Fish-based lunches and dinners. A life spent in the historic Roman neighborhood Rione Monti, where he returned when he left the rooms of the Quirinale. In his last years the former President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano he allowed himself few outings and always in the company of his wife Clio Bittoni. But without ever giving up your trusted barber. The memory of the last years of the former President of the Republic is imprinted in the memory of many of the inhabitants of the center of Rome. Here, from Piazza del Quirinale to Rione Monti, the former Head of State grew up and spent the last phase of his life. The last few years have passed between few outings and visits to his trusted barber's house. “He was a very witty person, very intelligent, extremely talkative. We had an appointment, here in Via dei Serpenti, every fortnight, but lately he had difficulty reaching me and so we would meet at his house", recalls the barber Domenico The Torto.
In the streets of the neighborhood there are also those who speak of him as an imposing figure. This is Tonino, owner of the delicatessen "Delights of Calabria“. “Before he became President of the Republic he was a regular customer of ours – he says -. Then for security reasons related to public order he no longer came. He was a person of great depth, a man of other times. He has always shown himself available to create human relationships."
Further ahead, on via Panisperna, there is a restaurant: “The Tavernelle”. Here for many years a photograph depicted the former president Napolitano in the company of the owner. Now, since the owner left Rome to move to Milan, that photo no longer exists, but the current manager, who was an employee at the time, still remembers it. “Before he moved to the Quirinale he ate here with us every week. Often even with her son, when he returned home from London. We hadn't seen him for a few years now,” he adds. And he remembers the president's favorite dish: ravioli alla zarina, a stuffed pasta made with vodka and salmon.
Specialty that he also asked for at the restaurant “Rinaldi at the Quirinale” where the owner, Daniele Rinaldi, welcomed him at numerous institutional lunches and dinners. “He was a regular customer of ours and it was always a pleasure for all of us to serve him. I remember him as an extremely friendly but very reserved person, he was capable of putting his guests at ease,” he says. A person of habit, therefore, "who on the occasion of the opening of the polls, before or after going to vote at the school Christopher Columbus, he used to come here for coffee,” recalls one of the employees “Old Brazilian Coffee Bar”, a few steps from the school in via Panisperna.
The first in the history of the country to have been elected for a second term, today in the streets of Rione Monti the residents mourn him and remember him as a kind but reserved man.