Italian President Sergio Mattarella Begins Week-Long Visit to US

Sergio Mattarella will meet President Obama at the White House.

ROME — -- Italian President Sergio Mattarella will meet President Obama at the White House today as part of his first seven-day official visit to the United States during which he will visit Washington, New York and Houston.

Italian presidential meetings with U.S. presidents are always treated with great pride and given much attention in the Italian media. Mattarella's visit has been one of the lead stories on the Italian news broadcasts since his Saturday departure for the United States.

Economic matters affecting Europe may also be a topic of discussion at today’s meetings between the leaders, along with a more detailed exchange of views on the yet-to-be-finalized Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Mattarella served as minister of education and defense during his parliamentary career and then was elected judge on the constitutional court in 2011 prior to being elected president of the republic in 2015.

Mattarella paid homage to the late President John Kennedy Sunday, placing a wreath on his tombstone at the military cemetery in Arlington and visited Washington’s National Gallery, which he told reporters was “splendid.”

Mattarella is also expected to visit Columbia University, Ellis Island, Ground Zero and the Johnson Space Center during his visit.