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Last Updated: Monday, 30 August, 2004, 18:21 GMT 19:21 UK
Italian pensioner seeks adoption
A widowed 80-year-old teacher in Italy has taken a novel step to stop being lonely - advertising for a family willing to adopt him as a grandfather.

Giorgio Angelozzi, whose wife died 14 years ago, placed his appeal in an Italian newspaper over the weekend and has been inundated with replies.

"Families have called me from all over Italy," said Mr Angelozzi, who offered to pay 500 euros (337) a month.

Italy has seen an increase in older people living alone in recent years.

"Elderly retired school teacher seeks family willing to adopt grandfather. Will pay," read Mr Angelozzi's advertisement in the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

The classics teacher, who has lived near Rome with seven cats for company since his wife died in 1992, said he was lonely after spending his life teaching Latin and Greek to young people.

Left alone

The advertisement obviously struck a chord with dozens of families.

"So many families answered my appeal, and want me to teach their children and grandchildren Horace and Catullus," said Mr Angelozzi.

He was not expecting so much warmth and interest in his story, Mr Angelozzi said.

"But remember that my problem is one that affects so many elderly people in Italy."

Despite the traditional importance of the family in Italy, changing family structures mean more elderly relatives are left on their own.

The record heat of the summer 2003 saw 7,660 more deaths than usual, mostly among older people who lived alone.

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