Recently the City of Sunny Isles Beach hosted a delegation of public officials from Taormina, Italy, a city on the island of Sicily. The delegation was headed by the Mayor of Taormina, Mauro Passalaqua, accompanied by the noted Taormina Grand City Events Specialist Dino Papale and other business leaders. From the moment the delegation was received at the Miami International Airport, a natural chemistry between Sunny Isles Beach officials and officials from Taormina was formed as if to indicate that this union of the two cities was always meant to happen.
With grand fanfare Mayor Norman S. Edelcup and the City Commission did not spare any effort to impress the Taormina delegation with what Sunny Isles Beach has to offer. On the first night the delegation was invited to a dinner event where the Taormina delegation presented an impressive historical architecture and contemporary life video of Taormina. Following the presentation gifts were exchanged.
In fact the delegation was so taken by their great impressions of our City, that Dino Papale, who is also a journalist, wrote daily articles about the upscale City of Sunny Isles Beach, the gracious hosts, which were published in the Taormina press the very next day. One of these articles has been translated into English and is published here (see right).
Acting as the City’s very gracious co-hosts were Michael Dezer, developer of Trump Properties, and Elena Baronoff, Vice President of the Trump-Dezer Group and our City’s International Ambassador to Europe. They gave the Taormina delegation the grand tour of the Dezer Antique Car and the James Bond Car Museum, the largest museum of its kind in the World. The delegation was also treated to a sightseeing boat tour and trips to other places in South Florida.
City staff organized tours for the delegation to the Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Florida International University Biscayne Bay Campus. The group also enjoyed the experience of South Beach on famous Lincoln Road which is the home of some of the most indulgent restaurants in the world. In short, the Taormina delegation had an unforgettable experience and as Mayor Mauro Passalaqua said in his farewell speech, it will be difficult to match, when the City of Sunny Isles Beach delegation travels to their city this coming September.
On the final night of the Taormina delegation stay, at the farewell dinner hosted by the City, the letters of intent for the Sister City agreement were signed by Mayor Norman S. Edelcup and Mayor Mauro Passalaqua. In signing they have placed the cornerstone of what is to become a permanent bridge of cultural, social and tourism collaboration between the Pearl of Sicily, Taormina, and Florida’s Riviera, Sunny Isles Beach.