The two Bolognese were among 33 people honoured in the Quirinale by President Sergio Mattarella. One is the founder of the Cucine Popolari, and the other is the policeman who came to the aid of those during the huge firebomb on the bridge at Borgo Panigale.
They put their lives at the service of others. Even at the risk of losing it. And it is to these civic heroes, Roberto Morgantini and Riccardo Muci, who Sergio Mattarella awarded Italy’s top civil honours.
Roberto Morgantini was awarded the title of ‘Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic’, “For his invaluable contribution to the promotion of a supportive and inclusive society.”
Police officer, Riccardo Muci was honoured as a ‘Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic’ “For his courage and altruism with which, without hesitation, he worked to provide relief during the August 6 incident on the Casalecchio motorway junction.” He was wounded too but during his hospitalization period at Bufalini hospital in Cesena, Prime Minister Conte paid him a visit.
Before founding the Cucine Popolari, Morgantini was a very active member of the CGIL Union. In 2015, after 38 years of life together, he asked his partner Elvira Segreto to marry him and instead of a wedding list, they asked friends for a donation to give shape to his dream of helping the needy around the city. The first one was opened in via del Battiferro, to which two others were added in via Sacco 16 and in via Ludovico Berti. Among the three kitchens, 100 volunteers work and prepare 2800 meals a month.
A little over thirty years old, Muci hails from Copertino, in the province of Lecce. During the terrible explosion on August 6th, he rescued and saved many lives. In those dramatic first four minutes of the incident, the agent immediately understood what had happened. He got out of his car and started to help the injured people on the highway, and while he was shouting to the passers-by standing in the street below to get away, to escape because of the potential of a large explosion. The shock wave knocked him flying for twenty meters and sustained severe burns all over his body, but despite the pain he did not abandon his post and continued to save lives. He was operated on urgently at the Bufalini, where he received a visit from the Prime Minister Conte some days later.