For the past 2 years Bridgwater travellers have met representatives from the Italian town of Priverno at the Uherske Hradiste wine festival. Priverno -a medeaval mountain town situated just south of Rome and midway between the second world war battlefields of Anzio and Monte Cassino, is a twin town of Bridgwaters Czech twin town. If we can square the circle and make it a 3-way link up the possibilities for European funding -not to mention an excellent new destination for twinners- the opportunities are endless.
A small Bridgwater delegation visited Priverno in mid October , flying from Bristol to Rome Ciampino by Easyjet. Staying at the beach hotel Oasa di Kufra in the specially built ‘Fascist New Town’ (Mussolinis idea back in the 20s) of Sabaudia, the group was joined by a coach party
of 38 Czechs travelling through the night from UH.
Mayor of Priverno, Umberto Macci, welcomed the group and provided a football stadium so 2 friendly matches could take place. Bridgwater international – very low in actual numbers of ‘Brits’ (2 in fact) had to be supplemented by some spare Czech players and in fact held a young Italian side to a 4-4 draw with 2 great goals by Sedgemoor Unison striker Tim Mander. Meanwhile the Czechs -represented by Antonin Machalas Altech workers- also drew with an older more experienced Italian team this time 2-2.
At a social event thrown to consider future link projects both sides agreed to work towards a formal twinning to facilitate Euro grant aid and launch the links with a visit to Bridgwater by Mayor Macci in April 2010 followed by a visit to Priverno by a Bridgwater choir in May.
The October weather was stunningly summer like and the beach hotel a perfect location for future guests. Theres also no shortage of day trips – one day the group went by coach to the top of Monte Cassino-
where German paratroopers held out against the troops of many nations in 1943 until Polish troops attached to the British army stormed the mountain, and on the final day the ancient wonders of the italian capital Rome were on offer for everyone (The Brits did the site-seeing, the Czechs went to the Lazio-Cagliari match).
Any groups interested in future link ups with our Italian friends should contact us over the next few months as we develop our programme.