At Italy On This Day you will read about events and festivals, about important moments in history, and about the people who have made Italy the country it is today, and where they came from. Italy is a country rich in art and music, fashion and design, food and wine, sporting achievement and political diversity. Italy On This Day provides fascinating insights to help you enjoy it all the more.

20 November 2015

Queen Margherita of Italy

Fashion icon had a mountain hut and a pizza named after her


Margherita Maria Teresa Giovanna was born on this day in 1851 in Turin.

The little girl, who was to later become the Queen of Italy, was herself a member of the House of Savoy, as the daughter of Prince Ferdinand Duke of Genoa and Princess Elisabeth of Saxony.

She married her first cousin Umberto, Prince of Piedmont, in April 1868 when she was just 16. The following year she gave birth to Victor Emmanuel, Prince of Naples, who later became King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy. He was to be their only child.

The beautiful city of Naples
 warmly welcomed Queen Margherita
Margherita was crowned Queen of Italy in Naples when Umberto succeeded his father to the throne in January 1878 and she was warmly welcomed by the Neapolitan people.

Always stylishly dressed, in outfits designed and made in Italy and often covered in pretty brooches and pearls, she quickly became a fashion icon and was said to be much more popular than her husband, who was assassinated in 1900.

When her son succeeded his father and became King of Italy, Margherita devoted herself to charitable works and to encouraging cultural organisations.

Queen Margherita died in 1926 at her home in Bordighera in Liguria.

Travel tip:

A mountain hut is named after Queen Margherita on a peak of Monte Rosa, which is in the Piedmont region on the Swiss-Italian border. The Queen made the climb to Punta Gnifetti for the hut’s inauguration in 1893. It still remains the highest mountain hut in Europe .

Travel tip:

Pizzeria Brandi in Naples still proudly claims to be the ‘queen’s pizzeria’. Despite the debate about who first invented Pizza Margherita, with its tomato, mozzarella and basil topping, which replicates the colours of the Italian flag, it is worth visiting Pizzeria Brandi in Salita Sant’Anna di Palazzo in Naples to taste their version.


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