Italians are mourning the loss of a notable public official in their country, Guido Rhodio.
The former president of Calabria passed away at the age of 87.
Calabria - the "toe" of Italy's boot - is an economically depressed region in southern Italy, known for its pastoral scenery, crystal clear water and ancient villages. Catanzaro is the capital of the region, home to 2 million people.
Calabria is one of the 20 regions in Italy, all of which are governed by their own legislature and president.
Rhodio, a former journalist and teacher, served as mayor of his native town Squillace for some time. He was president of Calabria from 1992 to 1994.
A member of the Christian Democrats, a centrist Catholic party, he was noted for his role in promoting Catholic culture and the culture of the Calabria region. He was the founder of the Institute of Studies on Cassiodorus, named for the ancient Christian scholar and statesman from Calabria.
Tributes to Rhodio came from all throughout Italy's political scene, with many praising him as a skilled administrator and a refined man who was loyal to the Calabria region.
Wanda Ferro, Undersecretary of the Interior and a former president of Catanzaro, called Rhodio "one of the great protagonists of [Calabria's] political history" and a man "of great cultural depth."
"I have always admired his human qualities, his political skills, his boundless love for the territory, which led him to be a reference for the administrators of the district. I too, as President of the Province, had the privilege of dealing with a mayor of great experience and competence, who has always shown proactive ability and willingness to institutional collaboration in the interest of citizens. I extend my most affectionate closeness to his family."
The current mayor of Catanzaro Nicola Fiorita, also shared his condolences, calling Rhodio "a person of great humanity and elegance."
"To his family, today I reach the senses of my sincere and profound condolences, to which I add those of the entire capital city of the region."
The current president of Calabria, Roberto Occhiuto, called Rhodio "one of the leading regional exponents of Catholic culture, but also a man of refined culture, interpreter of institutions and of a policy always understood as service, search for solutions and constructive confrontation."
"To the family and community of Squillace, his hometown, our sincere closeness."