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Guest Character Profiles > Franco Silvani Gary Down

Franco Silvani 2008
Marital Status: Patrizia
Children: Mia and Marco
Occupation: Fruit & Veg Supplier

Hard-working and traditional, Franco Silvani's family meant everything to him. After raising his children, Mia and Marco, and building up his successful fruit and vegetable supply business over many years, Franco hoped to pass it down to his son and from there it would continue down the generations. Marco had plans of his own, however, preferring to take over the local General Store and turn it into a successful eatery, but opting not to tell his dad the truth until the business was making good money, and so continuing to help with the fruit and veg deliveries whilst cooking at the store. When Franco learnt the truth about why Marco was suddenly so tired all the time, he went to Ramsay Street, where Marco was now living with girlfriend Carmella Cammeniti and her baby daughter Chloe. After chatting to Carmella, who was unaware of Franco's identity, he later visited the General Store, angrily telling Marco that he couldn't work for two businesses, and would have to give up the store, making matters worse when he called Carmella 'a distraction' and questioned his son's involvement with a girl who had a child by another man. Marco quickly took his dad to the bar for a chat, and the real reason for Franco's concern became clear - he'd recently suffered a heart attack and needed Marco's help. Unable to turn his dad away, Marco broke the news to Carmella that he'd be giving up the store to return to the family business full-time.

Though Carmella understood Marco's reasons, she was worried about his giving up on his dream and got in touch with Franco. The pair met at the bar, where Franco agreed with Carmella's concerns and offered to speak to his son, but later he turned up at the General Store, furious that Carmella had tried to tell him what was best for his own family. As Franco worked himself into a state, accusing Marco of valuing his new family more than his old one, he then became dizzy and had to take some of his heart medication. As Franco went outside to get some fresh air, Carmella was left to apologise to her boyfriend for interfering. Franco continued to use his symptoms to emotionally blackmail Marco into making a trip up to Queensland to meet with a supplier, however, when he later accidentally knocked his pills into Chloe's pram, Carmella's cousin Sienna realised that they were actually just mints. Upon this revelation, Marco refused to have anything more to do with his father, so Franco turned to Carmella in the hope that she could talk some sense into her boyfriend. Carmella tried reminding Marco that he had secrets of his own - the fact that he couldn't have children - but Marco insisted that he hadn't told his father this because it would devastate him, knowing that the Silvani name would not continue. Later, however, Marco met with his dad as he was preparing to go to Queensland, and told him that he was infertile, and that he'd kept this to himself as he was scared and ashamed.

Unsure of how his dad was taking the news, Marco headed back to work, where Franco visited him and admitted that Marco's infertility could be his fault, as he hadn't had his children immunised when they were young. Marco angrily refused to forgive his dad for this, but after finding out that the mumps weren't to blame for Marco's condition, Carmella asked Franco to come over and babysit, and Marco arrived home to find his dad there. Finally bonding over a shared love of Chloe, Franco and Marco patched up their differences.

Only days later, the Silvani family went into mourning when Marco was badly injured in a bushfire and died in hospital soon after. At the funeral, Patrizia took her anger out on Carmella, blaming her for the loss and berating her for wearing a green dress to a funeral, though it was Marco's favourite. Later, Franco struggled to speak as he stood in front of the assembled family and friends, so his wife finished the speech for him, before inviting Uncle Gino to say a few words, at which point Carmella, guided by Marco's spirit, walked towards the coffin, singing Amazing Grace. Afterwards, Patrizia and Franco spoke to Carmella, apologising and telling her that they would be very grateful if she and Chloe would visit them from time to time.

Biography by Steve