Gaddafi discovered Antrodoco by chance last year when he travelled to Italy for the G8 summit in earthquake-hit L’Aquila, reports the Daily Telegraph.
He ordered his entourage to take a winding route through the mountains rather than risk motorway tunnels possibly weakened by the quake.
They stopped for a break in Antrodoco and Gaddafi was reportedly bowled over by the locals’ hospitality and warmth.
After posing for group photographs and hugging villagers, he was quoted by La Repubblica as saying: “You have entered my heart and I won’t forget you.”
The Libyan leader subsequently sent several envoys to the village, including his ambassador to Rome, Hafed Gaddur.
The mayor of the town of 2,800 people, Maurizio Faina, told them that it suffered from high unemployment and complained of a lack of tourism.
“They listened to me very intently and assured me that they would pass everything back to the Colonel, who seemed to have been enchanted by Antrodoco,” he said.
“I’m starting to dream of a future of development for our little town.”
Gaddafi has reportedly promised to help the village by converting a historic palazzo into a luxury hotel and setting up a business bottling mineral water from a mountain spring.Post published in: News