán lelte egy végzetes ütközésben - alig 27 évesen. Híresek voltak a versenylovak is, akik élete azonban még a versenyzőkénél is rövidebb lehetett. A Vadis Al Maximo történeti társaság most azt találta ki, hogy a város vezetőivel folytatandó sikeres tárgyalások után újjáéleszthetik ezt a rendezvényt, persze kevesebb erőszakkal, mint azt a Ben Hur ominózus képsorain láthattuk. A szervezet vezetője, Franco Calo szerint az október 17-én kezdődő rendezvény három napig tart majd, pontosan abban az időben, amikor a rómaiak is megrendezték a versenyt.

 


http://www.romanhideout.com/News/2005/khaleej20050614.asp


http://www.elu24.ee/?id=20882#kommenteeri#kommenteeri

BULGARIA
http://www.dnesplus.bg/Curious.aspx?f=108&d=233412
Romos Didįjį cirką grįš karo vežimų lenktynės
2008.07.16 14:41

 http://sports.alltop.com/

http://forums.sterlingtimes.org/tool/post/sterlingtimes/show_single_post?pid=27377789&postcount=1 


 
http://www.fourwinds10.com/siterun_data/entertainment/sports/news.php?q=1216316409

http://blog.isango.com/2008/07/16/chariot-racing-could-return-to-rome/Chariot racing could return to Rome


http://truemors.com/?p=30810
Chariots, the Greener Racing Alternative

NEW ZEALAND HERALD
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/2/story.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10521989

http://ombelico.de/2008/07/15/streitwagen-rennen-in-rom-geplant/


http://www.rol.ru/news/hobby/travel/08/07/18_002.htmhttp://turist.ru/news/16/07/2008/110762


http://www.newsland.ru/News/Detail/id/276950/cat/60


http://www.rusrep.ru/news/2008/07/17/kolesnitsa/


http://www.russianamerica.com/common/arc/story.php?id_cat=12&id=445828


http://www.kivi.ru/forum/f10/a-2931/ 


http://www.newspile.ru/index.php?ac=2&id=17426


http://www.forumklassika.ru/showthread.php?p=643849

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2046079/posts

http://www.trendquest.eu

 

     

VADIS AL MAXIMO di Franco Calo' con il Patrocinio del Comune di Roma.
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