Hebden Bridge Twinning Society

HBTS clasped hands

Pietrapaola

pietropaola-45

Friendship history

History of Pietrapaola 

Pietrapaola today 

Pietrapaola lies on the Ionian Sea in Calabria. The town is probably of Byzantine origin dating from the 7th century or earlier. Records of the town appear first in 1269 when it was part of the Angevin domain.

Early economic prosperity was based on agricultural and pastoral products and the production of textiles. However, the movement of economic power from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic combined with Turkish raids in the 16th and 17th centuries led to a decline. Most of all perhaps, the region as a whole suffered from being the subject of foreign powers (Norman, Angevin, Aragonese, Spanish, Austrian, Boubon and Piedmontese), many of whom exploited rather than supported them.

Following the second World War the population of Pietrapaola (and of Calabria as a whole) declined as people moved to cities in Northern Europe such as Warstein to work

Landscape calabria pietropaola-9 lungomare_(5)

Today the fine coastline, fascinating history and beautiful surroundings of Pietrapaola make it a natural destination for tourists and travellers. Local produce from the land and from the sea  adds to the pleasure of the visit. The Sila National Park with its wonderful mountain scenery and scope for outdoor activities is close at hand. The agricultural sector is especially well know for the cereals, wine, citrus fruits and olive oil. Industrially it is for wood working and wrought iron that the area is primarily known.

A friendship charter was signed between Warstein and Pietrapaola in 2001 with the Mayor of Pietrapaola Dr Matteo de Luca and Luigi Vitale (the very first worker from the city to to migrate to Warstein) as the signatories.

In 2010 and 2011  Giandomenico Ventura and Manfred Gödde the mayors of Pietrapaola and Warstein signed a twinning agreement.

This was followed in 2012 by an official visit to Pietrapaola by Warstein, St Pol and Hebden Bridge. An unforgetable visit was crowned by a wonderful dinner in their renaissance style castle.

Pietrapaola as well as being a twin town of Warstein is now a friendship town of Hebden Bridge and St Pol.  

The ballroom of Pietrapaola's castle

A distant view of the old town of Pietrapaola

The sea shore close to Pietrapaola

Part of the ceremony during the official 3 town visit to Pietrapaola