Dutch State Visit to Italy: Vatican City and Milan

  June 22, 2017 at 9:11 pm by

Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima began their third day in Italy today, Thursday June 22, with a visit to the Holy See.

The visit began at the Frisians Church, built in 1141 and adjacent to St. Peter’s Square that since 1989 is granted to the Dutch community in Rome. The Royal Couple was welcomed by Bishop Emeritus Antoon Hurkmans who gave to them an explanation about the history of the church.

Afterwards the King and the Queen went to the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican where they were received by Pope Francis. The Royal Couple and the Pope had a private conversation that lasted 35 minutes. Then took place the exchange of the gifts: the King and the Queen offered Dutch flowers, while the Pope offered a medallion of Saint Martin, a message of peace and three encyclicals written by the Pope. The Dutch delegation was received by the Pope as well.

The King and the Queen also paid a visit to the Biblioteca Apostolica and had a meeting with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. Later, in the residence of the Dutch Ambassador to Italy, the Royal Couple met with the Dutch community living in the country.

In the afternoon King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima moved to Milan, in the north of Italy. Upon their arrival the King and Queen were welcomed by the Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, who accompanied them for a visit to the Refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie where they could admire the famous mural The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.

Then the Royal Couple paid a visit to Eataly, the largest Italian marketplace in the world, comprising a variety of restaurants, beverage, bakery, retail items, and a cooking school, founded in 2007 by the entrepreneur Oscar Farinetti. During the visit took place a cooking class with Dutch and Italian chef.

Afterwards the King and the Queen met with Clarence Seedorf, Edgar Davis and Pierre van Hooijdonk, former Dutch football players, to talk about a football clinic for young players. The Royal Couple also met with the Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin, winner of the last Giro d’Italia. In the evening took place a trade dinner.

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