Mattarella chooses Monza to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day

The President of the Republic took part in the inauguration of the second venue of PizzAut, the restaurant founded by Nico Acampora and run by autistic kids

The President of the Republic has chosen Monza, Sergio Mattarella, to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day. It is here, less than an hour’s drive from Milan, that the Head of State took part in theinauguration of the second local PizzAut, the restaurant founded by Nico Acampora and run by autistic kids. There is Beatrice, who was hired today on a permanent contract. Andrea, who learned to play the violin in a few months and welcomed the Head of State by playing the notes of the Ode to Joy. And then Lorenzo, who has a particular ability: just tell him any date from the past and he is able to report exactly which day of the week it is. To them, who shouted at him “Mattarella one of us”, he replied excitedly: “I’m one of you, it’s a compliment”.

After the pizzeria in Cascina de’ Pecchi, opened in 2021, defying the difficulties dictated by the Covid pandemic, today the second restaurant born from the intuition and work of Nico Acampora, father of an autistic son, saw the light who has created a project appreciated and studied all over the world. After the ribbon cutting, President Mattarella visited the kitchens of the restaurant and then stopped for lunch with Acampora and his boys, who made him an ad hoc tricolor pizza, the ‘Article 1’ with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella buffalo and rocket “because Italy is a democratic republic also founded on our work” articulated Acampora to reporters.

All the ingredients used come from land seized from the mafia and camorra “to pay homage to the president’s history”. For his part, Mattarella seems to have liked it a lot: “The pizza was exquisite, magnificent, very good and you are very good, the way of presenting it on the table was excellent. I admired your ability, you have a high level of professionalism” highlighted the Head of State, who praised PizzAut as a place “not only of example but of normality”, in which everyone “has his own way of expressing himself, of realizing himself, of experiencing a sensitivity” and where “no one is the same as another”. This is enough to fill Nico Acampora with pride, who gave Mattarella a red apron with the inscription ‘Mattarella one of us’: “Dinner and lunch with Mattarella is an extraordinary thing – he said – envy us because we spoke in a wonderful way” .

The guys from PizzAut thought of putting the president at ease: there are those who served the wine and stopped to chat with Mattarella and then dismissed him with an “okay, now I’ll let you eat”, or who, like Andrea , after having played for the Head of State he called him “his majesty”. And again, Dante, 13 years old, son of the singer of Elio e le Storie Tese who did not mince words and took the microphone saying: “When he grew up I want to work here because this is my only future.”

Meanwhile, Beatrice, who paid homage to Mattarella by giving him a portrait drawn by her, saw the future materialize today, when she signed the employment contract with Coop Lombardia to work at PizzAut: “This will be one more step towards independence ” he assured. Although many study carefully and imitate Acampora’s model, which has also received requests from the United States, Belgium and Australia, the number one of PizzAut is convinced that more can and should be done for autistic kids : “Having President Mattarella here is an important thing, because it is a sign of closeness for the 600,000 Italian families who have children with autism – he recalled -. I hope his presence will be one more step, which will stimulate the rest of the State to We hope that starting tomorrow, after Mattarella’s presence, the whole Italian system will be more present with us”.