Mayor Harry Winthrop and the Newport City Council invite the public to join them at a reception on Friday, October 6 from 5:00 to 6:00 pm in the lobby of the Gateway Center at 23 America’s Cup Avenue to welcome members of a delegation visiting from Newport’s Sister City, Imperia, and Italy. Light refreshments will be served.
A total of five people representing Imperia, Italy are visiting Newport from October 5- October 10 in conjunction with Newport’s Festa Italiana and the Columbus Day Celebrations. Representatives include Imperia Mayor Carlo Capacci; Councilor Cristina Gavi; City Hall President, Diego Parodi; Assessor, Simone Vassallo and Stefano Braganti.
Newport’s twinning with Imperia, Italy, began in September, 1978 when Alessandro Scajola, then mayor of Imperia, visited the United States. Later he wrote to Newport’s City Manager Paul Steinbrenner, “The friendliness shown me by the town of Newport moved me deeply–so much so that I sincerely wish to consolidate relations between Newport and Imperia and their respective citizens. To this aim I would (sic) a “Twinning” of towns and wonder whether you would take this into consideration?” Later that month, the City Manager, responded that the proposal had been well-received and that “City Council unanimously endorsed the concept…in anticipation that improved relations between our communities would be of benefit to our respective citizens as well as our countries.” Led by Mayor Robert McKenna, Newport pursued this relationship with a series of exchange visits and exploratory talks which resulted in our formal Twinning Agreement by the end of 1978.
Since that time, delegations from Newport have visited the City of Imperia, situated in Liguria on the Italian Riviera in northwest Italy, every other year in early September to celebrate Imperia’s Classic Sailing Yachts Event and delegations from Imperia have joined with the City of Newport and Festa Italiana in honoring Christopher Columbus in October. The two cities have enjoyed cultural and educational exchanges.
Both Newport and Imperia are cities with long and rich maritime histories. Both are picturesque towns who enjoy exquisite harbors, famous among sailing communities. In addition, Imperia is known for its fragrant olive oil and beautiful flowers.
The Sister City program was created by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956. Sister City programs are established between cities that are similar in size, have common features (all of Newport’s Sister Cities are seaside towns) and an interest in developing cultural, historic and economic relationships. Sister Cities provide opportunities for citizens to learn about, experience and explore other cultures through long-term community partnerships. For centuries, cities throughout the world have established informal relationships based upon common cultural, economic or historic ties. The relationships provide a forum for the exchange of perspectives and ideas of culture, education, government and economic development.
Newport has five other sister cities – Shimoda, Japan, Kinsale, Ireland, Ponta Delgada, the Azores, Skiathos, Greece and St. John, New Brunswick Canada.