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Rome's 'Chef of the Poor' dies age 91

Rome mayor leads tributes to "hero of our times"

Dino Impagliazzo, known as Rome's 'Chef of the Poor', has died in the capital age 91.

Founder of the RomAmoR association, Impagliazzo fed up to 300 homeless people a day in the city's railway stations, helped by a team of volunteers and donations from food shops, restaurants and bakeries.

Rome mayor Virginia Raggi has led tributes to Impagliazzo, saying "he dedicated his life to help the weakest and most fragile people", while Lazio governor Nicola Zingaretti hailed him as "a man who knew how to love and help everyone."

The indefatigable charity worker was a long-term member of Rome's S. Egidio community, a lay Catholic charity devoted to social service, whose president is his son Marco.

President Mattarella awarding honours to Dino Impagliazzo in 2019

Impagliazzo was praised for his work with the homeless by Pope Francis as well as receiving a "Hero of Our Times" award from Italian president Sergio Mattarella, in recognition of his charitable activities.

Impagliazzo's mission began in 2007 when a homeless man at a Rome train station asked him for money to buy a sandwich.

This prompted Impagliazzo to start making sandwiches which he distributed to the poor with the help of his family and friends, leading to the creation of RomAmor which today comprises about 300 volunteers.

Originally from the island of Maddalena, Impagliazzo leaves behind his wife Fernanda and four children, all of whom are involved in social work.

His funeral will be celebrated on Tuesday 27 July at 11.00 in the church of S. Maria in Trastevere.

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Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia