In death, Italy's most outspoken politician wanted to keep his private life separate from his public life. Francesco Cossiga's will stated that he wanted to be buried in his native Sardinia and that the funeral be a private affair. Following a state ceremony in Rome, which was attended by Italy's top officials, Cossiga's remains were flown to Sassari, the Sardinian capital, were he was buried on August 19.
Over the summer, Cossiga had been in hospital in Rome, where he died at age 82, following respiratory and heart problems. He served as interior minister in the 1970s, resigning after the kidnap and murder of then prime minister Aldo Moro in 1978 by the terrorist group, the Red Brigades. He took over as prime minister from 1978 to 1980, and, after serving as president of the Republic from 1985 to 1992, he was nominated a lifetime senator.