OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Late Sunday night, Carlentini Mayor Giuseppe Stefio officially arrived in Omaha.
"I am honored and very happy to be a guest of the City of Omaha and our community from Carlentini. And I want to especially thank the Mayor Stothert for the invitation to come and I look forward to meet her in person," Stefio said in Italian.
The Carlentini heritage in Omaha runs back several generations.
"Since 1893, more than 3,000 people left and today they represent 70% of the Italian community (in Omaha)," said Eleonora Formica, president of the Carlentini Omaha Association.
So clearly, Italian culture has had an influence on Omaha.
"The real reason we are here is because this is the first time that the Mayor from Carlentini is visiting Omaha, officially," Formica said.
The first introduction to Omaha came virtually, last September when Mayor Jean Stothert and Stefio signed a city friendship agreement.
This visit brings hope.
"Hoping that one day we will be sister cities," Formica said.
The Carlentini Mayor has a busy schedule, visiting many of Omaha's popular spots including the Old Market.
"So in the next days, our mayor, he has a full schedule and a lot of meetings before this dream becomes true," Formica said.
Capping off the visit is a Carlentini tradition in Omaha, the annual Santa Lucia Festival. A celebration of heritage and this year, a mayor from that town, who might just feel right at home.
The Santa Lucia Festival starts Thursday and will be full of traditions, including musical talent.
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