Time for a takeover

sicily w

Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans and Spaniards. The island of Sicily has been controlled by foreigners for much of its history. And now the mayor of the ancient coastal city of Agrigento has gone on record requesting a Chinese invasion too.

More specifically, Marco Zambuto’s promotional video is intended to persuade China’s high-spending tourists to visit the Italian town. “Dear Chinese friends, please overwhelm us,” he asks, saying that he wants them to “inundate” the city of 60,000. He added: “Please, come… we will not fail you!”

In the footage Zambuto also attempts to speak some Mandarin. He told Xinhua of his one-minute clip: “I think it can help Chinese tourists learn that Agrigento is ready to receive them.”

Agrigento was once described by Greek poet Pindar as the “world’s most beautiful city” and houses 20 temples. But unlike Paris and London it has attracted few Chinese visitors. The mayor says the Chinese are now looking to explore new places and hopes to see an upsurge of interest. His flair for publicity has certainly put Agrigento on the map but he might have a problem when the Chinese arrive and discover it lacks the same shopping oportunities offered by Milan, Rome and Florence…

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