Hoping to rekindle one of Cupertino’s first sister city relationships Vice Mayor Gilbert Wong took on the task of traveling to Copertino, Italy last week.
Wong is sharing his travels with the community on his Facebook page and agreed to share some of the trip with Cupertino Patch.
Wong was met at the Brindisi airport by the mayor and a councilmember of Copertino for a 45-minute trek to the city of Copertino, for which Cupertino—using the Spanish spelling—is named. The cities also share the same patron St. Joseph.
“Our first stop was to a local school in Copertino where there were over hundred elementary children waving American and Italian flags in the school courtyard,” Wong wrote. “In the auditorium they welcomed me with the American and Italian National Anthems and some local songs with speeches from the mayor, councilmember Valentino (sister city liaison) and the headmaster of the school.”
That afternoon Wong visited the home of Patron St. Joseph where “his actual heart is in a special case, but his body is in Oisimo.”
In honor of the 350th anniversary of St. Joseph’s death his body was flown in by helicopter for a special ceremony, Wong said.
The history between Cupertino and Copertino was formalized in 1963 by then-Mayor John Benetti—but some in Copertino are looking to “deactivate our relationship between our two cities from business to student exchanges in partnership with our St. Joseph Parish School in Cupertino,” Wong said.
To help reinvigorate the sister city partnership Donna Austin and Patrick Kwok have been asked to be honorary co-chairs.
Wong did not take for granted the opportunity to take in the local fare, which he said is “delicious.”
“Copertino is located on the heel of Italy between the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea so they have wonderful seafood. I truly enjoyed the wonderful warm hospitality of the people go Copertino and I will never forget my first time and experience in Italy!”