In Monopoli, a sleepy fishing village in Puglia founded by the ancient tribes of southern Italy, the excitement is palpable. The strong rumour is that Ivanka Trump, the daughter of Donald Trump, is coming to town.
“All we need now is to hear that her dad is coming too,” joked the town’s mayor, Emilio Romani. And if the chattering in the Italian press is to be believed, that prospect may be likelier than he imagines.
It has been suggested that the US president could accompany his 35-year-old daughter to the wedding of a New York couple, which is believed to be taking place at Santo Stefano castle, perched on the edge of the town’s beach, towards the end of the month.
Puglia, and the region of Salento in particular, has been a coveted tourist destination for several years. This summer, however, the celebrity quotient has reached new levels. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, and his wife Brigitte are expected to spend their summer break in a region which was once overlooked by the rich and famous in favour of swankier Capri, or Porto Cervo in Sardinia.
Ivanka is already a fan of Puglia, having visited Alberobello – a town famed for its cone-shaped trullo houses – with her husband, Jared Kushner, and their children in 2015. She has reportedly booked to stay in a masseria, or fortified farmhouse, in the countryside.
But amid the flurry of anticipation, Romani is taking the possible arrival of the Trump entourage in his stride, despite the security…
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