First Lady Melania Trump seemed to enjoy her visit of the Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital in Rome on Wednesday, spending time chatting, playing and taking selfies with the hospital’s young patients.
Trump met young patients from nine different countries—including Iraq and Nepal—who were among the roughly 600 patients the hospital can accommodate. The first pediatric hospital in Italy, the facility is now run by the Catholic Church but provides completely free health care, as well as housing around 3,500 families. It’s also the largest pediatric research center in Europe.
The children broke the ice by greeting the First Lady in unison with a “Ciao Melania!” Without missing a beat, Trump replied in Italian, a language she picked up while working as a model in Milan in her youth. The First Lady had barely entered the room before she received her first selfie request.
“People love you” said the hospital president Mariella Enoc, remarking on the warm welcome. The hospital staff witnessed a First Lady who was respectful and engaging with the children. A former design student, Trump showed off her artistic skills by drawing flowers for the children and received a number of drawings in return, including one reading “All children are the same,” and even some kisses.
To some of the most veteran hospital staff, Trump’s behavior reminded them of Lady Diana, who too had visited the facility in 1985. The affectionate welcome even wore off on the security detail who, nervous at first at the presence of so many people, eventually relaxed.
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