By Sgt. Kevin Martin, AFN VicenzaDecember 11, 2012
VICENZA, Italy (Dec. 11, 2012) -- For some, living overseas can be scary and frustrating. Vicenza military community members had a chance to speak to mayors of their respective community to ask questions, voice concerns, and sample local products.
About 30 municipalities of the Vicenza province displayed their specialties in the fourth 'Meet the Mayors' event, which was open to Soldiers and civilians at Caserma Ederle. Many food specialties such as polenta, wine, cured salami, cheese, olive oil, and the porchetta from Monteviale, were shared in addition to materials about the area and local events.
"I think events like this is important because they facilitate integration between the American and the Italian communities," said Mayor Giuseppe Baccarin, mayor of Grisignano. "The friendship that has been going on between the Americans and the Italians is a long friendship and it is important to maintain it with events like this."
Mayor Baccarin added that he hopes that this event will help breakdown cultural barriers and bring Americans and Italians closer together.
"The event was outstanding. I got to meet a lot of community heads and it is a good thing that we at this level get to meet the mayors and address concerns for both of the populations," said Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Council, USAG Vicenza command sergeant major. "We understand that we are one team and that we share the same causes."
Council went on to say that "Meet the Mayors" was a great step in building and strengthening an already strong and positive relationship between Americans and Italians.
Anna Terracino, the cultural activities editor for the garrison newspaper The Outlook, added that the event was an opportunity for Vicenza military community to discover the hidden jewels in the area outside of the base.
"For example, Soldiers who live in a town like Camisano Vicentino, could meet the mayor and learn more about the community they live in, such as if they offer movies in English or have special sports or activities they might enjoy, or they can ask questions about city services," she said. "They can also find out what is in the area, such as going to Nove for ceramics or Asiago for skiing. It's a very nice event for lining up lots of things to do in an afternoon or a day trip."
After the conclusion of the display period, the mayors joined U.S. military leadership for a typical Thanksgiving dinner.