At Italy On This Day you will read about events and festivals, about important moments in history, and about the people who have made Italy the country it is today, and where they came from. Italy is a country rich in art and music, fashion and design, food and wine, sporting achievement and political diversity. Italy On This Day provides fascinating insights to help you enjoy it all the more.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Carlo Azeglio Ciampi - prime minister and president


The politician who took Italy into the euro


The politician and banker, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, was born on this day in 1920 in Livorno.
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
Photo: Presidency of the Italian Republic


He was the 49th Prime Minister of Italy between 1993 and 1994 and the tenth president, in office from 1999 to 2006.

Ciampi studied ancient Greek literature in Pisa, before being called up to do military duty, but in 1943 he refused to stay with the Fascists and took refuge in Abruzzo.

He managed to get to Bari, where he joined the Italian resistance movement.

After the war, he gained a doctorate in law from Pisa University and began working at the Banca d’Italia. He went on to become Governor of the bank and then President of the National Bureau de Change.

Ciampi was the first-non parliamentarian prime minister of Italy for more than 100 years, appointed by the President, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, to oversee a technical government.

Later, as the treasury minister under Romano Prodi and Massimo d’Alema, Ciampi, a staunch supporter of the EU, adopted the euro currency for Italy.

When he was elected president, he had a broad majority and was only the second president ever to be elected at the first ballot. He was held in high regard by all the political groups in parliament.
Rome's Palazzo Quirinale, official residence of
the Italian President


He was succeeded by Giorgio Napoletano and is currently a senator for life in the Italian senate.

Travel tip:

Livorno is a port on the western coast of Tuscany, which deals with thousands of cruise ship passengers. The city used to be known as Leghorn in English and there is an English cemetery in Via Giuseppe Verdi, with the graves of many former British residents, including the novelist. Tobias Smollett.

Travel tip:

Abruzzo is a region on the Adriatic coast, bordered by Marche to the north, Lazio to the west and Molise to the south. One third of its territory is made up of national parks and nature reserves that are home to protected species, such as the brown bear.

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