Noceto Mayor Fabio Fecci presents lyre sculpture to Walnut Creek Mayor Sue Rainey on 4/13/07.
In early 1986, Mayor Francesco Barocelli of Noceto, Italy contacted the City of Walnut Creek to explore a sister city relationship between the two communities, whose link is the word "walnut." In September 1987 the Walnut Creek City Council responded by sending a delegation of 10, including City Manager Tom Dunne, Council member Gail Murray, and City Clerk Barbara Rivara, to Noceto to take steps towards formalizing the sister city bond. The Walnut Creek Junior Women's Club and the Walnut Creek Women's Club became co-sponsors of the new Walnut Creek Sister City Committee. In October 1986, the City Council allocated $5,000 to them to fund the city's membership in Sister Cities International and to play host to an official delegation from Noceto in 1988.
A delegation of citizens from Walnut Creek's Italian sister city of Noceto was welcomed by Mayor Sue Rainey and the City Council during an official visit at City Hall on April 13, 2007. A group of 15 Noceto residents, led by Mayor Fabio Fecci, were the guests of honor at a dinner that evening at the Shadelands Art Center. Mayor Fecci presented the City with a sculpture of a lyre as Noceto's gift for the new downtown Walnut Creek Library. For photos of the day's event, click here.
In the fall of 1991, Siófok, Hungary was added to Walnut Creek's extended family, with formal agreements signed by representatives from both cities in February 1993. As a result of the addition of Siófok, the Sister City Committee changed its name to Walnut Creek Sister Cities International. There are 70 members in the organization.
What Walnut Creek Sister Cities International Does
The volunteers of Walnut Creek Sister Cities International develop projects in three program areas:
- Formal Group visitations
- Exchanges in the Arts
- Pen-pal correspondence for all ages
- Home stay visitations
- Teacher exchanges
- Student art contests/exchanges
2008-2009 Board of Directors
- Providing individual travelers with local contact
President, Bill Hansen
Vice President, Fred Kovar
Past President/Membership, Karen Cassano,
925-944-1238 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President, Noceto, Primo Facchini
Vice President, Siófok, Istvan Borocz
Secretary, Margo Peckham
Treasurer, Pat Eich
How to Become a Member of Walnut Creek Sister Cities International
Anyone can become a member of Walnut Creek Sister Cities International. Annual dues are as follows:
Student (with ID), $10
Senior (62 and over), $15
Make checks payable to Walnut Creek Sister Cities International and mail to:
Walnut Creek Sister Cities, International,
c/o Karen Cassano,
2841 Bowling Green Dr.,
Walnut Creek, CA 94598
All dues and donations are tax-deductible.
About Noceto, Italy
Noceto, which translated means "walnut grove," is a small town of 10,000 located near the city of Parma within the Emilia Romagna Region in northern Italy. Noceto is connected by highway and national railway to cities on the Adriatic and Mediterranean seas. Agriculture is the main industry. Noceto produces various grains, fruits, and vegetables, prosciutto, and dairy products -- especially Parmesan cheese. Small factories related to food production and manufacturing have also been established. Coincidentally, industrial and population expansion in Noceto began about 1960, the same time as similar growth in Walnut Creek. The first historical reference to Noceto was in 835 A.D., even though its origins date as early as 183 B.C. Noceto officially became a city in 1795, in the republic of Cisalpina, and again in 1860, the year Italy was unified. The village grew around the 12th Century fortress, "La Rocca," or "the Rock." Reconstructed several times, La Rocca was given its present form in 1480 by the powerful Rossi family. It now belongs to the City and is the historic center of Noceto. Castelguelfo, a nearby 15th Century castle with magnificent lateral and central towers and large central courtyards, is said to be connected to La Rocca by a tunnel. Its strategic position on the Via Emilia gave it historic importance.
About Siófok, Hungary
Siófok is a beautiful city on the shores of Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe. Siófok is surrounded by lush, rolling hills and agricultural land. It is connected to Budapest by a four-lane highway and a rail line. There has been a settlement at this site since the time of the Roman Empire. Throughout its long history, Siófok has preserved its rightful place as the capital of the "Hungarian Sea." Since Roman times, Siófok has been a summer tourist mecca. The population of 25,000 swells to over 150,000 for the summer. Cultural and recreational activities abound during the tourist season. The Hungarian American Club of Siófok and Walnut Creek Sister Cities International are instrumental in organizing projects between Siófok and Walnut Creek. In April 1999, the Siófok Children's and Youth Chorus visited Walnut Creek for two weeks. Click here for the City of Siófok website.