Francesca Tardioli, 56, Italy’s ambassador to Australia, was found dead outside her house in Foligno, Umbria. Police are investigating the incident.
Italy’s ambassador to Australia has died after falling from her third floor balcony. Francesca Tardioli was at home in Foligno, Umbria after returning to Italy for President Sergio Mattarella’s recent meeting with ambassadors at the end of his first seven-year term. She was due to return to Australia in the coming days.
The Italian news agency AGI reported she “allegedly lost her balance while leaning over the balcony”.
“Heartbreaking news on the passing of Ambassador Francesca Tardioli. Dear friend. Brilliant colleague. Greatly respected diplomat,” wrote Australia’s ambassador to Italy, Margaret Twomey, on Twitter. “Our thoughts are with her family, friends.’’
Twomey described Tardioli as one of Italy’s greatest gifts to Australia.
Messages of condolence
The embassy and Italy’s foreign affairs ministry also mourned Tardioli on social media.
‘’It is with profound sorrow that we weep for the loss of Francesca Tardioli and join the family’s grief. She was a great diplomat and servant of the State,’’ said the Italy’s foreign ministry on Twitter.
On the embassy’s website, they announced a book of condolences has been opened. “With infinite sadness, the Embassy of Italy mourns the passing of Ambassador Francesca Tardioli, an exquisite person, great diplomat, promoter of human rights. We join the family in their grief.
“For the benefit of those wishing to express condolences, a Condolences Book will be open at the Embassy of Italy (12 Grey Street, Deakin ACT 2600) from Tuesday 22 February to Friday 25 February between 10 am and 12 pm.”
There is also a virtual Book of Condolences at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tardioli had been Australian ambassador since September 2019. As well as being fluent in English and French, she had a good knowledge of German and Spanish. She joined the Italian National Diplomatic Service in 1991.