17 | SEP 2019
27 MAR | 2014
AS Roma, Rome, Italy
Rome, the city that speaks through its walls (and that frequently says 'Totti')
The giallorosso captain is a true symbol. Graffiti and murals pay homage to him. And from time to time, they are victims of vandalism.

et's be honest: Rome has plenty to offer before even daring to think of Francesco Totti. However, the giallorosso captain seems to stalk the traveller as he or she takes a stroll and submerges into the less touristic zones, like Trastevere or Testaccio. And the question is unavoidable: what would be from Rome without its extraordinary load of thousands of years of history? What if the Colosseum and Circo Massimo weren't there, of if the Imperial Fora and the Vatican didn't exist? To the true Roman, the past we enjoy, bedazzled, is just part of the set they live in. The Arch of Constantine [...]

Journalist. El Gráfico. Published articles in newspapers and magazines of 20 different countries. Travelling on a permanent basis, he's looking for a flat in Stockholm and dreams of running a hot-dog truck in Monaco. He hates fish, especially those who sell it smelly. MUNDBØL is his fault.
[...] is barely a meeting point. The city is not static as years go by. Those beats can be seen in its lively street life, in football and, also, through its walls.

"You just need to walk round the city, don't you? To read what Romans are yelling through the walls. Because the walls of Rome are the city's voice. They are the only guarantee of a pluralistic information system, as opposed to the media concentration that exists in Italy, one of the highest in the world", says one of the characters of People of Rome (2003), the brilliant Ettore Scola film.

Roma speaks through its walls. And what it often says is 'Totti'. The number 10 made his debut on March 28, 1993 and will complete his full career playing with the giallorossa jersey. "One captain, there's only one captain", sing several football crowds in Italy, speaking about their iconic players. But before speaking of Totti, in Rome you must stand up. 

The risk of so much love is the cultural blindness. Rome only have Romans, but Romans can be romanisti or laziali. Totti's murals and graffiti are permanent victims of vandalism. Even after Francesco's retirement, his image will keep showing up and being photographed in the daily life of Rome, but his almost inevitable destiny is to end under a cloud of black spray.  

The captain is like a flower found in the middle of the concrete of the big city. If you find one, you need to admire it, enjoy the moment and take a picture, because next time it will probably not be there anymore. In fact, all the images of this article were subject of attacks and today they are relics, with different levels of destruction. We preferred not to show the 'after', but instead focused on the beauty of 'before'. 

So if you're visiting Rome and you see Totti, you need to make a pause and enjoy. Unlike the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine, the image of Francesco Totti will be unable to survive two thousand years without attacks. But the good part is that for every Totti that is wiped off, two new Tottis will appear. Until Rome runs out of walls to paint. [Ø]

Martín Mazur