L'Aquila, Italy (1998)
The Hobart L’Aquila sister city relationship dates back to 1997. The relationship was initiated, and has continued to be actively supported by members of the Hobart based Abruzzese Association.
Declaration of Sister City - CoH
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 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 as well as practice the language. Other potential areas of exchange are in architecture and design with L’Aquila currently in the midst of re-building the city after a devastating earthquake in 2009.
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.
Capella Ars Musicalis Female Choir - CoH
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 travelled with a Hobart City Council delegation to L’Aquila.
Each year the Australian Italian Club of Tasmania and the Hobart Italian Abruzzese, community bring Federal Street, North Hobart to life for ‘Festa Italia’, a vibrant street party celebrating the flavours, sounds and sights of the Italian culture.
'Festa Italia' - CoH
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.
L'Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy 2009 earthquake - Wikipedia, TheWiz83
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 in the Town Hall.