By Karin J. MartinezNovember 13, 2018
VICENZA, Italy (November 13, 2018) -- Meet the Mayors is back!
For the 10th year in a row, the Meet the Mayors community event on Caserma Ederle will commence in the Golden Lion conference center Nov. 14 from 4 to 6 p.m.
The event, open to the entire Vicenza Military Community, is an informal fair that hosts mayors, council members, and cultural and tourism representatives from Italian townships in the Vicenza and Padova provinces.
Mayors and representatives from more than 60 towns will be on hand this year, bringing with them a variety of information about cultural events, festivals, maps, places to explore, and food and wine samples. The gathering is much anticipated by the VMC and town representatives alike, and is an effort for Americans to get in touch with their local host communities.
"Meet the Mayors is an extraordinary opportunity to bring together the hundreds of American Soldiers and families with the territories that host them -- a mutual opportunity to overcome barriers and create relationships," said Elisa Santucci, Mayor of Monteviale. "The Community Alliance Plan pursues the same objective. It is an important initiative that sees Monteviale linked to the 173rd Airborne Brigade in the shared commitment to look for opportunities for collaboration."
Tables with displays will be set up in the conference room for visitors to peruse. Each will feature the local festivals, museums, historic sites, markets and shops, products, typical wines and regional foods. At previous events, representatives have brought giveaways, maps, brochures and pamphlets. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions about local activities and learn directly what makes each town special and worth the trip.
"Meet the Mayors is one of the most popular events within the VMC and one of the most anticipated by our local communities. There are two essential ingredients in the recipe of its success: the first relies on the enthusiasm and hospitality of the Italian mayors who take pride in coming and showcasing the amazing heritage of their towns and what they can offer to Americans, whether it's art, history, food, markets or festivals.
"The second, is a genuine interest from Americans to explore and learn more about the local communities and they place they call home in Italy," said Anna Ciccotti, community relations officer at the Public Affairs Office, U.S. Army Garrison Italy. "Since the Garrison leadership launched the Community Alliance Plan in spring, there is an enhanced enthusiasm from military units assigned to Vicenza to partner with the local community for outreach efforts. MTM is another convenient opportunity for Soldiers and families to engage the civic leaders of their towns and start the dialogue here on post."
Renzo Segato, Mayor of Quinto Vicentino, agrees. He welcomes the opportunity and is enthusiastic about participating in the annual event.
"I am convinced that initiatives such as Meet the Mayors offer local communities an excellent opportunity to make the U.S. community even more aware of the peculiarities and the beauties that our places, our products and our people offer -- strengthening even more the bond that has been shared between our communities for more than 70 years," Segato said.
"It is a matter of satisfaction to know that many American citizens, military and civilian, choose Quinto Vicentino, one of the most popular municipalities, as their place to live in the province. Certainly the proximity of our town to Caserma Ederle can be a reason for the attraction, but I think it is also for its typically rural landscape where the green of our countryside -- and urban planning respectful of the history and beauty of the area. We offer continuous attention to quality of life, and I think Americans find it a pleasant place to stay and live."
A team of volunteer interpreters will be on hand at the tables for those who need assistance. All community members are encouraged to attend.