This one is no secret, but many people don’t know…
Our Blogger: Raul
Once upon a time, Italy was ruled by kings. They all belonged to the Savoy (Savoia) dynasty, the only one to have reigned in most of the country. The Savoy’s raise to power was a peaceful one, not achieved through wars or military conquests, but through marriages and a shrewd use of diplomatic relations.
Fascism brought bad news for many, the Savoy among them. The king didn’t know how to deal properly with Mussolini and backed him, thinking the fascist party was a more reassuring option than socialism. After the end of the war the Italians were called to vote to decide whether they wanted to live under a monarchy or a republic. The republican government won 54 percent against 46, and that was the curtain call for the legendary dynasty.
After this, all the male descendants of the Savoy were forbidden to enter Italy and they lived in exile in Switzerland until 2002, when the Italians decided they could come back to their country.
The Italian media created a fuzz over the real family come-back, even though the Savoy didn’t seem to be very grateful: they tried to get a compensation for moral damage from the Italian government, along with some historical buildings like the Quirinale Palace, currently the official residence of the president of the Italian Republic.
The claim didn’t succeed, and afterwards the behaviour of the family hasn’t been exactly flattering: in 2006 the prince Vittorio Emanuele was involved in a public scandal that had him recruiting prostitutes for a casino and his son’s last public appearance was as a participant in a “dance with the stars” show.