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Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
Official portrait, 1999
President of Italy
In office
18 May 1999 – 15 May 2006
Prime MinisterMassimo D'Alema
Giuliano Amato
Silvio Berlusconi
Preceded byOscar Luigi Scalfaro
Succeeded byGiorgio Napolitano
Prime Minister of Italy
In office
29 April 1993 – 11 May 1994
PresidentOscar Luigi Scalfaro
Preceded byGiuliano Amato
Succeeded bySilvio Berlusconi
Minister of Treasury, Budget and
Economic Programming
In office
18 May 1996 – 13 May 1999
Prime MinisterRomano Prodi
Massimo D'Alema
Preceded byLamberto Dini (Treasury)
Mario Arcelli (Budget)
Succeeded byGiuliano Amato
Minister of the Interior
In office
19 April 1994 – 10 May 1994
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byNicola Mancino
Succeeded byRoberto Maroni
Minister of Tourism and Entertainment
In office
28 April 1993 – 10 May 1994
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byMargherita Boniver
Succeeded byDomenico Fisichella
Governor of the Bank of Italy
In office
8 October 1979 – 29 April 1993
Preceded byPaolo Baffi
Succeeded byAntonio Fazio
Director General of the Bank of Italy
In office
28 June 1978 – 8 October 1979
Preceded byMario Ercolani
Succeeded byLamberto Dini
Member of the Senate of the Republic
Life tenure
15 May 2006 – 16 September 2016
StatusEx officio
Personal details
Born(1920-12-09)9 December 1920
Livorno, Tuscany, Kingdom of Italy
Died16 September 2016(2016-09-16) (aged 95)
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Political partyPdA (1943–1947)
Independent (1947–2016)[1]
Height1.63 m (5 ft 4 in)
(m. 1946)
Alma materScuola Normale of Pisa
  • Economist
  • civil servant

Carlo Azeglio Ciampi OMRI (Italian pronunciation: [ˈkarlo adˈdzeʎʎo ˈtʃampi] ; 9 December 1920[2] – 16 September 2016[3]) was an Italian politician and banker who was the prime minister of Italy from 1993 to 1994 and the president of Italy from 1999 to 2006.



Ciampi was born in Livorno.[4] He received a B.A. in ancient Greek literature and classical philology in 1941 from the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, one of the country's most prestigious universities, defending a thesis, entitled Favorino d'Arelate e la consolazione Περὶ φυγῆς,[5] under the direction of the Hellenist Augusto Mancini. Then he was called to military duty in Albania as a lieutenant. On 8 September 1943, on the date of the armistice with the Allies, he refused to remain in the Fascist Italian Social Republic, and took refuge in Abruzzo, in Scanno. He subsequently managed to pass the lines and reach Bari, where he joined the Partito d'Azione and thus the Italian resistance movement. In 1946 he married Franca Pilla.[6] That same year, he obtained a B.A. in law from the University of Pisa and began working at the Banca d'Italia. He also joined the CGIL (Trade Union), which he left in 1980.

Bank of Italy

In 1960, he was called to work in the central administration of the Bank of Italy, where he became Secretary General in 1973, Vice Director General in 1976, and Director General in 1978. In October 1979, he was nominated Governor of the Bank of Italy and President of the national Bureau de Change, positions he filled until 1993.

Political career

Ciampi was the first non-parliamentarian prime minister of Italy in more than 100 years.[7] From April 1993 to May 1994 he oversaw a technical government. Later, as treasury minister from 1996 to May 1999 in the governments of Romano Prodi and Massimo D'Alema, he was credited with adopting the euro currency. He personally chose the Italian design for the 1-euro coin, whereas all others were left to a television vote among some candidates the ministry had prepared.[citation needed] Ciampi chose the Vitruvian man of Leonardo da Vinci,[8] on the symbolic grounds that it represented man as a measure of all things, and in particular of the coin: in this perspective, money was at the service of man, instead of its opposite. The design also fitted very well on the bimetallic material of the coin.[citation needed]

According to the Italian weekly Famiglia Cristiana, in 1993 Ciampi was a member of the regular Masonic Lodge "Hermes" of Livorno which was affiliated to the Grand Orient of Italy and linked to the Rito Filosofico Italiano.[9]

President (1999–2006)

See also: 1999 Italian presidential election

Ciampi meets U.S. President George W. Bush at the Quirinale Palace, 7 April 2005

Ciampi was elected with a broad majority, and was the second president ever to be elected at the first ballot (when there is a requirement of a two-thirds majority) in a joint session of the Chamber of Deputies, the Italian Senate and representatives of the Regions. He usually refrained from intervening directly into the political debate while serving as president. He often addressed general issues, without mentioning their connection to the current political debate, in order to state his opinion without being too intrusive. His interventions frequently stressed the need for all parties to respect the constitution and observe the proprieties of political debate. He was generally held in high regard by all political forces represented in the parliament.

The possibility of persuading Ciampi to stand for a second term as president by the election 2006 – the so-called Ciampi-bis – was widely discussed, despite his advancing age, but it was officially dismissed by Ciampi himself on 3 May 2006: "None of the past nine presidents of the Republic has been re-elected. I think this has become a meaningful rule. It is better not to infringe it". Ciampi, whose mandate was due to expired on the 18th, resigned on the 15th. His successor, Giorgio Napolitano took the oath on the same day.

As head of state of the host country, he officially declared the 2006 Winter Olympics open, on 10 February 2006. As president, Ciampi was not considered to be close to the positions of the Vatican and the Catholic Church, in a sort of alternance after the devout Oscar Luigi Scalfaro. He often praised patriotism, not always a common feeling because of its abuse by the Italian Fascist regime.


He died in Rome on 16 September 2016 at the age of 95.[10][11][12] His funeral was officiated at the Church of San Saturnino in Rome on 19 September by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia.[13] A national day of mourning was proclaimed on the same day and flags were flown at half-mast.[13]

Awards and honours

As President of the Italian Republic between 18 May 1999 and 15 May 2006, Ciampi held the roles of:

See also


  1. ^ Breda, Marzio (15 July 2009). "Pd avvilente ma eviti scissioni. Sì a Bersani, vero rifondatore". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). La mia ultima tessera […] è stata quella del Partito d'azione, e altre non ne ho mai più volute.
  2. ^ East, Roger; Thomas, Richard J. (3 June 2014). Profiles of People in Power: The World's Government Leaders. Routledge. ISBN 9781317639404. Retrieved 6 April 2018 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "Carlo Azeglio Ciampi (1920–2016)".
  4. ^ Page at Senate website (in Italian).
  5. ^ Favorinus of Arles and the Consolation Περὶ φυγῆς, anastatic reprint by the Scuola Normale di Pisa editions, editor Franco Montanari [it], introduction of Salvatore Settis, ISBN 978-88-7642-411-3.
  6. ^ Politica, Redazione (19 December 2020). "I 100 anni di Franca Ciampi, la first lady che conquistò l'Italia". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  7. ^ Wentworth, Richard L. (28 April 1993). "Italy Turns to a Banker to Form Government". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  8. ^ "Scoppia la febbre dell' Euro - la". Archivio - la (in Italian). 9 February 1998. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  9. ^ Alberto Spampinato, La lezione di Ciampi, Soverio Mannelli, Rubbettino editore, 2006, pp. 76-77. OCLC 238799437.
  10. ^ Italy's former President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi dies aged 95 Wall Street Journal
  11. ^ Former Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi dies at 95 The Guardian
  12. ^ "Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, Former Italian Prime Minister, Dies at 95". The New York Times. 16 September 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  13. ^ a b "L'ultimo saluto al presidente Ciampi: applausi e commozione ai funerali in forma privata". la Repubblica (in Italian). 19 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Resolución N° 374/001". Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  15. ^ Slovak republic website, State honours Archived 13 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine : 1st Class in 2002 (click on "Holders of the Order of the 1st Class White Double Cross" to see the holders' table)
  16. ^ "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang, dan Pingat Persekutuan". Archived from the original on 19 July 2019. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  17. ^ Nomination by Sovereign Ordonnance n° 331 13 December 2005 (French)
Government offices Preceded byMario Ercolani Deputy Director General of Bank of Italy 1976–1978 Succeeded byAlfredo Persiani Acerbo Director General of Bank of Italy 1978–1979 Succeeded byLamberto Dini Preceded byPaolo Baffi Governor of Bank of Italy 1979–1993 Succeeded byAntonio Fazio Political offices Preceded byGiuliano Amato Prime Minister of Italy 1993–1994 Succeeded bySilvio Berlusconi Preceded byLamberto Dinias Minister of Treasury Minister of Treasury and Budget 1996–1999 Succeeded byGiuliano Amato Preceded byMario Arcellias Minister of Budget Preceded byOscar Luigi Scalfaro President of Italy 1999–2006 Succeeded byGiorgio Napolitano Awards Preceded byPat Cox Laureate of the Charlemagne Prize 2005 Succeeded byJean-Claude Juncker Preceded byPope John Paul II