Not many cities have a logo. Rome does: it is a shewolf suckling two small children.
The legend is confused and contradictory, so my version is probably as accurate as anyone else’s.
The story begins when Romans still had many many fun-loving gods. Rea Silvia was a beautiful young girl sworn to chastity and living somewhere in the hills near Rome. One day Mars, perhaps the hippest among the gods, takes a fancy to her. He takes on the good looks of a strong young man, pays her a visit and says something like: you and me, babe, how about it?
She said that no, that she was a vestal virgin, that her life was a life of religion and pleasing the gods etcetera. And, well, just no. But Mars, let us not forget, was a god. So, guess who got his way. And then try to guess who got pregnant. Twins. So for some reason (versions vary) the twins are placed in a basket and floated down the river. The basket beaches where Rome now stands.
A she-wolf is overome by the cute factor, and decides to nurse the babies until some random dude rescues them back to civilization. Sort of. The twins are Romulus and Remus. The former kills the latter and proceeds to found Rome. End of story. Beginning of history.
It may be telling of how Romans see themselves when they say ‘semo tutti fii daa lupa’, we are all children of the wolf. Our Adam was a god. Our Eve was a public servant who couldn’t keep a vow. And allowed her kids to be floated into the unknown. To be raised on a wild animal’s milk. And our founding father, Romulus, had no qualms about killing his own brother. Does this put anything into perspective…?
In truth, the original bronze statue of the lupa capitolina is controversial. The wolf has been attributed to the Etruscans – an ancient civilization that coexisted for centuries alongside the Romans. The twins were added much later and are in a completely different style. A curiosity: the city of Siena, in lovely Tuscany, is also represented by… yup, a wolf nursing two twins.