The wife of an 81-year-old Italian man whom he serenaded from beneath her hospital window has died.
Earlier this month Stefano Bozzini, who was unable to visit his wife, Carla, in hospital due to Covid-19 restrictions, touched the hearts of many after he was filmed playing songs that had defined their love on his accordion in the courtyard of the hospital in Castel San Giovanni, a town in Piacenza province.
Bozzini, a retired member of the Italian army’s Alpini mountain infantry, told the local press that he had lost his “alpine star”. The couple had been married for 47 years.
Carla, 74, spent 10 days in the hospital as she underwent tests for cancer and was discharged the day after her husband’s romantic gesture. The hospital does not treat Covid patients but visitors are banned in case they bring the virus in.
Speaking to the Guardian on 10 November, Bozzini said he had simply followed his heart on the day of the serenade.
“I did it for Carla – to show her how much I love her and to thank her for all she has given me,” he said. “I wasn’t able to see her in hospital and so went to the courtyard with the accordion – my heart told me to go. After she heard the music she looked out of the window, so at least I got to see her.”
The first song he played was Spanish Eyes by Engelbert Humperdinck.
“She was so in love with that song, I play it all the time at home,” he said. “I played others that everyone knows, one song after the other, I didn’t stop. A lot of the sick people in the hospital were looking out of their windows.”
He was filmed by his son, Maurizio, in a clip that was widely shared online.
“In that serenade we all recognised love, in the simplicity and immediacy of its universal language,” Patrizia Barbieri, the mayor of Piacenza, wrote on Facebook. “The disease broke their embrace … with a special thought to them both and on behalf of the entire Piacenza community, I want to thank Stefano for a gesture of tenderness that remind us of what it really means to love – you do everything to ensure that the other person doesn’t feel alone, finding a way to overcome any barrier.”
The couple met when they were in their 20s and went on to have three children but lost their youngest, Marco, to cancer at the age of 25.