The Rome of Laura Freddi

She lost her accent after 12 years in Milan, where the first few moments when she opened her mouth made her notice that she felt, “a nightmare”. Love for Rome, on the other hand, has always been intact. Born in Garbatella, raised between Magliana and Monteverde, Laura Freddi defines herself as a “Roman doc” and is transmitting the same sense of belonging to her daughter Ginevra – she had three years ago from her partner Leonardo D’Amico – who “every now and then does ‘aoh’ “. The group in via Giuseppe Tornielli, “when there were no cell phones and social networks and we were together on the wall”, the first kiss on the stairs leading to the 44 terminus, “a crazy flop”, on Saturday afternoons “to do the laps in via del Corso “, until the day she was forced to flee, surrounded by screaming boys. Those were the years of Non è la Rai, “an incredible thing”. After so many years at Axa, where she bought her first home, love brought her back to Monteverde.

For three years another item has been added to the curriculum. Mom. A full time job …
“Absolutely yes. I have been dedicating myself exclusively to Geneva for three years. I wanted it so much that when she reached the age of 45, a miracle, I couldn’t do otherwise. I had always promised myself that if a child arrived. I would have done that. In my life I had a lot of fun and now my time is all for her. “

Geneva is Roman like you. Are you already letting her discover the city?
“Poor thing, she found herself in the middle of this pandemic, so between lockdowns, closed schools, not being able to enjoy the parks, we did things in a limited way. From a very young age, pre Covid, we were able to take her to be the Befana in Piazza Navona. I often take her to the carousels of the Gianicolo, where I used to go as a child, we take beautiful walks. With her I went back to living in the places I frequented as a girl. my family. Every now and then go ‘aoh’. “

Roman lessons …
“Not from me, from my parents. For twelve years I lived in Milan and I lost my accent a little. At first, as soon as I opened my mouth, they said to me ‘You’re Roman’. , it was a nightmare “.

Where did you grow up?
“I was born in Garbatella and I spent a bit of childhood there, where my paternal grandparents were, then we moved to via della Magliana. There is a mixture of things in me, which is why I say that I feel truly Roman , because I lived everything: the suburbs, the heart of Rome like Testaccio, where my aunt had a haberdashery and as kids we played on the sidewalk in front of the shop, Trastevere, where some of my father’s relatives lived, Monteverde, Ostia. places, seeing both the beautiful things of the city and the more dangerous ones, because the Magliana in the 70s was not exactly the most peaceful place “.

What memory do you have of those years?
“Growing up there I learned to live in the toughest situations. As a young girl I played on the street, very controlled by my mother, who never lost sight of us. We had an hour of air, so I called her. Things happened. I had also news, later in the years, of friends who had not done well. I cut my teeth in that kind of situation and I never disown it, because that part of me, which is my childhood, is there. I have it in my heart. It is thanks to that experience that today, as I always say, I know how to feel good on both a 500 and a Ferrari “.

What about adolescence?
“I spent my adolescence in Monteverde, behind the Colli Portuensi. When I was 13 we moved to my grandmother who was left alone. We were a little tight at her house and they were the funniest and most beautiful years . When there were groups and there were no social networks, cell phones, computers. We were the boys of the wall. We had fun, we made a lot of chaos. We sang, the first cottarelle were born, friendships. And then the music of those people. years, incredible, from Duran Duran to Madonna. I dressed in every way. There was the fashion of the paninari, I was 501 with the horse that came to the knees, the El Charro belt and the ankle boots “.

Where did you have the party?
“In via Giuseppe Tornielli, under my grandmother’s house. Then I remember the stairs that led down to the terminus of 44, which we took to go to Piazza Venezia. We used to be from terminus to terminus, but I also took it to go to school , I went down to via Fonteiana in front of the Morgagni “.

The ladders taste like a first kiss …
“I gave it right there, in fact, but it was a crazy flop (laughs, ed). I was 13. His name was Alessio. I came home feeling nauseous, a tragedy”.

Then came the years of Non è la Rai and shooting in the city was certainly more complicated.
“That was an incredible thing. After three or four months from the start of the program, as always, on Saturdays with my friends we took the number 44 and went downtown. We did the baths in via del Corso. I was 19. I hadn’t yet I understood what that program was creating, until the day I was forced to flee. I was in via del Corso and after a few minutes I realized that everyone was turning around, looking at me, calling me. At a certain point I found myself all these boys and girls behind, screaming. It was beautiful but at the same time scary. We rushed on the 44 to go home. From that moment on I was always very careful where I was going and I never went out alone. It was really a continuous “.

You mentioned Ostia earlier. Did you also live there?
“My parents moved from Monteverde to Acilia, when there was really nothing in Acilia. It was a trauma. I had to change school, friends, it wasn’t easy, but I adapted. This comes from the temper of Magliana. I finished high school in Ostia, at Toscanelli. I used to go to the branch, in via Cozza, in front of the sea. How many times do you think we went to class? “

Few…
“It was more than once we went to the beach. I was a geek but there I lost some orientation with my studies, the last years of school were a tragedy”.

Do you agree with those who argue that Ostia should become a separate municipality?
“In my opinion, yes. On Ostia we should get our hands on it in another way”.

And where did you go to the sea?
“For years I went to Fiumicino, to Playa, with my parents, my aunt, the whole family. I remember these days all together, with the cabin: we would get ready, we ate sandwiches with breaded slices, omelettes. One At the beach I remember that they came to give me these flyers to participate in beauty contests, which my father then systematically tore off. Once I participated, in the end I became Miss of the whole coast: Miss Fiumicino, Miss Ostia, Miss Teenager. Ostia, on the other hand, I have always frequented the Corallo, where I also go today with my daughter and my partner. I have always remained tied to what I did as a young girl, they are my bases and my references “.

Twelve years in Milan is a long time …
“I had a wonderful time in Milan. They said I would never join, but instead I created a circle of wonderful friends. I had a lot of fun and when I returned to Rome, I tell you the truth, I missed Milan. Milan of those years, however, today perhaps everything is different and I don’t know if I would be able to stay there “.

When you came back it was like starting a new chapter …
“When I returned from Milan I started having a Happy Sunday and I bought a house in Axa. A small villa, with great joy after so many sacrifices, at the age of 29. I enjoyed this life made of greenery, with the nearby sea, the tranquility . My ex-husband also lived in the area, so when I got married I stayed there. Then we broke up, I sold the house and when I met love again, he took me back to Monteverde. “

Leonardo?
“I met him playing beach volleyball, my great passion. The club is right in Monteverde. We went to live in his grandparents’ house, near my grandmother’s house, where I lived as a young girl. Think about the life you meet and that returns you reserve “.

What is your place of the heart?
“The Janiculum. As a child my parents used to take me there to see Pulcinella’s puppets. Several times I tried to show them to my daughter too, but you never know when they are there and when not. From there I start looking at Rome. , that stupendous panorama, the fountain, the church where my parents got married. They are all childhood memories. Once there was even a pony ride. Another important place for me was the dance school in Piazza Meucci. I stayed there for hours, whole afternoons, not only dancing but also watching the older girls “.

An unforgettable evening?
“In 2005, for the first anniversary of Gabriella Ferri’s death, I presented an evening dedicated to her, in Piazza Navona. I sang ‘Here under the arberi de lungotevere’. That was the most beautiful evening, I will never forget it: to present in my city an evening in honor of Gabriella Ferri, the number one. That emotion will always remain in my heart “.

You define yourself Roman doc. Even in the kitchen?
“Sure. I learned everything from mum. I’ll make you great amatriciana, great gricia, but also cheese and pepper. Modestly. At home we grew up with typical cuisine, fried artichokes and all the rest. . My mother still queues the vaccinara, which I have never loved, but it is part of the menu “.

Roman and Romanist?
“Yes, yes. Even if lately I don’t follow it as before, years ago I was much more bitter. The blood, however, is always Romanist”.

In the last elections, various personalities from the entertainment world were candidates. Would you ever do that?
“No, I would not be a good policy. It is a job that those with a license must do to do it. It is true that now the politician seems more like a showman, but mixing things up is not good. I have never taken sides politically” .

Is there anything you would change about Rome?
“I would never change Rome. For me it is this, in its strengths and weaknesses. It is my city, I have my roots here. Rome must be taken as it is”.

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