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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall spend a final day in Florence

3rd April 2017

Their Royal Highnesses at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure

Their Royal Highnesses at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall started their final day in Florence touring Sant’Ambrogio Market.

Their Royal Highnesses tasted some traditional Tuscan food and fresh produce, and started their morning with an Italian coffee at the market’s Café Barni. In accordance with Italian tradition, The Prince and The Duchess sipped their coffees while standing at the bar.

The visit to the market highlighted the produce of Italy as Their Royal Highnesses toured the indoor market and a nearby restaurant and theatre.

The Theatro Del Sale featured produce from Italian regions devastated by recent earthquakes on display, including cold meats, craft beers, bread and cheeses.

Food campaigner Carlo Petrini, who started the Slow Food movement with a group of activists in the 1980’s to defend regional produce, took His Royal Highness around the displays.

The Prince and The Duchess then attended an event showcasing products from the Italian wool industry at the Palazzo Pitti.

Their Royal Highnesses viewed product demonstrations and heard about innovation in the wool industry. Also in attendance were representatives from The Prince’s Campaign for Wool, an organisation that was launched in 2010 by His Royal Highness with the aim of expanding and promoting the market for British and Commonwealth wool and promote its environmental benefits. 

It was then on to the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, a global leader in the field of art restoration. Their Royal Highnesses toured the public institution, including the state of the art restoration laboratories, and saw some of the restoration work in action.

Later, The Prince of Wales visited the Caritas centre and met some of the people who are being supported by this pastoral organisation. Caritas is committed to supporting vulnerable people through volunteering.

During the visit His Royal Highness played the classic Italian card game ‘Tresette’ with some of the residents.

His Royal Highness also attended an event at the beautiful Palazzo Strozzi to celebrate the work of the British Council in the arts in Italy.

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.

In the evening, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended a Gala Dinner at the Palazzo Vecchio. The dinner was held by the Mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, and the Palazzo Strozzi foundation, an organisation that works to stage art and cultural events in the Italian city.

At the event, The Prince of Wales was presented with the ‘Renaissance Man of the Year Award’, given to those who embody the Renaissance values of enlightened patronage and support for culture.

The Prince said of the relationship between Italy and the UK: "It is also a force for good in the world.

"The United Kingdom and Italy are Europe's two biggest contributors to global peacekeeping.

"Together, we are fighting Daesh; tackling the challenges of mass migration and climate change; and striving to defend the values we share - of pluralism, democracy and human rights.

"All of this is possible because of the rich exchange of ideas that has for centuries been a bridge between us.

"So many of those ideas - which have shaped both our countries, and indeed shaped the world we share - emerged or were rediscovered here in Florence during the remarkable years of the Renaissance.”

A speech by HRH The Prince of Wales for the Strozzi Foundation 'Renaissance Man of the Year Award' in Florence

Published on 3rd April 2017

Signore e signori. Non potete immaginare che piacere sia per me e mia moglie essere nuovamente qui a Firenze. Inutile dire quanto sia onorato e lusingato di ricevere questo premio. 

Now Ladies and Gentlemen, when I heard that you wished to present it to me, I turned to the Oxford English Dictionary to find that Renaissance Man is defined as “a person with many talents or interests, especially in the humanities.”  In my case, I fear I have many more interests than talents – which is why I feel so greatly honoured to be given such an award in the city of the Strozzis and the Medicis, the home of the Renaissance. 
It is one of those extraordinary coincidences in life that both my wife and I had grandmothers whose grandmother, or mother, had a villa in Florence (in my wife's case the Villa Ombrellino - which I now hear is in desperate  states - and in mine the Villa Capponi) which they used to visit as children.  Both our grandmothers were born, coincidentally, in the same year and even went to the same school.  Both used to remember being taken to visit the Uffizi or Pitti Palace to look at the works of art – but never more than one or two paintings at a time in order to avoid putting the grandchildren off!
My great, great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria, of course used to stay at the Villa Palmieri, so perhaps it is hardly surprising that like so many before us, we have both been in love with Florence ever since we first came here.  So when, very nearly thirty years ago, I was i ...

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