In the heart of Italy, amidst the ruins of a civilization once magnificent, two tech titans were poised for an encounter unlike any in the modern world. Rumors had been circling that Elon Musk of X (formerly Twitter) and Mark Zuckerberg CEO of META (Facebook), two of the most influential personalities of the digital age, would meet in a cage match. And not just any match, but one set against the grandeur of Ancient Rome in any one amphitheatre of Italy.
The whispers started as playful banter between the two on the platform X (formerly Twitter). Yet, as days turned into weeks, it became apparent that a match of this caliber would soon turn into reality. Italy's culture minister, Gennaro Sangiuliano, an individual known for his flair for the dramatic, saw an opportunity to combine old-world charm with new-world spectacle.
And so, he extended an invitation to host the unique face-off in one of Italy's ancient amphitheatres, turning it into a charitable event that promised a generous donation to children's hospitals. However, the minister has not yet warmed to the idea of using Rome as a venue for the spectacle, so the use of an amphitheatre in Rome is still uncertain.
With no fixed date in sight, Zuckerberg remained non-committal, but Musk, ever the showman, was already painting a vivid picture for his followers. "Picture this," he posted, "The battle, surrounded by the very stones and arches in an amphitheatre where gladiators once duelled. A return to the past, with every camera angle ensuring that the world sees only the Rome of old, with not a hint of the present."
The potential venues are aplenty, many an amphitheatre to choose from.
Italy, with its rich tapestry of history, offers more than one amphitheatre:
The legendary Colosseum in Rome, an amphitheatre where thousands once cheered as gladiators battled for honour and survival. This is the most famous and largest of all the ancient Roman arenas. It could hold up to 50,000 spectators. It has already hosted Andrea Bocelli Fight Club in 2017.
The magnificent Arena of Verona, still alive with music and performances. This is one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres, and it's still in use today for concerts and opera performances such as Aida, La Traviata but also concerts by Elton John, Roger Waters and Paul McCartney.
The historic Capua Amphitheatre in Santa Maria Capua Vetere, once, it was the second largest Roman amphitheatre after the Colosseum. Capua was known for its gladiatorial school. Located in Campania, this amphitheatre is often overshadowed by the Colosseum, but it's one of the major amphitheatres of the Roman Empire. The town was a major site during Roman times and is famously associated with Spartacus, the gladiator who defied an empire. It occasionally hosts events, concerts, and theatrical performances, creating a unique ambiance where modern entertainment meets ancient history.
The almost mystical Pompeii Amphitheatre, preserved in time by Vesuvius's deadly embrace. Known for being one of the oldest Roman amphitheatres, it was preserved under the ash from the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. The last time the theatre was used dates from 1972 when Pink Floyd performed there. In 2016, David Gilmore, lead singer from Pink Floyd used it for a smaller audience.
Photo gallery of the most beautiful historical amphitheatres
So many others, each with its story, each echoing tales of valour, love, and tragedy.
Which amphitheatre will it be?
As anticipation reached a fever pitch, the question on everyone's lips was, "Where will it be?" Would it be in an amphitheatre still radiant with ancient glory, like the Arena of Verona? Or would it be in a location marked more by its historical gravity, like Pompeii?
Only time would tell. But one thing is for sure. This would not just be a battle between two tech moguls. It would be a merging of ages - a dance between the ancient and the modern, and the world will be eager to watch.