Tuesday, October 19

Sergio Iacomoni, a ‘new Nero’ who dreams of the Capitol




Nero returned to Rome. Sergio Iacomoni, 69, known from a young age as Nero and at the head of his Roman Historical Movement, tried to conquer the Capitol, one of the seven hills of Rome, where the City Hall is based. With the support of su Nero List, composed of 48 people, was one of the protagonists of the elections held on Sunday and Monday in almost 1,200 municipalities, with Rome capitalizing the greatest attention. In a sad and gray electoral campaign, Iacomoni, a former employee of the Banca d’Italia, married with four children, president of the aforementioned party, which he founded in 1994, put at least a note of color and irony, not without seriousness, to the contest in

the polls. His program, called ‘The XII Tables of Nero’s List’, ranges from the exaltation of Rome to the relaunch of history and culture, to the waste collection solution. This, along with transportation, is one of the capital’s most serious problems, as garbage often accumulates in some neighborhoods, frequently attracting wild boars.

In its first table, the Nero List proposes to honor the history and the people of Rome by remembering the heroes and also its most staunch enemies, such as Hannibal, Viriato, Alaric and Attila, among others.

The Nero List can only be understood in a city like Rome, with a great identity and strong personality. So much so that it has imposed its own accent and jargon on the Italian cultural industry. The Romans, gifted with irony and unbelievers because they have seen them in all colors in their millennial history, like to criticize Rome. But at the same time, they consider that being a Roman, being born in the Eternal City, is the greatest thing that could have happened to a human being. They talk about their history and quote Augustus, the first Roman emperor, as if they had seen him the day before next to the Tiber. They say that Romulus is the first of the seven kings of Rome, the one who founded it, but they add that the last is Francesco Totti, the former Roma footballer. They are so proud of themselves that they are convinced that Totti is stronger than Ronaldo or Messi.

Romans like to see their rich history and identity revalued. This speech has made the fortune of the center-right candidate, Enrico Michetti, a radio host, a radio tribune, a lawyer for the Brothers of Italy party, led by Giorgia Meloni. A little-known character, Michetti became popular and was the winner in the first electoral turn, with a speech recalling the glorious Roman past and betting on following that path: «Just think of how the great Caesars and the Popes viewed Rome: they would never have built the pyramids because they were not of public utility, they built bridges, roads, aqueducts, amphitheaters for the well-being of the citizens.

Iacomoni is proud of his nickname with a Neronian evocation. Although they do not absolve him of his atrocities, historians today rewrite the story of the last emperor of the Claudian dynasty. Marisa Ranieri Panetta, archaeologist and scholar of Nero, affirms: “From the architectural and urban point of view, Nero gave a great and scenographic mark to Rome”.

The former emperor also had a great sense of propaganda. It seems that Iacomoni learned from this. I knew it was impossible to conquer the Capitol. But thanks to Nero it has become popular.

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