Hundreds of people have queued outside the Senate in Rome to pay their respects to former President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi who died on Friday.
His funeral will be held on Monday. A day of national mourning has been declared across Italy.
The former president, prime minister and central bank governor played a key role in guiding the country into the European single currency.
Le mie condoglianze a tutti gli italiani per la scomparsa di Carlo Azeglio #Ciampi. Perdiamo oggi un grande Italiano e un grande Europeo.— Jean-Claude Juncker (@JunckerEU) September 16, 2016
The 95-year-old had been ill for some time.
One of Italy’s most-respected figures on the international stage, Ciampi also helped steer the country through the dark days of corruption scandals in the 1990s.
Italy desperately needs leading examples of pure statesmen: Ciampi, resistant, civil servant, PM, president was one https://t.co/HVlaDnPJAH— Francesco C Billari (@FCBillari) September 17, 2016
What they are saying
“Ciampi is the first president of the republic that I remember and especially the one that gave us the sense of being a nation, so I thought it was right to come and pay tribute,” – male mourner.
“He was mostly an example of warmth and discretion, values that we seem to have lost today,” – female mourner.
“I was born in 1994 and Ciampi is the first president I remember. I am a fervent pro-European, as was he. He was a very important statesman, no doubt a wonderful president,” – male mourner
“I feel admiration for a person who has given so much to Italy, both as governor of the Bank of Italy and as a minister, in difficult moments. And as president, also in difficult times,” – male mourner