A Sister City for Salida

By Mike Rosso, Colorado Central Magazine

A recent decision by a town council 6,000 miles away has led to the first sister-city designation for Salida. Lago, in the province of Cosenza in the Calabria region of southern Italy, is the ancestral home of many early settlers to Salida, many of whose names are very familiar to locals.

A sister- or twin-city designation is an agreement between cities or towns to promote cultural and commercial ties. The concept of town “twinning” came about after World War II as a way to foster friendship and understanding between different cultures and to encourage trade and tourism. The idea for a twin-city designation between Salida and Lago originated with Dr. Francesco Gallo, a self-proclaimed Laghitan who has done extensive research on emigrants from Lago, with much of his research focused on the Lago/Salida connection.

“It was my idea about the twin cities, and he [Lago mayor and architect Vittorio Cupelli] agreed with that and then wrote a letter to Mayor Jim Dickson,” said Dr. Gallo on a visit to Salida this past summer. On July 9, the mayor of Lago proposed the designation to Salida’s mayor, and on Aug. 19 the Salida City Council voted in favor of it: Resolution 2014-65, approving the designation of Lago, Italy as Salida’s Sister City.

Gallo’s book, The Lago-Salida Connection, Pioneers From Lago to Salida, was first released as a booklet in 2007; it has been updated and the third edition, released in 2014, contains 210 pages. It delves extensively into the history of both communities: their origins, geological and cultural features, as well as the reasons for the mass emigration from Lago between 1885 and 1920, and how many of the Laghitans ended up in Salida.

To read the rest of the article, please visit: http://cozine.com/2014-december/sister-city-salida/

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