"There were times when I felt lost. Neglected. Caught up as you were, doing the honours for the first bewildered visiting pilgrim. Those were difficult years for me, determined to transfer all my insecurities onto a stage. Aware that I would have to conquer myself one Roman at a time. With humility, patience and devotion. And that you, 'superb actress' and unchallenged, were forcing me to perform well above my own capabilities, given my little experience at the time. In order not to make you look bad, I did everything I could, improvising myself: tailor, make-up artist, props man, set designer and of first impresario. There was no immediate applause. In fact, quite often it was even impossible for me to reach the microphone, let's say that my outward appearance caused me a few problems. But then, fortunately, as I managed to win the favour of the townships, many of my fears fell away, and I was so certain that that would definitely be my path. Those would be my people. Adorable Roma, next Saturday and Sunday, I will be allowed to host you at the Stadio Olimpico. We call these 'reunions'. Certainly a magnificent opportunity. So many friends. All in one evening. Sometimes I think of asking Veltroni to rent me the Colosseum. For some intimate dinner with the Trullo or with Tor Bella Monaca or with friends from Primavalle or Casal Bruciato. But still, I can't complain. Every time I look for you, you lovingly accept my invitation. And this for me is the best way to know that you carry me inside, and not just as an artist, but as the faithful wingman you always were. I won't hold it against all my other friends scattered all over the peninsula (including the islands), but this is where I was born. This is where my journey began. It is here that I return each time! Perhaps a little more tired and a little older. But each time more in love....and more Roman than ever!"


Photo: Bruno Marzi