« Italy held its inaugural non-religious funeral for a former head of state in Rome on Tuesday, commemorating Giorgio Napolitano, a two-time president who passed away at the age of 98 on Friday.
Footage shows the ceremony, which was notably different from typical religious funerals. It took place at Montecitorio Palace, the iconic residence of Italy’s lower house of parliament in the heart of the Italian capital.
Dignitaries from various countries attended the event, underscoring Napolitano’s international impact. Among the prominent figures present were Emmanuel Macron, President of France, and Francois Hollande, the former President of the Republic of France, alongside Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh. Also gracing the occasion were Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic, and Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s Prime Minister.
“He spent his life for Italy. And his memory belongs to it,” remarked Anna Finocchiaro, a former minister, paying tribute to Napolitano’s lifelong dedication to Italy.
Giorgio Napolitano’s legacy is notable for multiple reasons. He made history as Italy’s first former communist to ascend to the presidency. Furthermore, he achieved the rare distinction of being elected to the presidency for two consecutive terms, serving in this capacity from 2006 to 2015.
Local citizens gathered outside parliament to express their admiration and respect for Napolitano.
“His legacy is that he is the only president by whom I have felt represented. The only president I recognize as my true president,” said Emanuela, a resident.
“He has surely been a great president. He has always assumed his responsibility. He always had a great sense of the State and Institutions,” stated Claudia, another local.
Napolitano’s final resting place will be at Rome’s modest non-Catholic cemetery. This cemetery holds the remains of notable individuals, including British poets John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Antonio Gramsci, a pivotal figure in the development of European Communism. »