Prince Charles walks amid ruins of quake-hit Amatrice in Italy

Prince Charles has visited an Italian town hit by a devastating quake last summer, walking amidst the ruins of ancient buildings and paying tributes to the victims.

The Prince of Wales was in Amatrice, in central Italy, as part of a European tour designed to shore up relations with EU allies post-Brexit.

Wearing a hard hat, he entered the abandoned "red zone" in the city centre, where collapsed houses lie next to the ruins of a 13th century Civic Tower, and walked alone in silent contemplation.

"It's a scene of terrifying devastation," he said as he passed in front of a destroyed church.

In emotional scenes, Prince Charles met some of the survivors, some with tears in their eyes. One woman wept, a man clasped hands with the Prince.

As he was greeted by Amatrice's mayor, Sergio Pirozzi, the Prince told him: "The people in Britain mind very much what's happened to you all here."

The 6.2-magnitude quake on 24 August killed 297 people, including three Britons.

The Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall are on a six-day visit to Italy.

On Friday, they visited Florence, taking a romantic stroll over the Ponte Vecchio bridge at sundown.

On Saturday, the Prince paid homage to the victims of World War One in Vicenza, while Camilla toured the area near Naples.

While Charles is in Amatrice, Camilla will visit the Arcobaleno association in Florence that helps female victims of human trafficking.

The royals will be back in the Tuscan capital on Monday to attend a reception marking the 100th anniversary of the British Institute of Florence, where Charles will be honoured as the Renaissance Man of the Year.

On Tuesday, the couple will meet Pope Francis at the Vatican.

As part of their European tour, Prince Charles and Camilla have also visited Romania and will travel to Austria after Italy.

The charm offensive comes just as Britain triggered Brexit. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took a trip to Paris last month.

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