Rome Travel Guide

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Reading Rome's Walls: the Tragedy of Vincenzo Paparelli

Except for the occasional bit of wall writing--we found "Paparelli Vive!" on a wall in the neighborhood to the south of via Gallia in San Giovanni--the name Vincenzo Paparelli is now all but forgotten, his tragic story all but unknown.

At 33, Paparelli was a dedicated fan of the Lazio soccer team, and on the last Sunday in October, he took his seat with other Lazio "tifosi" on the Curva Nord--the North Curve--at Stadio Olimpico
for the annual "derby," the inner-city competition with arch-rival AS Roma.  He was enjoying the game, and eating a panino, when a flare launched by a Roma fan from the Curva Sud--the South Curve at the opposite end of the stadium--hit him in the eye.  He was DOA at Santo Spirito Hospital.  He left behind a wife and two children.

The death was the first Italian soccer fatality due to violence.  In 2001, his memory was honored with a plaque placed under the Curva Nord.


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