President Mattarella Honors Four Tuscan Residents

President Sergio Mattarella

The head of state, Sergio Mattarella, will award 30 people, including four residents of Tuscany, the Merit of The Order of The Italian Republic on March 20, given to those who have displayed remarkable commitment to civil liberties and the common good of Italy.

The following are the Tuscan recipients.

Licia Baldi, 88, will be recognized for her work at the Porto Azzurro prison on the island of Elba off the coast of Tuscany. Originally a Latin, Italian, and English teacher, Baldi ended up spending much of her career providing educational opportunities to those incarcerated at the prison. She collaborated with the Italian government to establish a school, now a permanent fixture of the prison. Baldi will become a Commander of The Order of Merit of The Italian Republic.

Dario Cherici, 80, will also become a Commander of The Order of Merit of The Italian Republic for his activity as a volunteer helping in areas affected by flood damage in Tuscany. Cherici has worked with Anpas Toscana, a humanitarian relief organization, for 50 years. Cherichi started his volunteering career as a ‘mud angel’ during the infamous 1966 Florence flood, which devastated the city. More recently, Cherici has assisted those affected by flooding in Prato.

Paola Maria Tricomi, 32, is being honored for her efforts to help to ensure the rights to education for disabled people in Italy. Now a researcher at the University for Foreigners of Siena, she has championed the rights of disabled students since the beginning of her university career. Because of her determination to break down impediments and obstacles so that the right to study by the handicapped would be guaranteed, Tricomi will become a Knight of The Order of Merit of The Italian Republic.

Stefano Ungaretti, 42, with the help of his mother, established an association for the training and education of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It was founded in the memory of his father and brother, both of whom died of cardiac arrest, with the mission of bringing emergency first aid training to students in Lucca. For his selflessness and dedication in his time of grief, Ungaretti is being honored as a Knight of The Order of Merit of The Italian Republic.

These four exceptional Tuscans will receive their honors from Mattarella at the Palazzo del Quirinale in Rome at 4:30 pm. (Amaya Gallay)