Rome is not like any other city. It’s a big museum, a living room that shall be crossed on one’s toes.”

Rome as a city is a bit of a double edge sword for the inquisitive visitor.

Rome is a city with sharpened edges.

Figuratively, so many good and bad consequences at almost every turn. Some of the most historic sites anywhere in the world are spoiled by overcrowding; vast boulevards are open and expansive but need to be crossed with trepidation.

The good side of that sharp sword is that unlike many other cities Rome doesn’t have to be expensive to enjoy the depth of beauty and history on offer. It is in effect an open air museum where so many sites can be visited for free because they are in effect simply part of the city of Rome.

At every turn a glorious square, a fountain or a monument. Neighborhoods filled with some beautiful restaurants and characters.

They say the Italian spoken in Rome is is more similar to standard Italian than many of the other dialects used in any other part of the country. That said the architecture and artworks you experience in Rome is unique – you can’t find a Vatican City in Milan or Florence, nor the Spanish Steps or the type of Roman remains anywhere else in Italy.

Pillars, columns, stairwells, ancient bathing areas and the foundations of places of Roman learning at every turn.

The Derby della Capitale is the name given to the football derby in Rome.

One half of the rivalry is represented by SS Lazio founded in 1900 in Piazza della Libertà, in the Rome Borough of Prati.

AS Roma have foundations that come 27 years after Lazio – they came about as a result of a merger between three teams: Roman FC, SS Alba-Audace and Fortitudo Pro Roma SGS. Lazio were the only major team from Rome to resist the merger, and to this day the two big clubs co-exist in this huge city.

To many Romanista, Lazio are associated with the countryside – people from the wider administrative region of Lazio. Thus, the term burini or “peasants” is frequently used by Roma fans to describe their rivals – people who come from the periphery.

At the end of this particular derby Mancini, the Roma captain, was criticised for waving a flag with a rat on it as the emotive post match celebrations kicked off.

There are huge territorial issues between the two clubs and these are amplified due to the sides sharing the historic Rome Olympic stadium.

Then there are the symbolic issues related to the team’ kit colours and club symbols.

Lazio are associated with a white and sky blue shirt, the colours of Hellas which helped shape ancient Rome – the club’s colours have led to their Italian nickname of I Biancocelesti.

Meanwhile, Lazio’s traditional club badge and symbol is the eagle,  a symbol of the Roman legions and the Roman emperor. The eagle effectively identifies Lazio with its origin city. This symbol gave rise to another nickname Le Aquila (the Eagles).

Roma’s colors are that of red with a golden yellow trim – the ‘giallorossi’.

These represent the traditional colors of Rome, and the official seal of the Comune di Roma features the same colors.

There there is the association with the female wolf and the two infant brothers of Romulus and Remus

With the colours and symbols used both AS Roma and SS Lazio have ingrained themselves into the history and mythology of the city of Rome. These colours and the symbols are played out in the tifo displays that occur on derby day.

Wolves, eagles and the fabled AS Roma logo all play a role as the teams emerge.

The colors of the day enrich the soul and this tense occasion – sky blue, red, yellow and gold. A delightful mix of coloration so vivid and stark.

At the Curva Sud a huge mosaic of the wolf with Romulus and Remus appears. To the left of this appeared the classic initials AS Roma.

On the Curva Nord, Lazio fans saw in the first 5 minutes with blue, white and navy blue flags. Smoke bombs went off and balloons appeared – making the first initial period of the game almost unwatchable if you were amongst it.

The deciding moment came on 42 minutes.

Gianluca Mancini struck home powerfully from a corner rushing to celebrate with the ecstatic hoards of Roma fans on the Curva.

The symbol on the chest of the shirt was banged in rejoice.

Lazio created little, leaving its fans at boiling point come the end of proceedings. It was only when Pedro came on that Lazio looked dangerous with Immobile simply absent.

At times it all threatened to boil over especially so the closer it got to full time.

AS Roma had been the superior force with Paulo Dybala hugely influential throughout. His playing style exuded class and presence despite his slight frame.

Passes and movement all done at every turn in the manner of a true world champion. Dybala was hugely impressive being a presence on the field of play that was miles ahead of almost everyone else.

Svilar in the Roma goal never looked truly troubled while Mancini and the aptly named Romelu Lukaku looked taller than just about anyone else on the field of play.

For well over a millennium, Rome controlled the destiny of all civilisation known to Europe, but then it fell into dissolution and disrepair. 

Rome as a football power has never really ruled Europe.

At times AS Roma have challenged most notably in 1984 when they lost a European Cup final at home to Liverpool.

Periods of disrepair has also occurred when they were forced to play second fiddle to Lazio back in the days of Sven Goran.

Physically mutilated, economically paralyzed, politically senile, and militarily impotent by the late Middle Ages, AS Roma, like Roman empire before it, nevertheless have remained highly influential. A UEFA Europa Conference League win under Jose Mourinho and a presence in the later stages of all UEFA European competitions being evidence enough of a club consistently amongst the elite in Europe.

Lazio, meanwhile, are not so much a lesser partner to Roma but more of an equal partner.

This chapter of the Roma derby was close – but with Daniele Di Rossi’s Roma side just edging through in truth still not much exists between the two. And its likely to stay that way with the Milan clubs currently an all powerful force at the top of Serie A.

FT: 1-0

AS Roma (4-3-2-1): Svilar, Angeliño, Mancini, Llorente, Celik, Pellegrini, Paredes, Cristante, El Shaarawy, Dybala, Lukaku

SS Lazio (3-4-2-1): Mandas, Gila, Romagnoli, Casale, Felipe Anderson, Vecino, Guendouzi, Marusic, Kamada, Isaksen, Immobile