Google hires Greek ruins on Sicily for top-secret strategy 'camp'

Authorities are said to be banning unapproved access within 500 metres of the resort in the Valley of the Temples

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The internet colossus Google has decided there is no point in hiding its light under a bushel. For the company’s latest high-powered executive team-building dinner it is said to have hired out a space in Sicily’s Valley of the Temples, where the most important Greek deities were worshipped.

On Monday night the celebrated ruins, a Unesco world heritage site near the city of Agrigento, will be closed to visitors as executives from California sit down to a sumptuous €100,000 (£70,767) banquet and plot how to maintain their position as web data gods.

Google is not giving much away about the meeting – the website for the event, called simply “the camp”, is protected by a password. But the inaugural “camp” last year was also held in Sicily, suggesting that the beautiful Mediterranean island has worked its spell on Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Some suggest the camp in Sicily might become a high-powered annual fixture similar to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

 

The meeting runs from today until Thursday. Participants and their families will stay in the exclusive €1,500-a-night Verdura golf resort in Sciacca, 20 miles up the coast from Agrigento.

According to La Repubblica, Google has sought to add some glitz to the event by inviting a host of celebrities. Last year there were 300 other guests besides staff, including Arianna Huffington, Alicia Keys and David Beckham.

This year the list remains secret, but already there are rumours about the presence of Bill Gates and Giorgio Armani. To keep away prying eyes, authorities are said to be banning unapproved access within 500 metres of the resort.