X-games: Italians battle it out to see who will host Musk-Zuckerberg showdown

Which Italian city will host this epic showdown?
Which Italian city will host this epic showdown? Copyright AP Photo
By Savin Mattozzi
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Italian towns, cities and regions are vying to host the potential fight between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk.


From the plains of northern Italy to the rocky coasts of Sicily, local governments across the peninsula are battling it out to see who will host the eventual showdown between billionaires Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg.

Although the two ultra-rich personalities have yet to agree if the fight will even occur, this uncertainty has not stopped Italian towns and cities from showing off their archaeological sites to the world stage.

Musk and Zuckerberg have been bantering back and forth on X for nearly two months about the possibility of a cage-fight type match between the two. The idea first started in June when Musk asserted “I’m up for a cage match if he is lol.” To which Zuckerberg responded by saying “send me location.”

The idea of the fight taking place at an “epic location” in Italy was proposed by Musk, who later said he discussed the idea with Italian prime minster Giorgia Meloni and the minister of culture Gennaro Sangiuliano.

On 11 August, the Italian ministry of culture released a statement by Sangiuliano explaining that he had an amicable conversation with Musk and they were working on how to organize the event while “respecting and fully protecting the places” where the match would be held.

Sangiuliano also explained that a large donation would be made to two Italian paediatric hospitals as a gift. It was not clear the precise amount of the donation or who exactly would be donating it, but the minister of culture mentioned “many millions of Euros”.

Potential places for the match

Sangiuliano excluded the Colosseum from hosting the match, which kickstarted a deluge of proposals from more than half a dozen Italian cities and towns with ancient amphitheatres.

Obvious proposals came from cities like Pompeii and Verona, who both host ancient Roman amphitheatres.

The mayor of Pompeii Carmine Lo Sapio said that he is confidant about Pompeii as a choice. “Pompeii is the best site to host the worldwide challenge between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg… From the institutional contacts I've had, I think the choice will fall on Pompeii. I am an optimist.”

Other less likely candidates include proposals from Taormina in Sicily, which hosts a 1,700-year-old hilltop amphitheatre overlooking the Ionian Sea. On the southwestern outskirts of Rome a 2,000-year-old amphitheatre in the middle of Ostia Antica has been volunteered as a possible location.

Roberto Occhiuto, the president of the region of Calabria has offered up his turf to become the battleground, but he was not able to specify where exactly it would happen. “It could be a nice opportunity, an alternative to the usual choices, to recall the thousands of years of history of the most ancient civilizations, to do charity, and to promote the territory,” he said in a statement.

As the two ultra-rich tech giants decide if the event will even take place, proposals continue to come in from Italian towns and cities, hoping that they will be the ones who can finally see some investment in their land through the fight of the century: Zuck vs Musk.

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