Italian Ambassador to Holy See Takes Leave of Holy Father

Pietro Sebastiani Is succeeded by Francesco Di Nitto

Ambassador to Holy See
Ambassador Sebastiani at the event promoted on the fight against pedophilia last May © Andrea Acali / Exaudi

The Holy Father received in audience today Italy’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Pietro Sebastiani, on a farewell visit. The change of guard at the Borromeo Palace was announced, in fact, before Christmas. It was the President of the Republic himself, during his farewell visit, to present informally to Pope Francis the next Italian representative, Ambassador Francesco Di Nitto. In fact, Di Nitto accompanied President Mattarella in his capacity of Deputy Diplomatic Adviser to the Presidency of the Republic. Di Nitto has been working at the Quirinale Palace since 2013.

Sebastiani Has Been at the Borromeo Palace since 2017

 Sebastiani, who will be 65 in March, is married to Maria Cristina Finucci, artist, architect, and designer. They have four children and five grandchildren. The Ambassador has been at the head of the Italian delegation to the Holy See since September 21, 2017. In over four years he has been promoter of numerous cultural initiatives, which also contributed to enhancing the Borromeo Palace, headquarters of the Italian diplomatic delegation. Sebastiani has been in diplomacy since 1984 and has held numerous posts, including that of Ambassador in Spain. He was quite clear about his future in a Tweet: “Retirement awaits me very soon.”

The New Ambassador

 Francesco Di Nitto is 59. He has a degree in Economics and Commerce from Luiss University. Before working at the Quirinale, from May 2011 he was Deputy Diplomatic Adviser to the President of the Council, at the time Mario Monti. In his work at the Presidency of the Republic, he worked with the Director of the Office for Diplomatic Affairs, Antonio Zanardi Landi, who in turn was Ambassador to the Holy See from 2004 to 2010.

For the new Ambassador, it means a return to the Borromeo Palace, where he had been already from November 2007 to 2011 as the Embassy’s First Adviser. In his rich Curriculum, he also boasts of the post, in the nineties, of Consul in Jerusalem.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester