Around 200 protesters marched to the Italian village of Collepardo this weekend to protest Steve Bannon’s takeover of a monastery where he plans to train the next generation of nationalist leaders.
Mr Bannon, who is credited with masterminding Donald Trump’s electoral success, has rented the 800-year-old Carthusian monastery as a training centre for his political network, The Movement, which aims to forge a pan-European rightist movement ahead of May’s European elections.
The deal for the lease was struck at a concession with the Italian government.
But Mr Trump’s former adviser has faced increasing resistance from a network of local activists. =
On Saturday protesters marched to the Trisulti monastery with banners reading “Stop Bannon, Free Europe” and “Trisulti, European Land.”
They say that the monastery founded in 1204 is a European outpost that embodies “ideas that are not inclusive and do not shut out the world.”
Mr Bannon’s British colleague, Benjamin Harnwell, lives in the monastery alongside the last 83-year-old monk and leads the project.
In an interview in the garden of the medieval charterhouse, which nestles in woodland surrounded by mountains, Mr Harnwell told the Telegraph that the institute aims to defend the “Judaeo-Christian values of Western civilisation.”
For more than eight centuries, monks have lived in Trisulti in total seclusion, praying, reading and preparing medicinal remedies – and the famous Sambuca liquor – with herbs from the surrounding forest.