Offida


Offida is a locality in the Ascoli Piceni province in the Marche region of Italy. It carries a population of around 5,400, but covers an extensive territory. Most of which is actively farmed land. There is extensive cultivation of vineyards that produce wine grapes of excellent grading, together with olive groves. Offida is also renowned for it’s lace-making industry. Although their method of manufacture is different then that found locally, it is considered as very high quality lace.

This twinning process was started in 2001 by the then Xaghra Mayor Mr. Anthony Attard, and Miss Franca Falcioni, at the time Offida councillor. The twinning agreement was initiated on the 1st September 2003, with the ceremony held locally in Xaghra. This was to be followed by a parallel signatory ceremony in Offida. For his occasion, the Reliquary of the Eucharistic Miracle of Offida was brought to Xaghra and a Solemn Pontifical Mass led by H.L. Bishop Silvano Montevecchi was held at the Basilica dedicated to the Nativity of Our Lady. In 2003, this Basilica was commemorating the 125th Anniversary of its Dedication. A local delegation was then planned to visit Offida for this purpose in May 2004, but for various reasons, this event was postponed.

A new local council was elected in Xaghra in July 2004, resulting in a new Mayor, Mr. Joseph Spiteri. The necessary proceedings were immediately undertaken for the twinning agreement between the two localities to continue. After further discussion and a visit to Offida by the Mayor and local councillor Mr. Joseph Cordina, the twinning procedure was finalised.

The final twinning agreement between the two localities was carried out on the 21st September 2005, in the Offida Council offices. Also present for this occasion was a 30 strong delegation from Xaghra, including the Mayor. Mr. Joseph Spiteri, Vice Mayor, Mr Carmelino Refalo, and Xaghra councillors Mr. Joseph Cordina and Ms. Mary Carmen Bajada. Also present where local lace manufacturers and representative of the farming community of Xaghra. Together with representatives from the Xaghra football club, the Nazzarenu community within Xaghra, and the Archpriest Mgr Karm Refalo, who unfortunately had to return earlier then expected due to the demise of his father, Michael Refalo.

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