Verona, Italy Students Visit Hilton Head in First Sister-City Education Program

Jul 06, 2022 526

BY: Carmen Hawkins DeCecco

The Italian American Club of Hilton Head (IACHH) is pleased to announce the first sister-city education program since the pandemic restricted international travel two years ago. 

Despite the delay, Bob LeFavi (Former Dean of the University of South Carolina Beaufort Campus – USCB), and Italian liaison, Richard Collins (CEO, Inlingua, Verona) have organized our first student exchange activity scheduled for June 29 – July 13, 2022, when thirty-two “dual diploma” high school students accompanied by two chaperones from Verona, Italy, will arrive in the Lowcountry to visit southern American colleges, including (University of SC and Savannah College of Art & Design), and tour Hilton Head Island.

“The students will receive high school diplomas in both the U.S. and Italy,” says Dean LeFavi.  “Many are interested in continuing their education at a university in the United States. They will stay at USCB- Bluffton dorms, learning about life at an American university.”

They will visit Hilton Head three different days: one for a cultural tour, and another for a nature cruise. On July 7th, a meet and greet has been scheduled at Town Hall, between students, Town officials, as well as with Chamber of Commerce representatives.  This will be followed by a picnic at the Shelter Cove Pavilion in Shelter Cove Town Park, and an afternoon at one of our famous beaches.


In June of 2019, Hilton Head Island Mayor, John McCann, met with Verona Mayor, Federico Sboarina, to sign a Friendship pact in Verona.  This would be the first step in the process toward a sister-city pact.  Also attending this historical event were Italian dignitaries, twenty-four Islanders, John DeCecco, President of the IACHH (sponsoring organization), Italian liaison, Richard Collins (Director, World Tours Studios), American liaison, Bob LeFavi (Dean of the University of South Carolina Beaufort Campus – USCB), Steve Riley, Hilton Head Town Manager, and family members.

“Through this experience, we hope to create new opportunities and forge strong bonds with Verona, and its incredible people,” stated Mayor McCann of Hilton Head. After a two-year travel hiatus, we anticipate this upcoming visit from Verona students will help continue the progress towards a steady, mutually beneficial, sister-city relationship.

South Carolina Sister-City Agreements:

Hilton Head Island joins Anderson, Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville in the international sister-cities program Currently, South Carolina’s towns are partnered with fifteen cities overseas in countries as diverse as Northern Ireland, Romania, Germany, Taiwan, Bulgaria, and Ghana.  Most towns partner with more than one city from other countries.  For example, Greenville has sister-city agreements with four cities: Kortrijk (Belgium), Tianjin (China), Vadodara (India), and Bergamo (Italy).  Columbia has seven siter-cities, Charleston has five (most famously, Spoleto), and Anderson has two.

SOURCE: Italian American Club of Hilton Head

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