Dante DiMidio; William J. Salerno,Sr., Esq.; Vincent A. Virgulti
in Italy- Dante, Bill, Vince
Carlo Damiani, Council member signing agreement of collaboration
with Mayor,Angelo Canala and Bill Salerno
in Italy- Dante, Bill
Ties that Bond
  "One Handshake At A Time"
by Cate Murway

Yes! Our historic Bristol on the Delaware family will soon grow a tad larger with the addition of a new "sister" and interesting people from across the globe!
Town twinning or sister cities is an innovative effective vehicle to reach out and encourage the new friendship and fellowship of towns or cities from geographically and politically distinct areas. The cities are paired with the goal of fostering human contact and cultural links by creating special relationships.
Bristol’s program, co- sponsored by the Italian Mutual Aid and the Borough Council, focuses on promoting economic ties while strengthening cultural understanding.
The Sister City team of Dante DiMidio, William J. Salerno, Esq. and Vincent A. Virgulti has just returned from their trek to Italy, full of enthusiasm!

Wilson Avenue resident, representing the Italian Mutual Aid, Vince Virgulti, BE’60/Penn State/LaSalle “got this started”. He is the youngest son of the 5 children born to Nazzareno and Anna Virgulti who migrated from Castel diLima to Bristol on the Delaware, that was a lucrative place for unskilled immigrants.
His cousin, Anna Virgulti secured the contacts for this sister city relationship.
Vincent established, “ A goal is to see this blossom especially among young people to carry it forth, saying ‘my great grandparents came from this area. I am connected to something’!”

Lower Makefield resident, Dante DiMidio, BE ’72, and his sister were raised in a 1st generation home. He represented the families from Bristol who originated from Spinetoli.

William J. Salerno, Esq. represented the Borough council.

Information technology (IT) has made the 19th Century jurisdiction lines almost obsolete. The world emerges as a borderless entity and the nature of world politics has been gradually undergoing a paradigm shift. The information technology revolution has undeniably drawn people closer together.

The sister city relationship between the municipality of Spinetoli, province of Ascoli Piceno, Italy and the municipality of Bristol Borough, USA is well poised as a pragmatic platform that can be likened to a scaled up version of a "pen pal" scheme. Here the "pals" are whole towns or cities, covering a broad range of exchanges, projects and initiatives, which benefit all levels of community including business, education, culture, social, sports, youth and women. This bond will help inculcate heritage appreciation amongst the new generation, cultivating a deeper sense of cultural identity and enriching this priceless heritage for posterity.
The cities reciprocally send and receive delegations of political and business leaders, arts and cultural representatives, educators, technical experts and students.
The advantages include educating our citizens about the world and its diversity, promoting cross-cultural understanding, strengthening our economies through business alliances and promoting democracy and nation building through government-to-government exchanges.

A Bristol- Spinetoli Sister City Association has been formed to create ties with Italy, for the benefit of both cities with economic and cultural collaborations, nurturing networks of expertise and mutual sharing of ideas and solutions to overcome some common concerns.
Twinning exchange, project and initiatives between the two cities has been driven by mutual interests and goodwill and will prosper with an undivided commitment from the governments, private sectors, volunteer groups and fellow citizens alike. This venture is about developing with the people rather than for the people, thus requiring sufficient citizen empowerment to embark on this project successfully.

It's the team’s hope that the rest of historic Bristol on the Delaware will become as excited and committed to the goals and objectives of this program as they are about this!
Make friends..make contacts..make peace!
They are looking forward to having a very special cultural exchange visit in September 2009. You can play an important role!
A “citizen diplomat” has the right, even the responsibility to play a key role in forging relationships between Americans and citizens from around the world.
Introduce them to the Borough, its citizens and the area’s vast professional resources highlighted by its cuisine and natural beauty.
Promote a positive image of historic Bristol on the Delaware and the U.S.

To become a member of the Sister City Association, contact:
Dante DiMidio 610.653.7168, William J. Salerno 215.788.5450, or Vincent A. Virgulti 215.788.3767

“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”
Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

It is clear that the success of our sister city project will not be purely coincidental but that it will be developed through the sharing of a common vision, active commitment to strengthening the relationships and a willingness to engage in a meaningful partnership.
The agreement of collaboration was signed on Monday 10.27.08 by the Mayor of Spinetoli, Angelo Canala and by the designated proxy, William J. Salerno, Esq., who represented the President of the Council of Bristol Borough, Ralph DiGuiseppe.

The idea of "twinning" a community with a foreign counterpart is believed to have originated during the World War II to bring European people into a closer understanding of each other and to promote cross-border projects of mutual benefit of cultural understanding and to stimulate private business and economic development.
In 1956, President Eisenhower initiated the U.S. “People-to-People” program, forerunner of the U.S. sister-city movement.

"If we are going to take advantage of the assumption that all people want peace, then the problem is for people to get together and to leap governments … to work out not one method but thousands of methods by which people can gradually learn a little bit more of each other." Dwight D. Eisenhower [34th President 1953-1961]

Many of the large [23%] Italian-American population in Bristol are from the Marche region. The Province of Ascoli Piceno [Provincia di Ascoli Picen], a peaceful Italian provincial town, is ideally located midway between the Adriatic sea, rolling hills and awe-inspiring Appennini mountains,  surrounded by beautiful olive groves.
Italian-American populace has amalgamated into the general population but wish to maintain connection with their past. The major impetus of this venture is to preserve something of the past and also share commodities of the present, such as the hand made Italian lace, jewelry, signature stuffed olives, truffles, and polenta [creamy boiled cornmeal].

Are you a member of these families?
Angelini, Cagnetti, Capecci, Capriotti, Caucci, Ciotti, Cocci, D’Emidio, Fioravanti, Girotti, Marozzi or Massi?  There are many other family names being researched.
The five most common family names in Spinetoli: Pierantozzi, Capriotti, Luciani, Vagnoni and Camaioni.
Please contact Vince Virgulti  vav1@psu.edu

The more we know each other, the better we will understand each other.
In lieu of past ethnic, political and economic struggles, countries worldwide have increasingly recognized the importance and necessity to nurture cooperation and collaboration across borders. The development tenets of the past, that of competition, economic rivalry and exploitation, have evolved to make way for global, regional and community cooperation and esprit de corps.

Together, let’s work on international relations as it should be; friendly, personal and effective- one person, one handshake at a time.
"Promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation -- one individual, one community at a time."
Making friends leads to peace - it really is that simple.

Recommend a Spotlight: e-mail vjmrun@yahoo.com


Tales of a Twinning:  Bristol's Sister City Relationship with Spinetoli, Italy
Sunday, April 26, 2009
2:00 PM
The Margaret R. Grundy Memorial Library

Town twinning or sister cities is an innovative effective vehicle to reach out and encourage new friendship and fellowship of towns or cities from geographically and politically distinct areas. The cities are paired with the goal of fostering human contact and cultural links by creating special relationships.
This bond will help inculcate heritage appreciation amongst the new generation, cultivating a deeper sense of cultural identity and enriching this priceless heritage for posterity.

Dante DiMidio and Vincent A. Virgulti will offer a colorful and exciting Power Point presentation accompanied by music. Free refreshments afterwards.

The event, sponsored by the Columbus 500 Foundation, is open to the public with a special invitation extended to family members who trace their origins to Spinetoli.  Many of these family members signed the greeting that we presented to the town of Spinetoli on October 27, 2008, when the agreement between the municipality of Spinetoli, province of Ascoli Piceno, Italy and the municipality of Bristol Borough, USA was ratified.
A voluntary donation of $3.00 is suggested.

Bristol family names originating from Spinetoli:
Aneglini     Agostini     Amabile     Cagnetti     Caione     Calenti     Capecci   Capriotti     Caucci     Ciotti      Cocci      Costantini      D’Emidio     Farge     Fefelici      Felicioni  Fioravanti     Fiori     Franceschi     Gabrielli   Giantomas     Girotti      Lunerti   Massi  Marozzi     Mazzanti    Narcisi     Orsini      Panichi     Petrizio   Petrizzi     Pezzoli     Pica   Pezzulo    Pierandozzi    Pierantozzi   Pizzoli    Plebani    Pregacci     Rosati
Sabatini     Scancello    Slaccia      Sispetti     Straccia     Taglieri     Tosti Tavoletti   Valardi   Volponi   

Contact Donna Albright for further information.

Sister Cities with Ascoli
Published: Thursday, July 12, 2007

By Tim Chicirda; Editor

First, New Jersey, now, Italy; Bristol forges another town partnershipWith the tabling of many motions and ordinances and a relatively small agenda, this month's Bristol Borough regular meeting took a short 45 minutes.

Most of the discussion at the meeting came during public participation, when residents expressed concern about the loose python slithering through town.

Council President Ralph DiGuiseppe claimed the capturing of the snake is "a waiting game," but the borough is doing everything in their power to rid the town of this animal.

(More details on the snake situation are below.)

Moving on during the meeting, the borough voted unanimously to become a "sister city" with Ascoli, Italy. The partnership hopes to have residents of both towns provide students, teachers and other eduational opportunities in Bristol and/or in Ascoli.

Councilman Bill Salerno also added at last week's work session that the partnership will also be a commercial opportunity to export and import products of both countries.

Correspondence between Piero Celani, the mayor of Ascoli, and Bristol Borough has taken place for a year now, building the foundation for this friendship.

Specifically, the correspondence on the Borough's side has come from the Italian Mutual Aid Fifth Ward Association.

"I think this is an excellent opportunity," said Mayor Joe Saxton.

Also discussed at the Borough's regular meeting were the updates on two big projects in the borough: the return of the Amish Market and the renovation of Stock's into the new George Michael properties.

According to President DiGuiseppe, the Amish have recently submitted their plans and the installation of their new market is right around the corner.

As far as the George Michael properties along the river, DiGuiseppe said, "as far as we know it's still a done deal." Despite all formal action being postponed again, motions related to this project should be passed during the borough's August meetings.

The borough also passed a motion authorizing a lease agreement for use of a building at Wood and Monroe Streets for the Fire Department.

The rent will be $1500/month. Councilman Jim Lutz was concerned as to whether or not the fire truck will be insured. It will be and the motion passed unanimously.

The borough also approved the Storm Drainage Easement Agreement with the Bucks County Housing Authority for the School District project. They also authorized the advertising of an Ordinance implementing the revision to the Bucks County Municipal Waste Management Plan.

Wood Street early 1900's