Former Conservative minister Lord Tebbit said Lord McAlpine, who has died aged 71, was "deeply upset" by the recent incorrect allegations about his private life.
Lord Tebbit told the BBC: "He had always got something interesting to say. A very cultured man, very interested in the arts, also much-travelled.
"He seemed to find a quite natural home in Italy in recent years."
Lord McAlpine was falsely implicated in abuse allegations following a BBC Newsnight investigation.
More top news
The President-elect's comments on Twitter will come under even closer scrutiny when he takes office on Friday.
Cold, quiet and calm
The eastern European country brought back conscription, is spending on defence, and is now building a wall.