A few months have elapsed since the official website for AS Roma underwent surgery. It looks great and by all accounts is firing on all cylinders. Imagine being a born and bred Romanista (a Roma fan, tifo). One day you wake up, log on, and visit your team’s website in a different language. English is default, to be precise.
Now we all know how many English football fans have been stabbed in Rome since Heysel. We all know that raw hatred between English lads and Roma fans will never leave us, and no one really understands why ‘British casual’ shop Stretch markets our culture so successfully to those who gave Rome the name ‘Stab City’ back in 2007.
They want to be English by any and all means possible, which means adopting the music, the fashion, and the swagger. One has very good reason to ask why Jekyll and Hyde Romanisti target their perceived nemesis, typically in groups versus a lone Englishman (or family, as has been documented on several occasions), when European football brings them face to face with something they can’t even copy correctly let alone aspire to be.
So, back to the new American owners of AS Roma. Do they have any clue about the population of their own Curva? No. None. Great website, built for new American soccer fans, not Roma ultras in Rome.
A year ago, an endearing article about the district of Monti was published in the New York Times. The author, Susan Spano, was resident there for three years between 2007 and 2010 before returning to the states. Her musings about the area are quaint, attractive to those of us who live here and socialize in Monti, and also perhaps to tourists who are considering a vacation rental in one of it’s typical tiny, winding streets. However, unrest in Monti has never been too far away. The NYT article was published on July 1st 2011, a few days after the attempted murder of popular musician Alberto Bonanni by feral local youths with connections to AS Roma. This shocking event, which took place between Piazza Madonna dei Monti and Via dei Serpenti, resulted in nine year jail sentences for two 21 year old Romans. Four alleged accomplices will learn their fate later this year. The courts have set a trial date of Wednesday, September 26th. It’s a beautiful part of Rome during the day, but after hours it pays to be attentive as busy crowds of locals, expats, tourists, giallorosso ultras and skinheads hang out betweeen Cavour metro station and Via dei Serpenti, some of whom drink on the street with an eye for the main chance. ‘Bring to life the bawdy, roiling, red-blooded world of fourth century A.D. Monti’ still rings true in 2012.