Roman and Romanist heart, Francesca Brienza is “closely tied to this city”. She made her debut as a sports journalist at the Roma Channel, a springboard that took her to the most important television football salons up to La7, where from this year she comments on the women’s Serie A. In Trigoria, love blossoms with the coach Rudy Garcia, to whom she has been linked since 2014, but at the beginning they saw themselves in France, “off the field”. The first official appointment at the Colosseum, one of his favorite places. The other is the Parco degli Acquedotti, in Cinecittà, his neighborhood, where he always celebrated his birthday with friends. She did not set foot in the stadium until 2000, the year of the Jubilee, “a peaceful opportunity to go there” according to her father marshal, who, however, two years later allowed her to go and see “the super derby in which Roma won 5 -1, when Totti showed the shirt with the words ‘You are unique’ “, but strictly in Monte Mario. He divides himself between the Côte d’Azur and Italy, for love and work, and if he doesn’t come back to Rome at least once a month he could “go crazy”. The Sunday walk in via Margutta, the races to Villa Borghese, the amatriciana cooked for foreign friends “to make a good impression”. Only one regret, that first kiss that if he came back he would give “to St. Louis of the French, in front of the painting by Caravaggio”.
“It is a challenge that immediately fascinated me. La7’s bet is very good and I believe in it very much, because I know how far women’s football has progressed in other nations and I hope that Italy will be talked about, for good. , also for this reason. We have the important commitment to accompany these girls towards professionalism. Being there as a forerunner charges me and makes me proud. We hope to excite many people “.
Your sports journalist career started with Roma Channel. Romanist by fate?
“No, I’ve always been a Roma player, since the day I opened my eyes”.
“Yes, even if I come from the south. I always say that my parents could not give me a better gift than to have me born in Rome. I manage to be proud even when I open my passport. Traveling a lot and living in France too, when I show that I am I am proud of Rome. The colors of Rome, which are yellow and red, the same as the team, make me think that my destiny was precisely to be tied in a double tie with this city “.
So was Roma Channel the realization of a dream?
“I have to be honest, it wasn’t really a dream. When this opportunity came I was already a presenter, I worked on the radio. Then with a marshal father who never sent me to the stadium … They told me they needed a face, I I was a fan but not so knowledgeable on the subject. I found it a truly incredible opportunity, I accepted and here I am. I did well because I am full of good memories. “
What years were those?
“Really formative. I arrived in a context full of men, I was the only girl in the editorial office. And they didn’t do me any favors, on the contrary. I did everything to prove that I deserved it and once I passed the running-in phase and conquered the trust of my colleagues I also started to have fun. It is an environment in which you share a lot, 24 hours a day, in which you learn to believe in a project. I believed in it, I dedicated myself to it, heart and soul. different formats, I wasn’t just talking about football but I was also doing other broadcasts. It was a space in which I grew a lot and it was my springboard. Then I did The Monday trial, Tiki Taka, Quelli che il calcio, until to arrive at this new adventure “.
As a fan, the relationship with the Roma fans will have been excellent right from the start …
“The relationship with the fans is something very delicate, because they are linked to the team: if they see that you love it they love you, but if something happens they are ready to defend it, as it should be. But yes, I have been accepted very well since immediately”.
Instead with the Lazio cousins?
“I accept the criticism, I am not offended. I have a good relationship with them too. I do not say friendship, but I respect them”.
In Trigoria, love broke out with Rudu Garcia, which has been going on for seven years. The first date in the city where you gave it to yourselves?
“Actually in the city we gave it to each other very late. At the beginning we didn’t want to let anyone know anything and we were a bit off screen. The first date was in France. Then someone let it be known for us and so we’re came out into the open. The first official appointment in Rome was at the Colosseum, where we took the famous photo that was later published on social networks “.
What neighborhood are you from?
“I’m from Cinecittà. I went to school there and graduated from the University of Tor Vergata, in cultural heritage. Very close, I’ve never moved to study. But being an art lover I have always loved taking long walks to the city. Museums, exhibitions, I have always dedicated at least one day a week to visit. I have such a visceral relationship with my city that even on the Roma channel I had created a program just for the fans who came to see a game and I told other beautiful things that they could see “.
And then it turns out that the Romans know it less than the tourists.
“Exactly. But I’ve always been a tourist in Rome, it’s one of the things I love most. I travel a lot, a little for work and because I divide myself between here and the Cote d’Azur, but what I can experience when I’m in Rome is something special. I think it was my destiny to be linked to this city and not to another in the rest of the world. “
Where do you like to walk?
“Via Margutta is my typical Sunday walk, then I love Villa Borghese. I also go there for running when I can. But also the Coppedè and Trastevere neighborhoods. The Trasteverina walk is essential”.
Where do you live now?
“Between Italy and France. When I’m in Rome I go back to Cinecittà, where I was born, with my parents, or I stop for a few days in the center. Fortunately, work keeps me tied up here, because if I don’t go back to Rome for a month I could go crazy “.
When did you start discovering Rome beyond your neighborhood?
“Not before I was 18, when I got my driving license”.
And what places did you go to before?
“Until I was 16/17 I was in the neighborhood, I went as far as the Appian Way. As a young girl I played at the church of San Giovanni Leonardi, there was this little corner for young people. And I did a lot of sport”.
The first kiss?
“I didn’t have a first Roman kiss, but I would gladly go back to give it in front of some panorama of this city. I would give it to San Luigi dei Francesi, in front of the painting by Caravaggio: my favorite church and my favorite painting”.
Your favorite place?
“More than one. The Parco degli Acquedotti in San Policarpo was certainly important to me for various reasons. I always celebrated my birthdays there. I was born on June 16 and I couldn’t wait for school to finish to organize my party. One of the first episodes of this program on Rome I was telling you about, in fact, I shot it right there. Another favorite place is certainly the Colosseum, with my friends we often went to have a beer down there. dinners in Trastevere … “.
Your beginnings are at Miss Italia. Can we say that Roman women are among the most beautiful?
“Well maybe, it means that in Rome the water is not only good but also good for beauty”.
And instead the Romans?
“They are beautiful too. But I don’t do text, I’m with a Frenchman.”
How are you doing in the kitchen?
“I do well in the kitchen. I experiment, I am quite creative. It relaxes me and amuses me. With Roman cuisine you can take great satisfaction. When I want to make a good impression with my foreign friends, I come out with a nice plate of tomato and bacon”.
Where do you go to eat it in Rome?
“At the Marchese, in via di Ripetta, they make an excellent amatriciana. But even the carbonara is no joke, or the cacio e pepe. My favorite restaurant, however, is the Fungo, the panoramic restaurant at Eur. ten times out of ten. When instead I want to be in the family, pampered, not even having room for dessert because they make me eat endlessly, I go to Le mani in pasta, in Trastevere. A small and difficult to find restaurant, you have to know it “.
You said your dad didn’t send you to the stadium. Do you remember the first time?
“It was not a match but the Jubilee of 2000. According to my father, a peaceful opportunity to go to the stadium”.
And when did you see her playing a game?
“March 2002, the super derby in which Roma won 5-1. When Totti showed Ilary the shirt with the words ‘You are unique'”.
“No, no, Monte Mario. Do you think my father was sending me to a bend?”.
I guess escorted …
“Of course. I was with my sister and two cousins who had come specifically to Rome to watch the game”
What do you miss about Rome when you are not there?
“I miss her story, this feeling of walking in something immense and important. When I walk around Rome I realize that I am an ant in something giant. I see Rome as a mother, very tired, but always with open arms . He waits for you always and in any case. When I come back I am moved by his magnificence and the thing I miss most when I am not here is this being in history “.
Would you permanently move to another city?
“Definitely not. There will always be part of my time that I will dedicate to Rome and not just for my loved ones. I am very attached to this city and I don’t see myself living permanently in Rome”.