HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 5, 2016) – Filippo Marinoni, city councilman of Verbania, Italy, will conclude his week-long visit to Hendersonville with the presentation of a gift to Hendersonville Mayor Barbara Volk on Thursday, Oct. 6 at the City Council meeting.
The most populated municipality in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy, Verbania became Sister Cities with Hendersonville in 2015, and shares several similarities with its Western North Carolina sister – including similar demographics, mountainous regions populated with spectacular waterfalls, and a healthy tourism industry. The coastal Italian city on the shore of Lake Maggiore is also home to several museums, botanical gardens, and the first technology park in Northern Italy.
Throughout the week of Oct. 1-7, Marinoni immersed himself in Hendersonville to experience firsthand local culture, economics, agriculture, education, and geography and share best practices in international relations. In Hendersonville, Marinoni visited local apple orchards and packing operations, Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards, Renzo’s Ristorante, and Blue Ridge Community College, where he toured the campus and met with professors and students. While in town, Marinoni was also a special guest at Hendersonville Sister Cities’ 2016 annual meeting, held Monday. Oct. 3, at Sanctuary Brewing Company.
In the larger Henderson County area, Marinoni toured the Tri-Hishtil plant grafting collaboration with Israeli, Italian and American companies, the Van Wingerden Greenhouse Company, and Sierra Nevada Brewery in Mills River; Chimney Rock State Park, the Esmerelda Inn & Restaurant and pontoon boat tour in Lake Lure; Pisgah National Forest and Cradle of Forestry, fish hatchery and Blue Ridge Parkway in Brevard; and downtown Asheville and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville.
“We’re expecting Filippo’s visit to catalyze further cultural, student and business exchanges between Hendersonville and Verbania,” said Hendersonville Sister Cities President Mike Swartzlander. “Next year is Hendersonville Sister Cities’ 10th anniversary, and we’re poised to plan special events, programs and international visits to connect globally.”
On Thursday, he will attend the regular Hendersonville City Council meeting and present Hendersonville Mayor Volk with a letter from Verbania Mayor Silvia Marchionini recognizing and honoring the two cities’ sisterhood.