Florence-Tribeca pact

Downtown Express photo by Corky Lee

Madelyn Wils, chairperson of Community Board 1, shook hands with Paulo Soderi president of the Confermercio Firenze, a Florentine business group, before they signed a “friendship pact” between Florence, Italy, and Tribeca last Thursday at the Tribeca Rooftop. Wils said she was touched that a city that is known for its art, culture and beauty would adopt her neighborhood. Hundreds showed up for the fundraiser and silent auction, which raised tens of thousands of dollars for Manhattan Youth and the Tribeca Organization. The event was organized by La Vita Italiana Committee, a group of Italian-owned businesses in Tribeca. Marc Ameruso and John Fratta, two people who objected to the event’s invitation because they thought the picture cast Italians in a negative light, also attended. “We are in complete support of what they are doing,” Ameruso said later. He still objects to the invitation photo, but Ameruso said he may want to join the committee since they are working to help the neighborhood.


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