COUNT DAVIDE: Killarney resident Davide Mosca will be made a Count in his home town in Italy next month. Photo: Michelle Crean
By Sean Moriarty
One Killarney resident has had the greatest honour that can be bestowed on him – by being named a Count – or ‘king’ – of his home village in Italy.
Well-known architect Davide Mosca, who has been living and working in Killarney for over 20 years, has been named as the 72nd ‘Count Pierre’ in Verrès, and is the first person abroad to receive the title.
Davide, who’s firm DM Design was behind the new Anam Arts and Cultural Centre in town, is also heavily involved in Killarney Celtic Football Club and Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce.
Last weekend he attended the official launch and he now plans to return with at least 30 family and friends for the February 22 to 25 event in the Alpine village of Verrès, about 80km north of Turin.
Legend has it that in 1450 a Countess called Catherine of Challant and her second husband, Pierre of Introd, came down from Verres Castle and joined locals in a big dance in the town square. This created a bit of a stir at the time but fondly endeared them to hearts of the locals for centuries.
Since World War II, every year the town’s Carnevale, which is a pre-lenten bash/mardi-gras, features Catherine and Pierre leading a very lavish medieval parade between the castle and town square and four days of partying.
Each year the festival organising committee select a new Catherine and Pierre to lead the festivities and this year Davide received the honour – although his late father Bruno and brother Stefano has previously held the post.
“It came as a big surprise,” he told the Killarney Advertiser this week. “I am away from the village for over 20 years and I am out of their loop,” he said.
“I was there doing interviews with local television and the tourist board, it was going on until 2am so I asked someone what time does the castle close,” he added. “They told me ‘You decide – you are the Count’.”
“The tourist board were showing great interest in the fact there are so many Irish coming,” he said.
There are also plans to bring the current Countess Catherine, her marching band, flag bearers and drummers to Killarney for this year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade.
“There are hundreds of people involved in the parade. There is a cost in getting them over, we won’t get everyone over, but we are working on it,” Davide added.