#RoyalVisitItaly: Charles & Camilla meet the Pope, victims of trafficking & try local foods

After visiting Romania, The Prince of Wales was joined by his wife, The Duchess of Cornwall to tour Italy. The schedule included seeing the restoration of precious artwork, meeting Pope Francis and learning about local wine and food products.

Day One:

Prince Charles and Camilla have spent a few days in Italy as part of their European tour (Clarence House)

On the first day of the Italian tour, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall was reunited with her husband, who toured Romania in the days previous. Upon landing in Italy, the Prince was greeted by the Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley.

The heir to the throne and his wife began their tour with a visit to the British Institute of Florence, a cultural centre which offers courses in English, Italian and History of Art; The Duchess of Cambridge studied here briefly during her degree.

Camilla, who is a ‘longstanding advocate of literacy’, brought books for children studying English, and spent time reading aloud with the youngsters.

The couple then attended a reception, to mark the centenary of the institute.

Day Two:

The following day, The Prince of Wales attended a ceremony in Montecchio Precalcino, on behalf of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, paying tribute to those who died in the two world wars.

Meanwhile, the Duchess visited La Gloriette, a charity centre in Naples, to meet representatives from a number of charities. La Gloriette is a “property confiscated from organised crime [the mafia] , and is now run by a co-operative involved in social and education work”. ‘La casa di Alice’ became a social tailor workshop for Nigerian girls, victims of human trafficking; they staged a fashion show for the Duchess, who seemed to enjoy it.

Duchess Camilla enjoys a fashion show in Naples (Clarence House)

Later in the day, Prince Charles visited the ‘Road of 52 Tunnels’, built in 1917 to aid with communication, and transfer military supplies through mountainous terrain. During a walking tour, the Prince learnt about the tunnel’s construction and history.

Charles also paid tribute to Italian soldiers, who lost their lives in World War One, by laying a wreath in a Ossuary, which holds a memorial built in 1926. It als holds the remains of soldiers killed in the fighting between the Austria-Hungary and Italy during WWI.

Camilla then headed to the Herculaneum to hear about the preservation of this UNESCO World Heritage Site; the town was buried when Mount Versuvius erupted in 79 AD. The Duchess saw artefacts

To end a busy day, the Royal couple visited a Wine Industry reception in Florence, where they met with Tuscan wine and oil producers, and British producers looking to export food to the Italian market. This was a particularly important engagement for the Duchess, who is President of the United Kingdom Vineyards Association.

Day Three:

On the third day of ‘Royal Visit Italy’, Prince Charles visited the town of Amatrice, which was hit by a large 6.1 magnitude earthquake last August, that killed over 300 people. The Prince sported a hard hat, and was greeted by the head of Italy’s Civil Protection Agency. Charles told the town’s mayor, Sergio Pirozzi, that “the people of Britain mind very much what’s happened to you all here”.

Meanwhile, Camilla visited The Progetto Arcobaleno Association, a charity established to help those in need. The Duchess met with a group of people, being helped by the charity to learn Italian. Camilla, then moved on to St Mark’s English Church, where she was treated to a performance by the University College Oxford Choir.

Pictures show the huge swathes of people who have come out in Italy to see the Prince and Duchess.

Day Four:

The Royal couple were greeted by large crowds at Sant’Ambrogio Market on day four of their visit to Italy, where they tasted traditional Tuscan food and fresh produce. Both Charles and Camilla ordered a Cappuchino. Although, Camilla’s coffee arrived late, just as the couple had to leave. The Duchess took a sip and remarked, “I’ve not got time to drink it but it was very good”.

The couple then made their way to an event run by an old friend of Charles, Carlo Petrini, Founder of the Slow Food Movement. Slow Food is an international, grassroots organisation, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures. Charles was shown around several stalls displaying local delicacies including ham and pecorino cheese.

The Prince was fascinated by one stall displaying roveja, a type of pea which is grown high on the Sibillini mountain before being dried. Charles asked, “Where do you grow this?” The response was, “The mountain tells us where we should grow it!” As the Prince sampled locally-made cheese he said, “Oh this is just wonderful”.

After this, Charles and Camilla stopped at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, an organisation that aims to restore art work, and got to see how the lab deals with ancient and precious pieces.

Charles then visited Caritas Italiana, a pastoral group “committed to supporting vulnerable people through volunteering”. He then played ‘Tresette’, a classic Italian card game with residents.

Later in the day, Prince Charles was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd at the Palazzo Strozzi, where he attended an event at the British Council, an international organisation that promotes the UK’s culture and provides educational opportunities.

To conclude a long day, the Prince and Duchess attended a gala dinner at Palazzo Vecchio, where Charles gave a speech and accepted the Renaissance Man of the Year Award. The award aims to, “identify individuals who, over the course of their lives, have represented the Renaissance values that connect the Greek and Roman classical periods, the Enlightenment, and our own time”.

Day Five:

On the final day of the trip, Charles and Camilla visited the British School in Rome, which was founded in 1901 as a school for research into archaeology and Italian studies. The couple viewed artwork by students

They then met His Holiness Pope Francis at the Vatican. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall have met a pontiff before, when they held an audience with Pope Benedict XVI in April 2009.

Prince Charles also had a meeting with Cardinal Turkson to discuss climate change, before being shown historical documents in the Vatican Library and Secret Archives. The library preserves over 180,000 manuscripts and 1.6 million printed books.

After the visit to the Vatican, the Royal couple were treated to honours from the presidential guard, while meeting Italian President Sergio Mattarella. The Prince of Wales also met with the Italian Prime Minister, for a bilateral meeting.

The final engagement of the visit, was a trip to the Headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, where Charles attended a discussion on climate change, and met experts working on solving the East Africa Famine.

After a busy royal visit, the Prince and Duchess will now move to their final stop, of what’s being called a ‘Brexit royal charm offensive’, Austria.

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