Open main menu

Carlo Azeglio Ciampi (Italian pronunciation: [ˈkarlo adˈdzɛʎʎo ˈtʃampi] (About this soundlisten);[2] 9 December 1920[3] – 16 September 2016) was an Italian politician and banker. He was the 49th Prime Minister of Italy from 1993 to 1994 and was the tenth President of the Italian Republic from 1999 to 2006.

Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
Ciampi ritratto.jpg
10th 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
49th Prime Minister of Italy
In office
28 April 1993 – 10 May 1994
PresidentOscar Luigi Scalfaro
Preceded byGiuliano Amato
Succeeded bySilvio Berlusconi
Minister of the Treasury, Budget and
Economic Programming
In office
17 July 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
Preceded byNicola Mancino
Succeeded byRoberto Maroni
Minister of Tourism and Entertainment
In office
28 April 1993 – 10 May 1994
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
Personal details
Born(1920-12-09)9 December 1920
Livorno, Tuscany, Kingdom of Italy
Died16 September 2016(2016-09-16) (aged 95)
Rome, Latium, Italy
Political partyPdA (1943–1947)
Independent (1947–2016)[1]
Franca Pilla
(m. 1946–2016)
; his death
Alma materScuola Normale of Pisa
ProfessionEconomist, politician




Ciampi was born in Livorno (Province of 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. 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 ItalyEdit

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 careerEdit

Ciampi was the first non-parliamentarian prime minister of Italy in more than 100 years.[6] 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 (see also: Italian euro coins).[citation needed]

Ciampi chose the Vitruvian man of Leonardo da Vinci, 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]

Presidency and afterwardEdit

Ciampi meets U.S. President George W. Bush at the Quirinale Palace, April 7, 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. However, 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 have 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 – the so-called Ciampi-bis – was widely discussed, despite his advancing age, but it was officially dismissed by Ciampi himself on 3 May 2006, just a few days before his mandate expired. Ciampi resigned as President before the swearing-in ceremony of his successor, Giorgio Napolitano.

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 in Italy because of its abuse by the fascist regime.

He died in Rome on 16 September 2016 at the age of 95.[7][8][9]

Awards and honoursEdit

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


  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. ^ "Azeglio". Dizionario d'Ortografia e di Pronunzia (in Italian). Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  3. ^ East, Roger; Thomas, Richard J. (3 June 2014). "Profiles of People in Power: The World's Government Leaders". Routledge. Retrieved 6 April 2018 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Page at Senate website ‹See Tfd›(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 [it], ISBN 978-88-7642-411-3.
  6. ^ Wentworth, Richard L. (28 April 1993). "Italy Turns to a Banker to Form Government". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  7. ^ Italy's former President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi dies aged 95 Wall Street Journal
  8. ^ Former Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi dies at 95 The Guardian
  9. ^ "Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, Former Italian Prime Minister, Dies at 95". The New York Times. 16 September 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  10. ^ 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)
  11. ^ "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang, dan Pingat Persekutuan".
  12. ^ Nomination by Sovereign Ordonnance n° 331 13 December 2005 (French)
Government offices
Preceded by
Mario Ercolani
Deputy Director General of Banca d'Italia
Succeeded by
Alfredo Persiani Acerbo
Preceded by
Mario Ercolani
Director General of Banca d'Italia
Succeeded by
Lamberto Dini
Preceded by
Paolo Baffi
Governor of Banca d'Italia
Succeeded by
Antonio Fazio
Political offices
Preceded by
Margherita Boniver
Minister of Tourism and Entertainment
Succeeded by
Domenico Fisichella
Preceded by
Giuliano Amato
President of the Council of Ministers of Italy
Succeeded by
Silvio Berlusconi
Preceded by
Nicola Mancino
Minister of the Interior, a.i.
Succeeded by
Roberto Maroni
Preceded by
Lamberto Dini
as Minister of the Treasury
Minister of the Treasury, Budget and
Economic Programming

Succeeded by
Giuliano Amato
Preceded by
Mario Arcelli
as Minister of the Budget and
Economic Programming
Preceded by
Oscar Luigi Scalfaro
President of Italy
Succeeded by
Giorgio Napolitano

External linksEdit