VIOLIN star Nicola Benedetti has travelled with her father to his home which he left aged nine on the back of a mule.

Gio Benedetti, now in his 70s, became a millionaire businessman in Scotland after leaving the tiny village of Farnocchia, Tuscany.

Nicola, who shot to fame in 2004 after winning BBC Young Musician of the Year, posted a picture of her pilgrimage on twitter.

Although the 27-year-old star has visited before, it is the first time she has made the trip with her father.

Next to a photo of her embracing her dad in front of the hill of his homeland she wrote: "In Farnocchia with my dad for the first time."

This is the village he left from aged 9, on a mule

The village is about 50 miles from Florence and has a population of just over 100.

Gio's father sent him to stay with an uncle in West Kilbride in the 1950s, a period when many Italian came to Scotland for a new life.

Gio arrived speaking no English and spent his spare time working in the family cafe.

The ambitious young Italian left school at 17 keen to make his fortunes.

By the age of 19 he had purchased a small Dry Cleaning Shop which expanded to 16 shops servicing Ayrshire and Glasgow in less than a decade.

By the 1980s he had sold them, along with an industrial plant in Ayrshire, for 15m. By 2007 he sold a cling-film firm he set up called Wrapfilm for £21m.

While building his business empire he married another Italian migrant, Francesca, and had two daughters, Stephanie and Nicola.

Nicola went on to become Scotland's most celebrated violinist and an internationally renowned classical musician.

She has spoken about her love of Italy and her father's home village before.

In an interview in 2012 Nicola said: "Me and my boyfriend went to where my dads from, around Luca and Barga, for the first time last summer.

"My dad couldn't come because he was working but I kept calling him and saying, this is amazing and that's amazing. For him its not such a big thing but for me its the most romantic thing."

She added: "I would like to live there at some point, at least part time."

Speaking about her father's journey to Scotland she said: "My dad came to Scotland and he didn't speak any English at all."

As he always says, he came over thinking that Italy had won the war, she laughed.