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Special Valentine's Day in Rome

Hundreds of Italian couples are opting for an alternative Valentine's Day this year, choosing 'historical' dates exploring Ancient Rome over the traditional restaurants, flowers and chocolates. Pompeii, various archaeological sites in Rome and an exhibition in Turin have all drawn attention ahead of Sunday. Special couples' tickets for visits to the House of the Chaste Lovers, an ongoing excavation site in Pompeii, sold out within a few hours of going on sale. The 2,000-year-old property, which combines living quarters and a small bakery opening directly on to the street, takes its name from its elaborate interior wall paintings showing lovers during a feast.

Since the start of February, visitors to the site have been able to watch archaeologists at work through glass panels but the couples' event, including 2-for-1 tickets and a guided tour, has met with an overwhelming response.

The number of visitors admitted for each slot has been increased from 50 to 80 but every ticket for Saturday and Sunday was snapped up the same day they went on sale, said organizers. In Rome, four separate Valentine's Day events have been laid on for lovers in search of a different experience.

by S. C.
14 february 2010, World News > Italy