Rehoboth Beach officials are brushing up on their Italian in anticipation of a delegation from sister city Greve in Chianti arriving Wednesday, June 19.
The culmination of the visit, , is a public dedication of the new Garden of the Navigators in Cranberry Park at Olive Avenue and Third Street at 3 p.m., Sunday, June 23.
Commissioner Pat Coluzzi, president of Rehoboth Beach Sister Cities, said the Greve delegation, headed by Mayor Alberto Bencista will take part in the Rehoboth Art League’s 75th anniversary celebration, take a spin on the Cape Water Taxi and enjoy a clam bake as part of their visit.
“They’re very excited,” she said. “They’re looking forward to coming here and seeing the garden in Rehoboth.”
Greve and Rehoboth began their relationship in 2008 when Rehoboth erected a statue of explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, a Greve native who mapped the Delaware coast during his 1524 voyage to North America. In 2010, a delegation from Rehoboth went to Greve for the Italian city’s annual Verrazzano Day where the two cities signed a sister cities agreement to foster cultural exchange.
In 2011, Bencista and the Greve delegation made their maiden voyage to Rehoboth, while the next year saw the dedication of a garden in Greve in tribute to Rehoboth. The Garden of the Navigators, built to reciprocate, is smaller than the Greve garden with a compass in the middle.
“We’ve been getting compliments on how good it looks,” she said.
Designer Ray Zebrowski of RPZ Designs, which also designed the Greve garden, said about 90 percent of the work is complete; plants, paver walkway, lighting and compass are all installed. He said the project has stayed within its $66,000 budget. The garden was paid for by the sister cities association and donated as a gift to the city.
Zebrowski said the benches might not be installed by the time of the ribbon cutting June 23. Still, he said he’s excited for the public to see the garden.
“It’s very rewarding to see the project come out of the paper and right into the ground,” Zebrowski said. “As a designer it will be more rewarding to see how people respond to the space.”