After a three-year break due to the Covid pandemic, Romsey Twinning was pleased to have resumed partnership activities with its twin town in Italy. 
A group of 17 people recently returned from a visit to Treviglio, Romsey’s twin town near Milan.
The group included the Town Mayor, who is president of the twinning association, and the Mayoress. At a civic ceremony in Treviglio, the Mayor Cllr Neil Gwynne, signed a document with his opposite number, the Sindaco of Treviglio, renewing the friendship agreement between the two communities which had been signed originally in March 2014 in Romsey Abbey. The visitors were welcomed to the ceremony by the local wind and brass band playing the two national anthems.
Following the ceremony, the twinning group visited the principal sights of the town, including St Martin’s Basilica, the medieval Civic Tower, now re-purposed as a ‘vertical museum’, the interactive Museum of Science, and the Santuario, a baroque church built in the early 17th century to commemorate the key event in the town’s history.
This year marks the 500th anniversary of this event when the town was saved from wholesale destruction by the miraculous ‘weeping’ of a local fresco of the Virgin Mary which stayed in the hand of the invading French army.
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The fresco now forms the main altarpiece of the Santuario, which has been restored for the anniversary and has been the focal point of an Anno Santo or Holy Year in Treviglio.
The next day the Romsey group was given a guided tour of the historic centre of Brescia, including its two cathedrals and the remains of the ancient Roman settlement of Brixia. 
The visit concluded with a communal dinner at a local restaurant when both parties looked forward to a reunion next year with Treviglio visiting Romsey. 
Chairman of Romsey Twinning, Roland Matthews, said: “It was so good to be in personal contact again with our friends on the continent after the enforced separation of the last few years. Although we have maintained contact during this period online and via social media there can be no substitute for seeing one another in person, so this visit was welcomed hugely by both sides.”
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