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Visit of H.S.H. Prince Albert II to Basilicata and Campania (Italy) 3 and 4 October 2022

As part of His regular visits to territories historically linked to His family, H.S.H. Prince Albert II visited the regions of Basilicata and Campania in Southern Italy on 3 and 4 October 2022.

The municipalities of Ripacandida and Monteverde are part of the network of Grimaldi Historical Sites of Monaco. In 1524, the Grimaldis of Monaco placed themselves under the protection of Habsburg Spain. In 1532, in order to consolidate the alliance, Emperor Charles V, who also controlled the south of the Italian peninsula as King of Naples, granted the lords of Monaco a number of fiefdoms.

On Monday 3 October, H.S.H. the Prince visited Ripacandida, a town in the province of Potenza in Basilicata. Welcomed at the entrance to the town by the mayor, Giuseppe Sarcuno, the Sovereign Prince unveiled the sign indicating that the town belongs to the network of "Grimaldi Historical Sites of Monaco". Then, guided by the Mayor, the Prince met the town's elected representatives in the Town Hall before walking to the Place du Peuple to listen to the speeches made by the Mayor, the President of the Region Vito Bardi, and the Prefect Michele Campanaro. The Prince in turn thanked the municipality and the local authorities for the warm welcome he had received, and also evoked the age-old links between the Principality and Ripacandida. He then unveiled the plaque commemorating His visit and officially named the Belvedere of the Princes of Monaco.

A little later, the Prince walked to the Palazzo Lioy, a residence that belonged to a noble family who served the Lords of Monaco. On this occasion, the Lioy family presented him with an archive of great interest: the original of a beautiful doctorate diploma from the University of Naples, awarded to one of their ancestors in 1609, at the time when the sovereigns of Monaco were lords of Ripacandida. The diploma features, among other things, the Grimaldis' coat of arms.

H.S.H. the Prince continued his day with a visit to the Sanctuary of San Donato, a former Franciscan convent dating from the 15th century, classified as a national monument since December 2010. In the gardens of the sanctuary, the Sovereign and His delegation took part in a country lunch offered by the town hall of Ripacandida.

The day ended with a dinner attended by the Monegasque delegation and the mayors of Ripacandida, Monteverde, Canosa and Terlizzi.

On Tuesday 4 October, H.S.H. Prince Albert visited Monteverde, a town in the province of Avellino in Campania. At the entrance to this town of 460 inhabitants, the Sovereign, accompanied by the mayor, Mr Antonio Vella, unveiled the sign indicating that it belongs to the network of "Grimaldi Historical Sites of Monaco".

He then visited the Castello Baronale (Principi Grimaldi), built in the 9th century by the Lombards, which was the seat of the Prince’s fiefdom. In front of the building, the Prince and His delegation listened to the Monegasque and Italian anthems performed by a local orchestra, followed by the village children singing a verse of the Monegasque anthem a cappella.

In the  castle entrance, the Sovereign Prince unveiled a plaque commemorating His visit, in the presence of Paola Spena, Prefect of Avellino, Vincenzo De Luca, President of the Campania Region, and the Mayor. Inside the building, the Prince was able to admire the remains of a fresco representing the coat of arms of His ancestors.

A little later, the Sovereign walked through the streets of the village to meet the locals, who had turned out in great numbers and were very enthusiastic to celebrate the friendship and historical links between the Principality and Monteverde.

The Prince’s visit to the South of Italy ended with a lunch offered by the municipality during which H.S.H. the Prince and His delegation sampled regional specialities.

Visit of H.S.H. Prince Albert II  to Basilicata and Campania (Italy) 3 and 4 October 2022