CORNING, N.Y. (WENY) -- People from Corning’s sister city in Italy, San Giovanni Valdarno, celebrated their long-lasting friendship with the people of Corning.  

Corning’s Mayor William Boland and San Giovanni Valdarno’s Mayor Valentina Vadi exchanged loving embraces, gifts, and decide to re-sign their allegiance to one another, that has been intact for 20 years. Mayor Boland and Mayor Vadi both put emphasis on how strong their “sister cities relationship” truly is. 

“San Giovanni Valdarno reached, originally, to the City of Corning to be in solidarity with us for 9/11,” Mayor Boland said. “The foundation of our friendship is friendship."

Mayor Boland said it is important to embrace the people of San Giovanni Valdarno. During a time when people in New York State needed love and support after the terrorist attack on September 11th, 2001, San Giovanni Valdarno was there. 

Mayor Boland said this re-commitment to one another demonstrates the importance of expanding one's horizons and learning more about the world them. 

“It's an opportunity for adults, and in particular, our experience the greater world and reach out with friendship to one another,” he said. “That life experience is invaluable whether you're an adult or whether you're a younger person.”  

Mayor Vadi said she is overjoyed to be celebrating this friendship that has lasted decades. She added, the people of Corning have been overwhelmingly welcoming and kind. 

“We are among friends and people that love us...and we love all of them,” she said. 

Mayor Vadi said the signing ceremony was significant to her and her city because it is important to remember how this friendship began. Although the friendship started with a somber tone, Vadi said it is amazing to see how much this relationship has grown. 

“Everything started because of 9/11 and so, from our side, we wanted to express solidarity to the American people through a ‘sister city program’,” she said. 

Corning’s Italian friends will be staying in the area for the rest of the weekend to enjoy GlassFest 2023 and they hope to visit again. 

Mayor Valentina Vadi’s interpreter: Paolo Ricci