From far and wide they came for a last glimpse of Pavarotti

By Peter Popham in Rome
Published: 08 September 2007

Plunged into mourning by the death of its most famous son Luciano Pavarotti, the city of Modena is bracing itself for a huge influx of devotees of the great singer for his funeral this afternoon.

The coffin bearing the singer’s body was brought to the city’s Romanesque cathedral at nine o’clock on Thursday evening, 14 hours after his death. The crowd that had gathered in the cathedral piazza accorded it – together with the singer’s widow, Nicoletta Mantovani, and Pavarotti’s three daughters by his first marriage who accompanied it – a long, solemn round of applause.

In death as in life Pavarotti wore his concert platform uniform: a black dinner jacket with white bow tie. In one hand he held a rosary, in the other the oversize white handkerchief that was one of his trademarks. Soon a long line had formed outside the cathedral and by midnight more than 9,000 people had paid their respects. A city-wide state of mourning was declared. (more. . . )