Milan (Italy): Former United States President Barack Obama arrived in Milan on Monday for a two-day visit during which he will give a talk on climate change and receive the freedom of the city.
Italian Air Force representatives were on hand at Linate military airport Monday morning to welcome the former American President, who arrived looking relaxed and stylish in an open-necked white skirt and natty black jacket.
A 14-car convoy escorted Obama into the northern business capital, to the Park Hyatt Hotel where he is staying. A crowd of several hundred people turned out to catch sight of the former US President when he arrived.
Obama later stepped out to do some sightseeing, visiting Milan’s cathedral and the 17th-century Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, which houses masterpieces including The Musician by Leonardo, The Basket of Fruit by Caravaggio and Titian’s Adoration of the Magi.
He was due to hold a private meeting on Monday at his hotel with Matteo Renzi, Italy’s ex-Premier and leader of Italy’s centre-left Democratic Party and to go with Renzi to a dinner hosted by the Institute for International Political Studies.
“The two leaders were close partners and became good friends while in office,” his spokesman said in a statement.
Obama will on Tuesday give a keynote address and take questions at the ‘Seeds and Chips Global Food Innovation Summit’ whose theme this is the impact technology and innovation on climate change and food availability.
Milan’s centre-left Mayor Giuseppe Sala will hand Obama the keys to the city during his stay.
Obama’s visit to Italy comes a day after he made a plea to Senate Republicans to save his Obamacare healthcare programme, which House Republicans last week passed a bill to repeal.
His climate speech comes as US President Donald Trump is mulling whether to pull his country out of the Paris climate change agreement, a landmark accord which was championed by Obama.
Trump has already signed executive orders rolling back Obama’s climate regulations since taking office in January.