Francesca Pascale, the partner of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from 2007 to 2020, and pop singer Paola Turci said yes on Saturday in Montalcino in Tuscany.

The civil partnership ceremony took place in the afternoon at the Palazzo dei Priori in the historic center of the picturesque town and was presided over by Mayor Silvio Franceschelli.

Franceschelli belongs to the social democratic party PD.

During the government of the PD reformer Matteo Renzi in Rome in 2016, the possibility of a "unione civile" for homosexual couples was enshrined in law in Italy.

The recognized civil partnership includes, among other things, community of property, maintenance rights and survivor's pension, but not the right to adopt children.

Matthias Rub

Political correspondent for Italy, the Vatican, Albania and Malta based in Rome.

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For the 36-year-old Pascale and the 21-year-old Turci, it is the first "official" lesbian partnership.

Turci was married to journalist Andrea Amato from 2010 to 2012.

For Pascale, it is the first registered partnership after the relationship with the 85-year-old Berlusconi, with whom she was not married.

Pascale wore a white pantsuit to the ceremony, and Turci also chose white for her off-the-shoulder summer jumpsuit.

The pair were also pulled up in a white Jaguar F-Pace.

Only a handful of guests were invited to the ceremony in the rooms of the mayor's office, who, according to Italian media reports, should also adhere to the white dress code (which apparently not all did).

A wedding without celebrities

The celebration that followed, attended by just under three dozen guests, took place at the nearby luxury hotel Castello di Velona, ​​which the couple had fully booked for the weekend.

The usual overnight rates in the hotel are between 900 and 6000 euros per night, including the fee for using the 1500 square meter thermal baths with spring water from the nearby Monte Amiata.

The dinner menu - vegan in accordance with the couple's eating habits - was created by chef Riccardo Bacciottini, who had worked at the Noma restaurant in Copenhagen (three Michelin stars) before his engagement at Castello di Velona.

According to Italian media reports, no celebrities attended the ceremony in Montalcino.

No VIPs are said to have belonged to the group of guests at the Resort Castello di Velona either.

The relationship between Pascale and Turci was made public in August 2020 - around five months after Pascale's separation from Berlusconi - through paparazzi photos of the two women vacationing on a yacht in the magazine "Oggi".

A year later, the couple took part in the Gay Pride Parade in Naples together.

Pascale is from Naples herself.

The two women have become important voices for the rights of sexual minorities, but have been very reticent about sharing their personal lives on social media.

According to Italian media reports, Berlusconi and Pascale agreed on a "severance payment" for Pascale of around 20 million euros and annual maintenance payments of one million euros each.

In addition, Berlusconi gave Pascale the luxury villa Maria, which he had specially bought for his partner at the time and had been extensively renovated, with a 40,000 square meter park in Casatenovo near Milan.

Pascale hasn't lived there for a good year, instead she bought a property in Tuscany.

According to press reports, Berlusconi has now put the Villa Maria up for sale.

Congratulations for the couple came from numerous left-wing politicians as well as LBTQ activists.

There was also the usual homophobic abuse on social media.

PD Senator Monica Cirinnà, who authored the 2016 eponymous same-sex civil union law, tweeted: "The insults and hate hurled at you are swept away by the beauty of your love.

Every new registered partnership is a seed of cultural change as a result of good politics in our country.” Paolo Berlusconi, younger brother of the four-time Prime Minister, also sent congratulations: “I send my wishes to Francesca Pascale, who was close to my brother for a few years for a happy life.

Silvio Berlusconi is currently in a relationship with 32-year-old MP Marta Fascina.

Fascina belongs to the Forza Italia party, which was founded by Berlusconi in 1994 and is still led today.

Francesca Pascale also met Berlusconi while working for Forza Italia.