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Poggio A Caiano Delegates Arriving in Charlottesville for Sister City 40th Anniversary
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - Delegates from sister city Poggio a Caiano, Italy will visit the Charlottesville area from Monday, June 26 through Friday, June 30 to experience the city's beauty and culture while enjoying special celebrations, events, exhibits, panel discussions, and more.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of friendship between the two sister cities and the public is invited to attend a welcoming ceremony in City Council Chambers on Tuesday, June 26 at 5PM.
The visit will include tours of Monticello, Montpelier, Monroe House, UVa Rotunda, the Special Collections Library, the Fontaine Fire Station and other municipal buildings.
History with Charlottesville: Charlottesville's sisterhood with Poggio a Caiano is rooted in Thomas Jefferson's friendship with Poggio native Filippo Mazzei. Mazzei was working in London to promote the importation of Italian produce to England when he met and befriended Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Adams, signer of the Articles of the Confederation and member of the Continental Congress. They persuaded him to move to Virginia to expand his business. In Virginia, Adams introduced Mazzei to Jefferson, with whom he shared his extensive knowledge of Italian wines, cheeses, and olive trees. Jefferson introduced Mazzei to Virginia politics. Mazzei and Jefferson shared views about democratic principles and Mazzei introduced Jefferson and Charlottesville to Italian grape vines that are still used in both Virginia and Poggio today for the production of wine.The multi-dimensional friendship between Mazzei and Jefferson inspired Poggio and Charlottesville to officially link the two cities in 1977 in commemoration of the bicentennial celebration of the American Revolution.