In the summer of 2000, The Consulate General of Italy, Enrico Granara and the Agricultural Committee of the Italian Chamber of Deputies after visiting Madison recommended a Sister City Relationship be established between Madison and Mantova, Italy. The similarities between Madison and Mantova are many. Both are surrounded by water, with dairy farms, breeding equipment manufacturers and manufacturers of agricultural equipment. Mantova is also a major Art City in Europe and is it is located in the Lombard Region of northern Italy.
Mayor Susan Bauman of Madison and Mayor Gianfranco Burchiellaro of Mantova exchanged initial e-mails and agreed to pursue a Sister City Relationship. Mayor Bauman contacted a representative of the Italian Workmen’s Club to see if there was any interest from the Italian Community of Madison. The Italian Workmen’s Club and the Italian American Women’s Clubs have been developing the relationship since November 2000. The relationship is being sponsored by a non-profit organization called the Greenbush Heritage Foundation, Inc.