Italian leaders divided over holiday plans

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Beppe Grillo is a fan of the Italian seaside. Photo: Albano Angiletta/AFP
12:50 CEST+02:00
With August fast approaching, Italians are escaping the heat and heading to the seaside. But do politicians do the same? The Local takes a look at where the country's leaders spend their summer holidays.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta is far too busy running the country to take a holiday. “I have given up my trip to Le Marche with my family, but the plan is still there. I’ll go with them next year,” he told local newspaper Corriere Adriatico.

Since coming to power in April, the Democratic Party (PD) politician has been busy trying to tackle the country’s economic woes while managing an unstable coalition government.

Letta would have liked to go on holiday, “to indulge in a completely relaxing holiday in Le Marche”, but government commitments are still absorbing all of his energy, he told the newspaper.

The prime minister is full of praise for the region, with its beautiful beaches along the Adriatic coast. While it makes a good getaway for a man in the spotlight, the relatively undiscovered region of Le Marche is also the perfect place for those wanting to avoid the crowds.

Although not allowed to retire just yet, 87-year-old President Giorgio Napolitano is at least allowed a holiday.

He has decided to head about as far from Rome as he can, within Italy’s borders, and travel to the Dolomite mountains in the north. The president and his wife have headed to Val Fiscalina, a stone’s throw from the Austrian border, local newspaper Quotidiano dell'Alto Adige said.

“I advised him to come here, to this paradise, because he wants to rest and this is the right place,” friend and fellow politician Emanuele Macaluso told the newspaper.

Macaluso is not wrong; the Trentino-Alto Adige region boasts stunning views, pristine lakes and more. The influence of neighbouring Austria and Switzerland is noticeable in architecture and cuisine, while the cooler air makes it a welcome escape from Italian cities in the summertime.

Beppe Grillo, leader of the Five Star Movement (M5S), has already had a summer holiday on the island of Mortorio, just off the coast of Sardinia.

The larger island is known for its rugged landscape, clear waters and a calmer atmosphere than Sicily in the south. 

But those wanting the true Grillo experience can now go one step further and hire out his villa.

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For €14,000 a week the politician is opening up his eight-bedroom home in the province of Livorno, website Idea Lista reported. Guests can enjoy a swimming pool, wifi, and most likely a fair few paparazzi.

The holiday plans of Silvio Berlusconi, leader of the People of Freedom (PdL) party, are yet to be decided.

This is because on Tuesday the country’s highest court is due to examine a fraud conviction held against him which carries a one-year jail sentence and five-year ban from public office.

On Sunday, the 76-year-old said that if convicted he would serve time in jail, rather than ask for house arrest, meaning that his holiday accommodation could be quite unique. 

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