Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Well, after 10 years it is now official. Actually it has been official since last May upon the signing of the documents at the Mayors office on the Grand Canal in Venezia. I have been traveling to Venezia now for over 35 years to learn the art of building and rowing Venetian Gondolas. Many close ties have been built and through the years we formed an unofficial Sistercity relationship. It was time to put a stamp on it and begin a serious exchange program. so I was there for my 31st Vogalonga and had the pleasure of meeting the mayor and Vice Mayor of Tourism. We sat for an hour or so discussing the reasons that Long Beach and Venezia were such a perfect match to share this "Sisterhood" relationship. To "Twin" two cities, those cities must carry many similarities, so Gondolas, could not be the sole reason for the bond. We are both Port cites, Cruise ship destinations,beach cities and tourist destinations. We both share unique waterways including Sea, Lagoon, Bays and canals. We both boast Universities that study the effects of Man on the surrounding Ocean. Environmental similarities were the main topic of discussion. We have already begun to plan both educational and sport exchange through the Universities and Aquatic organizations. The T's have officially been crossed and a couple of I's have been dotted! This new bond that we share will soon become an important badge of honor for both Long Beach and Venezia! We hope to create a tremendous flow of people, sport, information and education between the two Cities. A website is being formed as we speak that will allow you all to stay tuned of what is going on and how you can get involved if you like!