Florence is having a really royal week. On March 31, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrived in Florence for a week of Italian sightseeing.

 

First stop was at the British Institute of Florence to attend the centenary celebrations of the learning centre, of which the Prince of Wales is Patron. Before reaching the headquarters along lungarno Guicciardini, the royals enjoyed an early evening walk over Ponte Santa Trinita accompanied by the British Ambassador to Italy Jill Morris and Florence tour guide and lecturer at the British Institute Alexandra Lawrence (also former Managing Editor of The Florentine). At the British Institute the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall met students, attended an art history lecture and unveiled a bookish statue "Shakespeare in White" by Lorenzo Perrone.

 

On Saturday April 1, the royal couple attended separate commitments: the Prince of Wales visited military sites in Vicenza, while the Duchess of Cornwall headed to Naples to visit a community group and the Ercolano archaeological remains. The royal highnesses were reunited at luxury hotel Belmond Villa San Michele, just outside Florence, for a taste of Tuscany's top wines, including Biondi Santi, Fontodi and Antinori.

 

The following morning, on Sunday April 2, Prince Charles visited earthquake-struck Amatrice, the town's operations centre, memorial ground, temporary homes, Save The Children pavilion and school, and the new canteen. Meanwhile, the Duchess of Cornwall remained in Florence for a 40-minute visit to the Associazione Progetto Arcobaleno volunteer group, morning mass at St. Mark's English Church and an exclusive walk along the Vasari Corridor.

 

On April 3, their royal highnesses enjoyed some of the highlights of Florence, including a visit to Sant'Ambrogio food market, Teatro del Sale, in collaboration with Slow Food, a walk through piazza Duomo and some marvelling at the city's restoration laboratory Opificio delle Pietre Dure before the opportunity to meet Italy's fashion designers with a focus on wool in Palazzo Pitti's White Room. The Prince of Wales then sat down for a game of cards at Florentine charity Caritas before being awarded "Renaissance Man of the Year" by Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi. The day will conclude with a gala dinner in the Palazzo Vecchio's Salone dei Cinquecento.

 

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will conclude their Italian tour in Rome on April 4 and 5, with visits planned to the Vatican, the British School, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

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