Billionaire Kalikow, new US ambassador to Italy?

Peter Kalikow in his Manhattan office. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

 ROME -- The real estate guru and owner of the New York Post, Peter Kalikow is rumoured as a likely successor to John R. Phillips as the US Ambassador to Italy, diplomatic sources said Tuesday.

 Kalikow, president of H. J. Kalikow & Company, one of New York's leading real estate firms, who collects Ferraris and has financed various cultural projects in the Bel Paese, received a direct proposal from US president elect Donald Trump to move to Rome’s Villa Taverna, La Stampa writes.

 The race for the appointment of the new US ambassador to Italy is accelerating in view of the G7 meeting in May which will be hosted in the Sicilian city of Taormina. The role is still open and various names are still circulating, but according to diplomatic sources, the current favourite is Kalikow.

 Jewish of Russian origin, Peter Kalikow grew up in Queens like Trump, and his father -- not unlike Fred Trump -- was also in property.

 Kalikow was previously president of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and owns the New York Post, a tabloid which helped to construct the fame of the current US president elect. This billionaire had personally supported Trump from the very beginning of his campaign.

 The current favourite for the job has a great passion for Italy, where he has financed many cultural projects, also manifesting itself in his large collection of Ferraris.

 The man himself is already so confident in his appointment that he has tried to negotiate bringing his Ferraris with him to Rome -- however, it has been explained to him that an ambassador is not permitted to drive his own cars for security reasons.