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Visit of H.S.H. Prince Albert II to Piedmont and Liguria

As part of His regular visits to territories historically linked to His family, H.S.H. Prince Albert II visited the Piedmont and Liguria regions of Italy on Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 June 2023.

On the morning of 26th June, H.S.H. the Prince visited the municipality of Pianezza, in the province of Turin. Accompanied by the mayor, Antonio Castello, the Sovereign unveiled the sign at the entrance to the municipality indicating that it belongs to the network of "Grimaldi Historic Sites of Monaco". After meeting the local authorities at the town hall, the Prince unveiled a plaque commemorating His visit and was then presented with honorary citizenship. He then visited the 11th century Pieve di San Pietro monastery before touring the Villa Lascaris, built on the former site of the Pianezza castle built in 1000 AD by the bishops of Turin. In the grounds of the villa, the Monegasque delegation took part in a tasting of local produce in the presence of the region's highest authorities.

In the early afternoon, the Prince and His delegation were received in Livorno Ferraris, a town in the province of Verceil in Piedmont. After unveiling the sign indicating that the town belongs to the network of "Grimaldi Historic Sites of Monaco", the Prince headed to the town hall square to attend an official ceremony in the presence of the mayor, Franco Sandra, and the local population, where he was presented with honorary citizenship. The Sovereign also visited the Ferraris Museum and the Archaeological Museum.

Pianezza and Livorno Ferraris are two former possessions of Charles-Emmanuel Philibert de Simiane, Marquis of Pianezza and Livorno, who, through his marriage in 1659 to Jeanne-Marie Grimaldi, granddaughter of Prince Honoré II of Monaco and sister of Prince Louis I, became allied with the Monegasque princely family.

After visiting these two Piedmontese towns affiliated to the "Grimaldi Historic Sites of Monaco", H.S.H. Prince Albert II continued his visit to Italy with an early evening visit to Genoa.

The Sovereign was welcomed to the Palazzo Doria-Tursi by the city's mayor, Marco Bucci, to attend an official ceremony during which he received the honorary title of Ambassador of the "Paganini Award". Also present at the ceremony were the President of the Liguria Region, Giovanni Toti, the President of the 'Premio Paganini', Giovanni Panebianco, and other Ambassadors of this prestigious competition. The Premio Paganini, created in 1954, is one of the most important violin competitions in the world. It is a tribute to the legendary violinist, who was born in Genoa in 1782 and died in Nice in 1840.

The Sovereign Prince and His delegation then visited the "Paganiniana" room, which houses the famous "Il Cannone" violin made by Guarneri del Gesù in 1743, which Niccolò Paganini preferred to all the others he owned because of its powerful sound. 

The evening ended with a gala dinner at the Palazzo della Borsa, organised by the Consulate of Monaco in Genoa in aid of the Prince Albert II Foundation.

On Tuesday 27 June, H.S.H. the Prince visited Rocca Grimalda, a small village in the province of Alessandria in Piedmont. Purchased in the 16th century by a branch of the Grimaldi family of Genoa, the commune and its castle remained their property for 250 years. Accompanied by the mayor, Enzo Cacciola, the Prince unveiled the sign indicating that it belongs to the network of "Grimaldi Historic Sites of Monaco". Then, after unveiling a plaque commemorating His visit, the mayor presented Him with honorary citizenship. The Sovereign and His delegation then visited the church of Santa Limbania before heading to the Belvedere to attend an official ceremony. Later, the Prince discovered the 12th century Castello Malaspina Rocca Grimalda, with its "Grimaldi" wing and private chapel bearing the same name, bearing witness to the presence of His ancestors on the site.

The afternoon was devoted to a visit to Carrosio, another former stronghold of the Grimaldis of Genoa between the 13th and 15th centuries, and a strategically important place as it lies on the road linking Genoa to Gavi and Novi. On his arrival, the Sovereign was greeted by the mayor, Corrado Guglielmino, and unveiled the plaque at the entrance to the village to mark his membership of the network of "Historic Grimaldi Sites of Monaco". The Prince’s cortege then made its way through the streets and alleys of the village to look at the ruins of the castle. Later, on the Place de l'église, the Prince received His honorary citizenship in the presence of a large crowd.

Visit of H.S.H. Prince Albert II to Piedmont and Liguria