Franco Di Mare, the memory of his wife Giulia and his daughter Stella: “With him we smiled until the end”

Giulia Berdini, 33, is the wife and former widow of Franco Di Mare. She married on May 15 at their Roman home in Cassi, before the Rai journalist died after a long battle with mesothelioma. At Corriere della Sera she remembers how she met him in Saxa Rubra. He is a journalist, she works in a restaurant. “After exchanging a few pleasantries, always calling me a “lei”, Franco, like a good Neapolitan, invited me to eat pizza. We went there ten days later. And it was love at first sight that I didn't expect. How did I ever think I would fall in love with a man who raves about me on the first date? The Lonfo by Fosco Maraini. When he said something, Franco had a magnetic and dazzling power. Since then, every day has taught me something. Above all, listen to others. And to moderate the vehemence in favor of paying attention to the world around me. I hope to have
brought joy into his life and supported him when he needed it,” says the woman. And Giulia has a memory that she keeps close to her. “Convinced that I was sleeping, he whispered to me ear how much
he loved me and how important I was to him.”

The memory of his daughter Stella

And then Stella Di Mare, his daughter, adopted in Sarajevo, also remembers him. “Dad faced life and its difficulties with irony until the end. He made us smile even in the evening before leaving”, he explains to Corriere della Sera. Thirty years old, now a financial advisor, he says: “What did he teach me? Taking decisions with his head but also with his heart.” And again: “I was five years old, it was in the evening, at my grandparents’ house. I was in my pajamas, ready to go to sleep. It came as a surprise. He got me dressed and took me to the movies to see The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The last show. It was just him and me in the room.” “Dad – he remembers – knew how to put everyone at ease: for him only people existed, with their singularity and their richness.”

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