Roma capoccia

Antonello Venditti (1972)

Quanto sei bella Roma quann’è sera
quando la luna se specchia dentro ar fontanone
e le coppiette se ne vanno via,
quanto sei bella Roma quanno piove.
Quanto sei grande Roma quann’è er tramonto
quando l’arancia rosseggia ancora sui sette colli
e le finestre so’ tanti occhi,
che te sembrano di quanto sei bella.

Oggi me sembra che
e tempo se sia fermato qui,
vedo la maestà del Colosseo
vedo la santità del cupolone,
e so’ piu’ vivo e so’ più bono
no nun te lascio mai
Roma capoccia der mondo infame.

‘Na carrozzella va co du’ stranieri
un rubbivecchi te chiede un po’de stracci
li passeracci so’usignoli;
io ce so’nato Roma,
io t’ho scoperta stamattina.
Roma capoccia der mondo infame.

Rome, the Head

Translated by: Chavah Avraham and Luisa Canuto

How beautiful you are, Rome, when it is evening
when the moon is reflected in the great fountain[1]
and the couples go home,
how beautiful you are, Rome, is when it’s raining.
How grand you are, Rome, when it’s sunset
when the sun still reddens on the seven hills
and the windows are so many eyes
that seem to say how beautiful you are.

Today it seems to me that
time has stopped here,
I see the majesty of the Colosseum
I see the sanctity of St. Peter’s Dome,
and I am more alive and I am more openhearted
no, I’ll never leave you
Rome, the head of the infamous world,

A small coach passes with two foreigners
a junk collector asks you for some rags,
the awful sparrows are nightingales;
I was born in Rome
I discovered you this morning.
Rome, the head of the infamous world.

 

[1] Romans call “er Fontanone” the great fountain of Acqua Paola, on the top of the Gianicolo Hill.