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County of Santa Clara, CA USA/Province of Florence, Italy Sister County Commission Commemorates 25th Anniversary

Official Delegation From Province of Florence To Join in Celebration

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – The County of Santa Clara CA/Province of Florence, Italy Sister County Commission will be celebrating 25 years of a twinning relationship between both regions with a Medici Masked Ball on Saturday, May 5, at the Doubletree Hotel By Hilton, in San José.  To commemorate this milestone, the Commission is also welcoming an official delegation from the Province of Florence, Italy, from March 4-10, 2012.

“We welcome the Province of Florence Delegation with open arms. Our regions have forged a strong relationship during the past 25 years,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Dave Cortese, Board Liaison to the Sister County Commissions. “The numerous achievements of the Commission reflect its members’ dedication to promoting and understanding the Italian culture and to bringing the two areas together.” 

The Province of Florence official delegation is led by the Province President Andrea Barducci.  He is accompanied by the President of the Provincial Council, David Ermini, the President of the provincial Twinning Committee, Giuseppe Carovani, and Council members Sara Biagiotti and Erica Franchi and Secretary to the President Mauro Costi.The Delegation is joined by the Mayor of the municipality of Figline Valdarno, Riccardo Nocentini, and Council member Daniel Raspini, who will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Milpitas with the purpose of aiding in the exchange and  development of both regions. Accompanying the delegation will be the Florence Artistic Director of The Florence Artisan Foundation  Enrica Paoletti. 

Besides the Medici Masked Ball 25th Anniversary, the delegation’s itinerary includes an official visit to the State Capitol in Sacramento, and diverse opportunities for cultural, artistic, educational and commercial exchanges. 

“We reach this milestone because of the strong leadership of the county of Santa Clara and the Province of Florence and the dedication of commissioners past and present,” said Cathy Lazarus, Chair of the Commission. “This relationship continues to bring people together to share common interests and celebrate our two cultures.”  

As with previous Medici Masked Balls, the 25th Anniversary Celebration will honor the 2012 Medici Citizens of the Year that include Marilyn and Frank Dorsa, Marge Valente and Joan and Richard Della Maggiore.

The Medici Medallion “Citizen of the Year” awards recognize recipients who demonstrate great generosity and community involvement. The Medici Medallion is presented to prominent citizens of Santa Clara County who typify philanthropic, intellectual and cultural awareness as exemplified in the spirit of the Renaissance.

Nearly 400 guests are expected to attend the Commission’s 25th anniversary celebration at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in San José. The event that starts at 5:30 p.m. and includes performances by Italian tenor Pasquale Esposito and Scuola di Musica di Fiesole Pianist Edoardo Turbil and Pianist Miriam Prandi, who are accompanying the Official Delegation.  Turbil and Prandi will also perform at the Festa Fiorentina at the Italian American Heritage Foundation honoring the Florence Sister County Commission and the Province of Florence Delegation, on Tuesday, May 8 in the evening, and at Santa Clara University on Wednesday, May 9, during the University’s Music at Noon Program.
About the County of Santa Clara, CA. USA/Province of Florence, Italy Sister County Commission

The County of Santa Clara, Ca. USA/Province of Florence, Italy Sister County Commission’s mission is to foster the exchange of art, commerce, culture, education and technology in many diverse areas between the people and governments of the County of Santa Clara, USA and the Province of Florence, Italy.

As a self-supporting entity, the County of Santa Clara, CA USA/Province of Florence, Italy Sister County Commission’s Medici Masked Ball is the commission’s signature fundraising event. The commission provides scholarships toward the study abroad of students from Santa Clara County who are participating in university approved international study programs in Florence and, coordinates and hosts delegation visits to and from Florence, and leads projects that promote educational, cultural and economic exchanges between the two regions.

A Legacy of Achievement
Cultural Awareness
  • The Commission provides scholarships annually to help university students from Santa Clara County to study in Florence. 
  • In 2008, the Commission created the Florence Commission Da Vinci Educational Sponsorship Project, partnering bay area businesses and individual donors, to make it possible for 3,540 chaperoned students to experience the Leonardo Da Vinci Exhibit at the Tech Museum.
  • The Commission established the E-mail Education Exchange and Video Conferencing Program now underway between Orchard School in San Jose and Vanghetti-Bussoni Middle School in Empoli, Italy and a previous three-week cultural and educational exchange program with San Jose State University students and students from the University of Florence. 
  • The Commission also has promoted Italian food, entertainment and art by sponsoring or co-sponsoring events with other organizations, such as the Morgan Hill Sister City Committee to present Pranza in the Vineyard featuring Chef Angelo Mazzi from the Association of Florentine Chefs and A Taste of Florence cooking sessions featuring the art of “antique” cooking and preparation of Tuscan foods. 
  • The Quartetto di Fiesole, an Italian string quartet, performed in a special concert for the San Jose Chamber Music Society.
  • The Commission also facilitated cultural art exhibits – Florence-Santa Clara: Two Schools of Sculpture at the Triton Museum of Art, The City of Brunelleschi at the De Saisset Museum, an historical exhibition of Ferragamo Shoes, and Gowns from Polimoda showcased talents of fashion students. The Commission also coordinated two “Fencing Galas” by the Societa Accademia Schermistica Fiorentina in San Jose.
Best Practices
In its advisory role to the Board of Supervisors, the Commission also facilitates the sharing of best practices between each respective area.  The collaborative work plan is developed during official delegation visits, alternating years in Florence and Santa Clara County.

Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119

Posted: May 4, 2012