Rome ceremony to unveil plaque cut short over typo in former Italian president's name

Ciampi's name spelt wrong on city plaque.

A ceremony in Rome to name part of the capital after former Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi did not go according to plan this morning over a misspelling on the plaque.

Rome mayor Virginia Raggi was joined by Italy's incumbent president Sergio Mattarella at the inauguration ceremony on Lungotevere Aventino, part of which was renamed today as Largo Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.

Also present were Ciampi's son and daughter, Claudio and Gabriella, along with the president of Italy's chamber of deputies, Roberto Fico, and the president of the senate, Elisabetta Casellati.

To the dismay of those assembled, a city hall official announced that it would not be possible to unveil the marble plaque today as it had been chipped.

However a see-through drape over the plaque revealed the real reason that it would not be unveiled: the former president's name was misspelt. The plaque referred to Ciampi as "Carlo Azelio" - minus the "g" in Azeglio.

The distinguished guests left the ceremony without seeing the plaque in honour of Ciampi, however, by early afternoon a replacement plaque had been installed. This time with the former president's name spelt correctly.

"I was notified this morning, I immediately gave the order to proceed with a new plaque which in fact is already in its place now," said Raggi on the sidelines of a press conference at city hall.

However the political damage was already done, with critics pouncing on the gaffe, including Rome mayoral candidate Carlo Calenda who, on Twitter, described the "chipped" excuse given by city hall as a "lie."

A former Italian prime minister and governor of the Bank of Italy, Ciampi served as a hugely popular head of state from 1999 to 2006. He died in 2016.