Chef Franco Pepe, whose pizzeria won three consecutive nominations for the best pizza in Italy, was appointed Knight of the Italian Republic by President Sergio Mattarella for his work during the Covid-19 crisis. Pepe made and delivered pizzas to the homeless and elderly and promoted a fundraising campaign that bought ventilators and masks for healthcare workers. The chef has long done charitable work, usually keeping his identity secret, but he let his identity and good works be known during this crisis “in hope that it would inspire others. We all need to work together in this situation because thinking just for ourselves leads us nowhere,” he said. For his part, President Mattarella said, “Unity and social cohesion are indispensable in this condition.… In previous times we have overcome difficult and dramatic periods. We will certainly succeed -- together -- also this time.”

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