I don't think it's necessary a bad thing to ask a refund for damage, if it is limited to the confiscated properties. I guess here in Italy they made a real disinformation campaign. Nobody said that other former royals asked to have the properties back, for example the king of greece. Properties were given back to the royals also in Romania,Bulgary and Germany, so why does it sound so scandalous?
The main problem is that that most Italians are absolutely ignorant about history, and there has been so much disinformation in all these years they now find so easy to have the Savoy as scapegoat, without knowing anything.
So, the television and newspapers started to attack them as if this was a real scandal, while the most important thing is that V.E. would not be (is not) the king of Italy as he likes to think and the 95% here believes, for in the 60s his father, H.M. Umberto II told him very well if he'd have married a non-royal woman he would lost all his rights. He didn't talk to his father anymore, instead he sued her mother queen Maria José for money.
So, for the internal law of the royal house of Savoy, and by implicit king decree, he lost all his rights when he married madame Marina Doria.
As a matter of fact the real heir to the throne of Italy is s.a.r. prince Amedeo di Savoia-Aosta, who's rights have been recognized by all king Umberto's daughters, among them s.a.r princess Maria Gabriella di Savoia.
You can find more infos and documents on the official site of the royal house of Italy, www.casarealedisavoia.it
So, V.E. and E.F. have no rights to ask the properties back - and the refound - because:
1) V.E. has no succession rights, nor has his son.
2) V.E. can't ask for this refound because he would have the right of a part of the properties, for the King also had 3 daughters: sar Maria Gabriella, sar Maria Pia, sar Maria Beatrice, and the princesses always had the dignity King Umberto II had, asking nothing in his whole life, but his people love.
In my opinion, the house of Savoy HAS the rights to ask for something back, BUT this request should be made by all the family members, or the Head of the House, which is prince Amedeo. Stated that they had chosen not to ask anything, following the last king footprints, the problem doesn't exist.
Still, it makes me upset that this request made such a noise here in Italy, & although I must admit V..E. didn't behave well in all these years, I wonder why it's so difficult for the media to make people understand HE WOULD NOT BE KING of Italy in any case.
I can answer myself to this. Prince Amedeo has much more class, elegance and brain than his cousin, so he would have a different impact on people.
Last month he was invited in a tv show, he behaved with such dignity when a journalist said "how should I call him? 'Cause I'll never call him -prince- or altezza reale, titles don't exist anymore here" and he just replied "call me Amedeo".
This man said (Lamberto Sposini, a popular journalist here) what many people think, what even mr Bertinotti (the italian communist party) said: "Nobility doesn't exist", as if a 60 years old constitution article could cancel centuries of history and tradition, and nobody ever talks of all the good things these people made-