L'Aquila, Italy (1998)
L’Aquila and Hobart sister city relationship dates back to 1997. The relationship was initiated, and has been actively supported, by members of the local Hobart Italian Abruzzese, community.
L’Aquila is the Capital of the Abruzzo region, which is located in south central Italy. The region supports a population of over 1.2 million making it one of the least populated regions of Italy. It is famous for its national parks, including the Abruzzo National Park, one of the most important in Europe. The modest economy predominantly relies on the commerce of agricultural products. The Capital L’Aquila is a university city, and also enjoys a flourishing fine arts and craft sector.
Hobart and L’Aquila are currently discussing the potential of a scholarship for a young person of Abruzzi descent to visit L’Aquila in order to re-connect with his / her ancestral roots and language practice. Other potential areas of exchange are in architecture and design with L’Aquila currently in the midst of re-building the city.
In March 1998 the Capella Ars Musicalis Female Choir visited Hobart and a concert was held in conjunction with the Abruzzese Association, at Hobart’s Town Hall.
In May 2000 the Tostian Ensemble Quartet from Italy visited Hobart for a performance with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and attended a reception hosted by the Lord Mayor.
In 2005 forty-one members of the L’Aquila A’ Capella Choir (Coro Aquilano) travelled to Hobart where the City hosted free public concerts held at the Town Hall and Salamanca Arts Centre courtyard.
In 2005 the Australian national touring ceramics exhibition ‘Surface: Beneath and Beyond’ representing the work of eleven leading Tasmanian artists traveled with a Hobart City Council delegation to L’Aquila.
Fundraising for Earthquake relief
In 2009, a devastating 5.9 magnitude earthquake occurred in L’Aquila’s region of Abruzzo. Many lives were lost and families displaced. The earthquake severely damaged or destroyed thousands of centuries-old buildings.
The City of Hobart worked in collaboration with the local Abruzzese Association and the Australian Italian Club to implement two key fundraising events. A total of $60,000 was sent to the Mayor of L’Aquila, which contributed to the restoration of the L’Aquila University.
Smaller earthquakes occurred in August 2016 and January 2017 with the Council providing $20,000 in financial support.
2017 Hobart L’Aquila 20th anniversary celebrations
The City of Hobart in May 2017 sent a small delegation to L’Aquila ahead of the October anniversary as part of a larger European study tour. The visit was to mark the 20-year anniversary and show respect and support to the city in light of the devastating events endured.
In October 2017, the City of Hobart and members of the local Hobart Abruzzese community celebrated the relationship’s 20-year anniversary.