Vercelli visit seals friendship

PUBLISHED: 12:52 22 February 2007 | UPDATED: 13:51 04 May 2010

Cllr Ison and his wife, Cheryl with a replica of the 1,000-year-old silver and gold crucifix that hangs in Vercelli Cathedral. The replica is in the Cathedral's Treasury museum, near the famous Book of Vercelli

Cllr Ison and his wife, Cheryl with a replica of the 1,000-year-old silver and gold crucifix that hangs in Vercelli Cathedral. The replica is in the Cathedral's Treasury museum, near the famous Book of Vercelli

Ely Mayor Cllr John Ison reinforced the Italian connection when he travelled to Vercelli to help strengthen friendly ties between the two cities. The link was made by Ely choristers when they sang in Vercelli during their recent tour. Cllr Ison and his

Ely Mayor Cllr John Ison reinforced the Italian connection when he travelled to

Vercelli to help strengthen friendly ties between the two cities.

The link was made by Ely choristers when they sang in Vercelli during their recent tour.

Cllr Ison and his wife Cheryl attended an official reception by the mayor, Andrea

Corsara, attended by representatives of many local organisations, particularly those involved with tourism.

During the reception, gifts were exchanged and Cllr Ison also gave the tourism representatives copies of Ely's current tourism brochure.

Other highlights of the visit were dinner with Rotarians, conducted tours of the Cathedral and the Basilica of St Andrea, a chance to see the famous Anglo Saxon Book of Vercelli and a concert by the Camerata Ducale orchestra as part of an annual festival in honour of a local composer, Giovanni Viotti.

It is hoped that the orchestra will come to play in Ely and arrangements are being made to bring a number of cooks to the city to demonstrate the risotto dishes for which Vercelli is famous.

The city of 45,000 people is in the heart of the northern Italian rice fields and is very similar to Ely in many ways - down to a major problem with car parking. It also has a centuries-old link with Chesterton.

"We were given an astonishing welcome," said Cllr Ison. "Everyone we met was extremely friendly and it's obvious that Ely is held in very high regard in Vercelli.

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