Flavia Franzoni and Romano Prodi: 60 Years of Love
Flavia Franzoni died yesterday at 76 years old in Umbria while she was walking on a Franciscan path between Gubbio and Assisi with some friends and her husband Romano Prodi. It was around 3pm when the professor of Political Sciences, who had been suffering from heart problems for some time, suddenly fell, maybe due to a faint. The rescue attempts and efforts to revive her were all in vain. It was the former Prime Minister, together with his two sons Antonio and Giorgio, who announced “with enormous pain” the death of his wife. An unexpected tragedy that arrived after 54 years of marriage. The two had got married on the 31st of May, 1969. Since then, every year, on their anniversary, Romano gave Flavia a bouquet of red roses. He also did so in Vienna on New Year’s Eve, 2002: that’s how he spent his first 32 euros.
Family First: 54 Years of Marriage and Two Children
Flavia and Romano, parents of two children and grandparents of six grandchildren (Chiara, Benedetta, Maddalena, Davide, Giacomo and Tommaso) spent a life together. And Together, not by chance, was the title of the couple’s biography published in 2015. A fork in the road of their life together was when the doors to Palazzo Chigi opened for Prodi. Flavia adapted to the role of the first lady, but in her own way, with rigor and never taking the spotlight. Franzoni never wanted to live in Palazzo Chigi, or in Brussels. And she laughed in 2013 when Prodi was running for the Quirinale: “With all those rooms”… Then, after the failed election of her husband as President of the Republic (due to the famous 101 free shooters), she dismissed the matter with a joke: “How would Romano have been at the Quirinale? I don’t know. He always says what he thinks, someone who is the President of the Republic instead… “.
The Trick? Maintenance: 60 Years of Love and 54 of Marriage
Flavia and Romano had met in Reggio Emilia at the University. But, as Prodi himself told, it was not love at first sight for her: “We were neighbors and I courted her. She was beautiful, I was ugly, but after three years I made it and today we are here. The trick? Maintenance. The secret is the maintenance of affections, necessary, because in life there are always difficulties and inconveniences but if there is affection everything is overcome“. Together they had overcome, until the other day, even her health problems. Franzoni had been suffering from heart problems for some time. In 2003 the first operation for an aortic aneurysm. Prodi spoke more than once about this matter, confessing to have “been afraid” for his wife’s life. Another incident in 2010, when Flavia went for what was supposed to be a routine exam, but she was kept in the hospital and urgently operated at Sant’Orsola. Prodi stayed at his wife’s bedside all the time.