Prince Albert returned to Italy as part of the historic trips to places linked with the Grimaldi family, from 7 to 9 November. During the visit, he received an Honoris causa doctorate by the Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria. He also visited Gerace, Cittanova and Molochio, which had belonged to the Grimaldis of Genoa between the 16th and 18th centuries.
On Monday 7 November, HSH the Prince visited the National Museum of Magna Graecia, which featured two world-famous bronze statues known as the Riace bronzes. At the end of the day, the Prince received an honorary doctorate in forest and environmental sciences. In the evening, the Prince and his delegation attended a gala dinner for the Prince Albert II Foundation, organized by the President of the Italian branch.
The following morning, Tuesday 8 November, the Sovereign received in Gerace, a medieval village located in the Aspromonte park, where he unveiled a “Grimaldi Historic Sites of Monaco” sign. Then, after a meeting with the city’s elected officials at the Town Hall where a plaque commemorating his visit was unveiled, the Prince walked through the village and visited the Greco-Byzantine crypt of the cathedral and the diocesan museum. At the Chiesa di San Francisco in Assisi, HSH the Prince received honorary citizenship.
The afternoon was spent visiting Cittanova, where the Prince unveiled another “Grimaldi Historic Sites of Monaco” sign. The princely procession was then wind through streets and alleys to discover the Chiesa Madre di Cittanova, built from 1785 by the will of Maria Antonia Grimaldi Serra, daughter of the Princess of Gerace Maria Teresa Grimaldi who died during the earthquake of 1783.
On Wednesday 9 November, HSH the Prince travelled to Molochio, to unveil a third sign. The Sovereign and his delegation were then taken to the Belvedere Catorella, offering a magnificent view of the Parc National de the Aspromonte (listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site).