Civil Commitment

Claudia Toti is the great niece of Enrico Toti and as a child was inspired by the figure of her uncle an Italian First World War hero who was a member of the rifle regiment in the Italian army. When he was a boy, he was involved in an accident at work whilst trying to repair an engine and the whole of his left leg had to be amputated. However he did not lose heart and travelled around the world riding a special bike that he himself had modified. He distinguished himself in various sports and he performed his bike stunts in important theatres in Italy and abroad until the day of his death on 6th of August 1916, during that moment on the battlefield that made him famous: although wounded in a combat, he hurled his crutch at the enemy. For this final act of bravery, and for other heroic acts posthumously awarded the gold medal for military valor on the 4th of December 1916.

In 2002 Claudia Toti and her sisters, Livia, Valeria e Flavia, founded the "Mehfil" Cultural Association in Rome, and up to 2004  held a series of events promoting the rediscovery and appreciation of artistic and cultural heritage in Rome. They inaugurated their initiative with Sunday morning “Aperitif Concerts” in the auditorium of the "Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali", located in the architectural complex of the current headquarters at the Ministry of Heritage and Culture in piazza S. Croce in Gerusalemme, in Rome. With these concerts being held on a Sunday morning there was a further benefit of a guided tour of the museum. For the inhabitants of the area these get togethers became particularly heart felt and at the same time an interesting alternative for tourists. Another activity promoted by the Toti sisters was  "The Women’s Literary Cafe" at the historical "Caffè Greco" in via Condotti. It was marked by a series of lectures on the theme of women which spoke of great women of the past such as Eleonora de Fonseca Pimentel and Elizabeth of England, and of many accomplished women of today. At the lecture on Omoniza from Messina the then ambassadress for Oman in Italy took part and spoke of the situation of Islamic women today. In summer of 2003 they organized “Concerts at Cecilia Metella – Music under the starlit sky ancient Rome” set in the beautiful archeological grounds of Cecilia Metella’s Mausoleum in the Appia Antica Park.

In February 2015 the Toti sisters founded a new association, headed by Claudia in memory of their great uncle. The purpose of this association is to promote cultural activities so as to encourage participation and civic and social engagement among the people.

Amongst the association’s activities are study, research, debates, editorial initiatives, training and promotion with particular focus on the development of  history and traditions. On the 20th of June 2015 "Legends of War" debuted at the Teatro Millevoi (at the Armed Forces Officers Club). This theatrical musical production was aimed at raising awareness among citizens of their cultural heritage, reminding them of  the culture of peace and commemorating  100 years since the Great War. In 2014 Claudia Toti embraced “Luci della Storia” a project conceived by Col. Nunzio Paolucci, the then Director of the Historical Museum of the Rifle Regiment, and currently President of the National Rifle Regiment Association in Rome. This project was authorized by the Army Military Command of Rome. Both literally and metaphorically, the spotlight was on the beautiful Michelangelo style courtyard in the rifle regiment museum located a few meters from the monument at porta pia where you can also find the original bike belonging to Enrico Toti. In 2015 the Enrico Toti Association became the official partner of the second edition of “Luci della Storia” at Porta Pia and during the week of the 20th of September, in memory of one of the most pivotal events in the history of our country, the Association organised 5 days of afternoon and evening events under the artistic direction of Claudia Toti and under the supervision of the director Alessandro D'Alatri. Many artists participated in the initiative including the pianist Cristiana Pegoraro and the Maestro Lorenzo Porzio, the tenor Massimiliano Drapello and the actresses Tiziana Foschi and Marina Tagliaferri. All this had a strong impact on the territory and was made possible thanks to the synergy among institutions, associations, local traders and families. It has drawn in hundreds of people into “Porta Pia” and has become an example to promote the cultural heritage of Rome and all of Italy.