Charles visits quake-ravaged Amatrice

The Prince of Wales in Amatrice PHOTO: UK in Italy

 AMATRICE — Britain's Prince Charles visited the earthquake ravaged town of Amatrice north of Rome Sunday at the climax of his tour of Italy. The Prince of Wales was accompanied by the mayor of Amatrice as they walked around the ruined buildings in the Red Zone of the town. 

 On Monday Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, are to be presented with an accurate replica of the ancient keys to the gates of Florence by Mayor Dario Nardello,  at the climax of a visit to Florence where they arrived Friday, officials said. The keys they will receive at a ceremony on Monday will symbolise their freedom of the city. 

 The royals will receive the keys during an official ceremony at the historic Palazzo Vecchio.  The Prince of Wales will also be awarded, ‘The Palazzo Strozzi Renaissance Man of the Year 2016’ prize for his charity work associated with The Prince’s Charities over the last 40 years. He will be granted the award based on his charities’ values of harmony, culture and sustainability. It was decided that “he reflects fully the humanistic values of the Renaissance and its philanthropic heritage, meaning that his Royal Highness is the ideal recipient of this prize.”

 The couple started their tour in Bucharest, Romania, before heading to Florence to begin their obligations in Italy.

 The visits are part of the United Kingdom’s efforts to maintain good relations with Europe after the Brexit vote of last year. The Italian leg will focus on themes such as military collaboration, social cohesion and the fight against human-trafficking.

 The pair are to spend six days in Italy, which will include a private audience with Pope Francis in the Vatican in Rome, as well as a visit to the British School at Rome, among other obligations.

 After fulfilling their commitments in Italy the couple will make their way to Austria and Albania before returning to the UK.