EFEBy Andrea Cuesta Rome

A decade after Laura Belloti became a pen pal to a Florida death row inmate, the 73-year-old boarded a plane and crossed the Atlantic to meet the person with whom she had forged a “beautiful friendship.”

Stefania Tallei, one of the organizers of the project by the Sant'Egidio charity, told Efe that the ethos of the scheme was to offer inmates a way of reconnecting with society.

The idea first emerged in 1995 when one of Tallei’s colleagues found an advert in an Italian newspaper posted by a United States prisoner who had been handed a death sentence.

The request was simple: Write to me, I know you cannot do much for me, but you can write to me.