The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arrived in Florence yesterday, reuniting for the next leg of their European tour after Charles spent three days carrying out engagements in Romania. First up was a photo-op at the Ponte Vecchio bridge.
The couple then attended a reception to celebrate the centenary of the British Institute in Florence. The institute is one the world’s oldest cultural centers; this particular one is focused on promoting Anglo-Italian relations, teaching both languages and housing an impressive collection of English books and manuscripts.
Today the couple split up, with Camilla travelling to Naples where she began her day with a visit to La Gloriette, a mansion that once belonged to Camorra boss Michele Zaza and was confiscated by the state after his arrest. It’s now used as a facility for various charities, with which Camilla had the opportunity to visit today.
Daily Mail reporter Rebecca English captured this video of her arrival in the city:
At the villa Camilla took in a wall mural featuring snakes and a headless woman, a symbol of fertility that underlined Zaza’s belief that the primary function of a mafia wife was to provide children. He would likely be less than pleased, then, that today the mansion, which boasts a view of the Amalfi Coast and Mount Vesuvius is primarily used to support women’s charities and those victimized by organized crime. Camilla was given an opportunity to hear about the city’s efforts over the last few decades to eradicate crime.
At one point she asked if Naples was “winning” against the mafia and the answer, from a representative of a NGO, was, “Yes, but there is still a long way to go.”
English also captured a fashion show put on, which featured designs from former victims of human trafficking. Notice that the models were curtseying to Camilla at the end of the runway, which seems like an impressive feat of coordination to me.
Later on Camilla visited family-owned tie manufacturer E. Marinella, of which Charles is apparently a customer. The business has been based in Naples since 1914, however it opened a Mayfair, London-based shop in 2011. According to The Telegraph:
“Since its foundation, over 90 per cent of the raw materials and semi-finished products have been imported from UK suppliers.
“The tie is the traditional top seller, designed and made in Italy with fabrics and silks produced in Macclesfield – over 80 per cent of all the silk produced in Macclesfield is sold to Marinella.”
There was also a walkabout through the city, the most notable moment of which was when a pizza stand caught the Duchess’s eye by featuring a pizza that spelled out her name in cheese. Hard to miss that, but while she came over to meet the chef she didn’t try a bite.
The last stop was to the ancient town of Herculaneum to view the ruins, before she returned to Florence.
Charles, meanwhile, spent the day north in Vicenza. He visited a Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in honor of the 100th anniversary of British forces being deployed during World War I. He also walked the Path of 52 Tunnels in the mountains created by the Italian military during the war between February and November 1917. The route is over 6,000 meters long. He was later shown a demonstration by paramilitary Carabinieri police, which was covered in detail by the Daily Mail.
In the evening, for their last event, the couple attended a Wine Industry Reception in Florence. English noted on Twitter that Camilla was seen drinking Tignanello, the bran of wine Meghan Markle loves so much it inspired the name of her website, The Tig.