Hilton Head wants to be besties with this European getaway

“Do you want to fall in love with Verona or not?” Bob LeFavi asked the Hilton Head Town Council on Tuesday.

The question from the department head for health sciences at Armstrong State University in Savannah came after a presentation on behalf of the Italian-American Club of Hilton Head, which urged council members to consider a resolution to enter into a “Friendship City Pact” with Verona, located in northern Italy.

The council approved the consideration unanimously. John De Cecco, president of the Italian-American Club, said Verona already approved the friendship pact and was waiting on Hilton Head’s approval.

“It offers great opportunities for the future,” said council member Bill Harkins.

This agreement aims to promote exchange between Hilton Head and Verona. Areas of possible interest mentioned Tuesday include arts and culture, youth and education, business and trade, municipal exchanges and community development.

Greg DeLoach, assistant town manager, said the resolution does not require a second reading and is not a binding contract. The next step, though not required, is for mayor David Bennett to visit Verona for a signing ceremony.

De Cecco said the Italian-American Club plans to put together committees to develop areas of exchange with Verona, and hopes to create an exchange program for students.

LeFavi said Wednesday that Verona was picked as a sister city because of the similarities with Hilton Head. Both are tourist destinations and cities on the water, among other things, he said.

“The beautiful thing about a sister city is it’s a win-win,” LeFavi said.


    ▪ Population: 260,000

    ▪ Climate: humid, subtropical

    ▪ Located near the Adige River

    ▪ Home to Roman ruins

    ▪ Setting of Shakespeare’s tragedy “Romeo and Juliet”