Belleville and Forino, the Italian town of 5,376 residents about 500 miles south of Rome, have re-established their sister city ties.
The resolution to adopt Forino as a sister city was approved at the February 8 Township Council meeting.
Forging ties with Forino can create “great benefits to all residents from the cultural exchange with other municipalities and towns from around the world,” the resolution states.
Forino, a quaint town on the southwestern coast of Italy, located on a hillside between Salerno and Avellino, is known for its quiet, sleepy streets and restaurants serving up authentic regional cuisine.
At more than 12 square miles, the town in Italy’s Avellino province is steeped in centuries of history.
In fact, the town was founded in pre-Roman times. Several structures from the medieval period have survived, including the Church of St. Nicholas, the Church of the Rosary, the Church of St. Stephen and the Church of the Annuziata – which features a 15th-century layout with an artistic, wooden choir.
Former Belleville Mayor Jerry Digori originally established a relationship with Forino, seeking to build a bridge with the town some 4,400 miles away and the homeland that has sent so many of its sons and daughters to Belleville over the generations.
“We chose Forino as our sister city because we should always be on a quest to widen our views of the world and seek greater cultural awareness,” Mayor Michael Melham said.
“Over the years, we have warmly welcomed Forino citizens to live here and visit here.”
Melham looks forward to building a relationship with Forino Mayor Antonio Olivieri as the sister cities program evolves.
The Township Council is also planning to formally create a sister city connection with a municipality in Ecuador, Melham said.
Photo from bellevillenj.org