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Aviemore to consider surprise request to twin with Italian village

Aerial view of Aviemore
Aerial view of Aviemore

Britain may be about to sever ties with our European neighbours, but a Highland town could be starting its own international partnership.

Aviemore and Vicinity Community Council will this week discuss a proposal to twin with a village in Italy after an unexpected approach from its civic head.

Ursula Valmori, the mayor of Premilcuore, a mountain village about 43 miles south east of Bologna, wrote to the community council offering to develop a “friendly relationship”.

She said: “Our community is rooted in tradition but very dynamic and open to the world and it is located in a stunning valley neighbouring a national park.

“We would like to initiate a twinning program (sic) with a similar community in another country to provide mutual benefits through the undertaking of joint projects, to give the citizens the opportunity to interact and to enhance mutual understanding, promoting cultural and linguistic diversity while contributing to intercultural dialogue.”

Ms Valmori said the aim is to design and implement a joint action programme “involving educational and cultural areas, artistic exchanges, youth development and environmental initiatives”.

The community council have now asked local people for their thoughts ahead of discussing the request on Thursday.

Chairman Peter Long, chairman of Aviemore and Vicinity Community Council, said: “The request came completely out of the blue, but it’s certainly of interest and we will discuss at the meeting on Thursday to see if it’s something we will be pursuing.”

Mr Long said Aviemore currently does not have a twinning partner and added: “It’s something different to think about among all the other more difficult issues that we’ve got. But given that they appear to be a mountain village in a national park it would seem we have quite a bit in common and we would be interested in exploring it. But it’s very early stages at the moment.”

The idea prompted some discussion on the community council’s Facebook page. One residents said: “This could offer interesting opportunities to Aviemore residents – surely worth exploring. You’re not committed to anything just by gathering information.

“I think this is a positive in a world which is full of negativity at the moment.”

Another said: “Lovely idea! Twin towns have always been a lovely way of promoting international friendship.”

Premilcuore, which has a population of around 700 people, is in the Emilia Romagna region. According to the area’s website it is a historic location with several buildings dating back to its medieval origins.

It enjoys warm summers and very cold winters, with temperatures varying over the year 27°F to 80°F and is rarely below 18°F.

It is home to the Romagnolo Mountain Wildlife Museum and is a “prime tourist destination for nature lovers and those who appreciate the peace of the ancient woods” and a departure point for nature walks to the Casentinesi Forest National Park.

Aviemore, which is in the Cairngorms National Park, has a population of 3,613 and is a year-round tourism destination it has an oceanic climate with an average annual temperature of 44.2 °F.

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