Born in 1903 in Naples, Prince Filippo Caracciolo was the eighth prince of Castagneto. A multi-lingual career diplomat holding a doctorate in economics and social science, he held the post of Secretary-General of the consultative assembly of the Council of Europe for five years.
In 1944, he was made a special ambassador by the Automobile Club of Italy and was able to maintain the existence of the club and its membership of the FIA beyond the Second World War. Throughout this time he also held the presidencies of several international organisations, including Italia Nostra and Europa Nostra, both of which sought harmony among the countries of Europe.
In 1963, while holding the positions of Vice-President of the FIA and President of the Automobile Club of Italy, Prince Filippo Caracciolo di Castagneto was backed by Count de Liedekerke to be his successor. He thus became the first non-French President of the FIA.
With Prince Caracciolo conducting activities from both Paris and Rome, the FIA had to adapt to working with a president based outside France for the first time. It was an important first step in showing the world that the FIA really was the international body it claimed to be.
The promise of Prince Caracciolo’s presidency was not fulfilled as he died in July 1965, after less than two years of his term of office.