AS Roma matches have a special flavor, especially when watched at the Stadio Olimpico, the den of the AS Roma wolves.
The team, which since being coached by José Mourinho has consistently sold out the stadium, has a loyal fanbase worldwide and is consistently followed by over 60,000 spectators per home game.
The atmosphere created at the Olimpico is something unique, especially due to the AS Roma anthem, or I would say, anthems.
Yes, because despite the official anthem of Roma being one that is recognized and “official,” every home game for Mourinho’s team is accompanied by all the anthems that have been part of the history of the Roman squad.
The official anthem is “Roma (non si discute si ama)” by Antonello Venditti. Known to fans as “Roma Roma,” or “Roma Roma Roma.”
“Roma (non si discute si ama)” is a single by Antonello Venditti, initially released in 1975. Later on, the track on the A-side (also known as Roma Roma or Roma Roma Roma) was included in the live albums Circo Massimo (1983) and Circo Massimo 2001 (2001), as well as in the compilations Diamanti (2006) and TuttoVenditti (2012). The song’s authors, besides Venditti, include Giampiero Scalamogna (Gepy & Gepy), Sergio Bardotti, and Franco Latini. According to Gepy’s later account, who was a producer at RCA Italiana at the time, the song originated in 1974 as a challenge after a meeting at the record label’s studios with Giorgio Chinaglia and the Oliver Onions. The latter had written a song titled “(I’m) Football Crazy,” performed and recorded by Chinaglia himself.
The newly recorded track was presented to the team in the presence of president Gaetano Anzalone and coach Nils Liedholm, and it was played through the speakers of the Stadio Olimpico for the first time on December 15, 1974, for a few moments after Domenico Penzo’s goal that decided the Roma-Fiorentina match. However, those brief moments resulted in a fine for the club. The song became the official anthem of Roma and was played before every home game, except during the period from 1978 to 1983 when it was replaced by “Forza Roma Forza Lupi” by Lando Fiorini. It is said that this change was made at the request of president Dino Viola, who did not appreciate having an anthem composed by a politically outspoken singer-songwriter like Venditti.
In the minutes immediately before the teams enter the field, before the match, all the previous anthems are played through the stadium speakers. The first of these is “Campo Testaccio.”
The first anthem of Roma was actually composed in 1931 for the film “Cinque a zero” by Mario Bonnard, released in 1932 and inspired by Roma’s stunning victory over Juventus at Campo Testaccio on March 15, 1931.
“La canzona de Testaccio,” now simply known as “Campo Testaccio,” is still sung by Romanisti fans at home and away matches. It was specifically written for the film. Totò Castellucci, a Roman poet and lyricist, decided to modify the lyrics of a popular tango milonga titled “Guitarrita.” The original song was composed by Bixio Cherubini and Armando Fragna in 1930 for the film “La canzone dell’amore” by Gennaro Righelli, based on Luigi Pirandello’s novella “In silenzio.”
The second song played in the stadium is indeed the aforementioned “Forza Roma Forza Lupi” by Lando Fiorini. Silvano Polidori and Lando Fiorini wanted to compose something for their beloved team. Someone played the song for the President of AS Roma at the time. Anzalone was impressed and decided to have it played in the stadium before every Roma match.
Before or after the official anthem, the song “Mai Sola Mai” by Marco Conidi is played, written by the Roman singer as a gesture of love for his heart’s team.
At the end of each match, especially if AS Roma emerges victorious, the stadium also plays “Grazie Roma,” also by Antonello Venditti. “Grazie Roma” was born as a sign of gratitude towards the city and AS Roma from Venditti, as the two are inseparably linked. The composition took place in November 1982, while the recording was done on March 8, 1983. This song became the celebratory anthem of AS Roma’s second Serie A title, achieved in 1983.
And you, which AS Roma anthem do you love the most?