Monday, February 6, 2012

Giorgio Napolitano

Giorgio Napolitano (born 29 June 1925) is an Italian politician who has been the 11th President of Italy since 2006. A long-time member of the Italian Communist Party and later the Democrats of the Left, he served as President of the Chamber of Deputies from 1992 to 1994 and as Minister of the Interior from 1996 to 1998. He has often been nicknamed "Re Umberto," which translates to "King Umberto." This came about from his phsycial likeness to Umberto II of Italy and for his incredible manners. He has also been known as "Il Principe Rosso," which can be translated to red prince. This comes from his communist beliefs. 

Appointed as a Senator for life in 2005, he was subsequently elected as President of Italy on 10 May 2006; his term started with the swearing-in ceremony held on 15 May 2006. He is the first President of Italy to have been a member of the Italian Communist Party.

Early Life
Giorgio Napolitano was born in Naples. In 1942 he matriculated at the University of Naples Federico II. He adhered to the local University Fascist Youth ("Gioventù Universitaria Fascista"), where he met his core group of friends, who shared his opposition to Italian fascism. As he would later state, the group "was in fact a true breeding ground of anti-fascist intellectual energies, disguised and to a certain extent tolerated".

A theatre enthusiast since high school, during his university years he contributed a theatrical review to the IX Maggio weekly magazine, and had small parts in plays organised by the Gioventù Universitaria Fascista itself. He played in a comedy by Salvatore Di Giacomo at Teatro Mercadante in Naples. Napolitano dreamed of being an actor and spent his early years performing in several productions at the Teatro Mercadante.[citation needed] He later measured himself against Joyce and Eliot.

Napolitano has often been cited as the author of a collection of sonnets in Neapolitan language, published under the pseudonym Tommaso Pignatelli, entitled "Pe cupià ’o chiarfo" ("To mimic the downpour"). He denied this in 1997 and, again, on the occasion of his presidential election, when his staff described the attribution of authorship to Napolitano as a "journalistic myth". However, he published his first book called Movimento operaio e industria di Stato, which can be translated to Workers' Movement and State Industry in 1962.

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