In June 2013, Ottawa had the opportunity to host and welcome a delegation of seven individuals from the City of Rapino, province of Chieti, Italia. The delegation was composed of the Mayor of Rapino, Rocco Cocciaglia, Vice Mayor Andrea Oliva, Rosabla Mascioli, Doctor Fabrizio Costantini and Adriano Pasquale.
The visit to the City of Ottawa and surrounding area was very successful for the Italians. They were very well received by the people of Ottawa who demonstrated a charisma of a very special type. Since the moment they arrived, they felt immediately at home and were able to quickly adapt to the Canadian culture and climate. They met many new people for the first time from the Abruzzo region with which they easily developed a mutual bond as though they had known each other for many years.
The emotion of Mayor of Rapino, Rocco Cocciaglia was evident and profound. The fraternity was unquestionable and this was demonstrated every time he spoke in a public forum or at an official reception of the community. Including a trip to Niagara Falls and Montreal, the delegation visited many areas of Ottawa including: Parliament Hill, the downtown market, trip to La Bottega Nicastro for an espresso and a stop at Di Rienzo Foods for one of their famous sandwiches.. The Italians were received with a warm welcome each place they visited.
The delegation also had the opportunity to meet the Mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson, and take a tour of the City Hall of which they were very impressed.
The Sindaco of Rapino indicated many times that he was very moved by the generosity of the people he has met in Ottawa. He thanked “The Sons and Daughters of the Maiella” (the Rapinesi, Pretoresi, Roccolani) who were present at many of the events he attended. The schedule of events for the delegation were very well organized by Lorenzo Micucci and his wife Denise, individuals from the Abruzzo region including the generous support from the Rapinese Association of Ottawa, President Gina Marinelli, its executive committee and members. There were many other friends and relatives who contributed to the success of the events..
The Mayor said he was very proud to know that immigrants from the Abruzzo region became very successful in their work and their contributions to the advancement of Canadian society, speaking in four different languages English, French, Italian and the varied dialects of the Italian language.
Mayor Rocco was also pleased to see how the Abruzzo immigrants and the next generation of families successfully integrated into the Canadian society by becoming business owners, accountants, doctors, lawyers, and business and computer professionals.
The hospitality and generous receptions that were organized by families and friends in Ottawa evoked strong emotions of community with a shared bond to the ‘old country’. They will be able to return to Rapino with great memories, stories and feelings of camaraderie they found in the people of Canada.
In closing, the Mayor Rocco Cocciaglia said “We want to see you all in Rapino”.