La Spezia, Italy

In June 1985, the Commission recommended the City consider inviting a sister city relationship with a city in Italy.  City officials warmed to the idea and approved a selection process that led, over the next several months, to the recommendation of extending an invitation to the City of LaSpezia.  On May 6, 1986, Mayor Terry Curtola wrote a letter to the mayor of LaSpezia suggestion the establishment of a sister city relationship.  The response led to a meeting in the Mayor’s Office chaired by Vice-Mayor Sid Berry on October 24 attended by Daniel D’Amico, Shelia Elliott, Tony Puleo, David Lindquest, and Mr. and Mrs. Larry Zunino representing Vallejo’s interest and Dr. Suaro Baruzzo, President of the LaSpezia Regional District and Enzo Coniglio of the Italian Consulate representing LaSpezia’s interest.  All agreed to move forward and create the relationship.

On December 30, 1986, on recommendation of the Sister City Commission, the City Council unanimously approved the relationship.  The LaSpezia Council, on a vote of 25-1 (Egidio Banti casting the one vote), approved in 1987, although Sister City International did not issue a formal charter until August of 1989.

Between September 19 and 26, 1987, Mayor Curtola and the Zuninos went to LaSpezia to discuss common interests and potential exchanges that might strengthen the bond.

In 1988, Mayor Tony Intintoli greeted two visitors from LaSpezia, Gian Luigi Burrafato and a member of the city council.

On June 3, 1989, LaSpezia artist Gabriella Peggion Zolezzi had an exhibition of her paintings at the Naval and Historical Museum.  Later that year, Rosi Tartarini visited the city while on vacation in California.

In May of 1992 Diji Christian led a delegation that included Marjorie Lund, Rachael Madison, Elaine and David Yeager on a visit to LaSpezia where they were greeted by Mayor Sauro Baruzzo, shown the local sights, and entertained at the private villa of Maddalena Benelli.  In August, Rosi Tartarini returned to Vallejo with two friends: Massimo Mensi and Luca Dearbrogio.

In July of 1993, Elaine and David Yeager hosted Rosi Tartarini on her visit to Vallejo.

On July 19, 1995, Rosi Tartarini brought a delegation for a two week stay that included her brother, Francisco Tartarini, Maria Luisa Buffatto, Fausto Gambarelli and 11 teenagers on an official visit to the city.  The visitors were housed with local families and entertained with a picnic at the Elks Club and a reception sponsored by the Sons of Italy.  There were frequent visits to San Francisco and to Marine World before the farewell pot luck supper hosted by Libby Richardson at her home.

In September of 1996, Paul and Anne Ligda and their 3-year-old daughter, Brandy, were guests of Rosi Tartarini and her family for three days at her family’s cottage in Portovenere.

In 2000, the Hon. William Harrison, while visiting LaSpezia, delivered a plaque marking the millennium to Rosi Tartarini.

In 2011, Rosi Tartarini visited Vallejo.  She was greeted by Councilman Mike Wilson and hosted by Ward and Elissa Stewart who held a private party in her honor.

In 2012, Ward and Elissa Stewart led a delegation of four to LaSpezia.  They were welcomed by Rosi Tartarini who arranged housing and the opportunity of meeting with her educational colleagues and city officials with an interest in maintaining and strengthening the sister city bonds.  Those included Professor Generoso
Cardinale, Principal of Einaudi-Chiodo School and Patrizia Saccone, one of LaSpezia’s elected officials.  The delegation visited City Hall where gifts were exchanged and interviews conducted for later showing on local television.  At the close of the four-day visit, the delegation was honored at a banquet at the Navy Base.  Hosts included Giuseppe De Luisa, Capitano di Fregata, and Capo Ufficio.  At the close of the four-day visit, our delegation was honored at a banquet.

During the summer of 2015, a goodwill gesture was extended the Lombardi family from LaSpezia.  Ward and Elissa Stewart treated them to a wine tasting visit to the Napa Valley and feted them to dinner at the Front Room with several Sister City Board Members.