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County of Santa Clara/Florence, Italy Sister County Commission

Florence, Italy

Mission Statement

The County of Santa Clara/Province* of Florence, Italy Sister County Commission is committed to fostering the exchange of art, commerce, culture, education, and technology in many diverse areas between the people and governments of the County of Santa Clara, U.S.A. and the Province of Florence, Italy.

The Commission was established by the Board of Supervisors on April 26, 1987, and is composed of 25 members, appointed by the Board of Supervisors, with a term of three years.

The Commission shall act in an advisory capacity in promoting, aiding and encouraging a diverse cultural, educational, and technological exchange with the Province* of Florence, Italy. Individuals appointed shall have previously demonstrated their interest or participation in matters pertaining to the relationship between Italy and the United States. For more information please contact (408) 299-5115 or email [email protected]

This Sister County Commission meets​ the first Thursday of every other month at 7:00 p.m. at the Isaac Newton Senter Auditorium, located on the first floor of the County Government Center, at 70 West Hedding St. San Jose, CA.

Accomplishments

Numerous achievements reflect the County of Santa Clara, CA USA/Province* of Florence, Italy Sister County Commission’s dedication to promoting, understanding and exchange of Italian culture and heritage.

Educational initiatives

  • Providing annual scholarships toward the study abroad of university students from Santa Clara County accepted to study at accredited universities in Florence, Italy.
  • Creating the Youth Leadership Scholarship Fund, along with the County’s Moscow and Hsinchu Sister County Commission to provide scholarships to nine local high school students to attend the Sister Cities International Annual Conference Youth Leadership Summit in San Jose in July 2014.
  • Facilitated exchange programs between University of Florence and area universities and provides scholarship assistance to local students studying in Florence.

Cultural Events

  • Co-sponsoring annual screenings of films ("Il Padre d'Italia," “Io Arlecchino,” “Human Voice,” “The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars,” and “La Città Ideale,” from the New Italian Cinema Events (N.I.C.E) Festival in San Francisco at Santa Clara University Recital Hall, since 2013. Screenings are followed by engaging Q&A sessions with film directors, screenwriters and actors. 
  • Hosted “Notte d’Amore,” an evening of the most romantic love arias from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and La Traviata. The delightful evening highlighting San Jose’s First Street Opera singers took place at Little Italy’s Piazza on April 25, 2015. 
  • Co-sponsored a Summer Concert with Violinist Francesca De Pasquale at Santa Clara University on September 2014.
  • Granted funds to assist Opera San Jose’s dedication to Italian opera and language.
  • Organized “A taste of Florence” cooking sessions featuring the art of “antique” cooking and preparation of Tuscan foods.
  • Promoted light rail transportation, jazz concerts and Santa Clara County wines during “Santa Clara Week” in Florence, Italy.
  • Bridged cultural heritage with “Florence-Santa Clara: Two Schools of Sculpture” exhibit at the Triton Museum of Art.
  • Presented the Quartetto di Fiesole, and Italian string quartet, to perform in a special concert for the San Jose Chamber Music Society.
  • Presented “The City of Brunelleschi” art exhibition at the Saisset Museum.
  • Coordinated the “Fencing Gala” by te Società Accademia Schermistica Fiorentina at San Jose State University.
  • Partnered with Morgan Hill Sister City Committee for a Cultural Exchange to present “Pranza in the Vineyard” featuring Chef Angelo Mazzi from the Association of Florentine Chefs.

Celebrations

  • Hosted a special Dinner Celebration at Guglielmo Winery in October 2014, to present former Commissioner Duilio Peruzzi with the Citizen of the Year Medici Medallion and launch the Duilio Peruzzi Scholarship Fund for his multiple contributions to the Commission and the Italian Community.
  • Hosting biennial Medici Masked Balls, the most recent in 2012 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, San Jose, to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of its relationship with the Province* of Florence, and celebrate Medici Medallion Citizens of the Year.  Joan and Richard Della Maggiore, Marilyn and Frank Dorsa, and Marge Valente were honored for their commitment and contributions as community leaders. Over 400 friends of Florence and supporters attended the Commission's signature fundraising event.
  • Sponsoring and hosting Florence Commission Appreciation Barbecues at the Guglielmo Family Winery to announce Medici Medallion Award Recipients and celebrate present and past commissioners.
  • Hosting Cena alla Griglia Toscana, the 2010 Appreciation BBQ on September 23, 2010, at the Guglielmo Family Winery, in Morgan Hill, to celebrate past and present commissioners.
  • Established and promoted the Florence Commission Da Vinci Educational Sponsorship Project and partnered with The Tech Museum of Innovation, area businesses and individual donors to make it possible for 3,540 students and chaperones to experience the Leonardo Da Vinci Exhibit. The exhibit was extended through January 25, 2009, due to popular demand and the unprecedented number of school field trip visits.

 Diplomatic activities and efforts

  • Hosting "meet and greet" gatherings for new Consul Generals of Italy in San Francisco, after official welcoming ceremonies held by the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors.
  • Hosted formal Government delegations from the Province of Florence from May 4-9, 2012 and 2010 led by Province of Florence President Andrea Barducci and Provincial Council President David Ermini to strengthen communication, cultural exchanges and collaborations with the Province through the implementation of Memoranda of Understanding signed between both regions.
  • Sponsoring American governmental delegations to the Province of Florence, Italy and hosts Italian governmental delegations to highlight respective artistic, cultural and educational advancements, technological innovations and to explore partnership opportunities that strengthen the sister county relationship.
  • Visited the Province of Florence and met with President Matteo Renzi and colleagues in May 2008, to share best practices and discuss mutual collaborations for the coming year.
  • Hosted a welcoming reception for the Consul General of Italy in San Francisco, Fabrizio Marcelli.
  • Hosted Province of Florence President Matteo Renzi and colleagues in February of 2007 and held a Joint Meeting to discuss mutual collaboration for the following year.
  • Advanced Cross Cultural Understanding by supporting and attending an International Transportation Planning Conference hosted by the Province of Florence, Italy.
  • Acted as the liaison between European and American experts studying solid waste recycling, which led to Santa Clara County representation at an international recycling conference.
  • Represented the County of Santa Clara at the World Peace Conference held in the Province of Florence, Italy.

 

Contact Information:

County of Santa Clara/ Florence Sister County Commission
Office of the County Executive
Attn: Office of Public Affairs
70 W. Hedding St.,
East Wing, 11th Floor
San Jose, CA 95110

PH: (408) 299-5115
FAX: (408) 295-2192
Email: [email protected]​​

* The Province of Florence has been replaced by the Metropolitan City of Florence. The County and Commission are communicating with key representatives to strengthen the relationship with the new organization.

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