The Mayor of St Albans visited the city’s Italian twin town at the weekend.

Councillor Annie Brewster met with Fano’s deputy mayor, Maria Antonia Cucuzza, to discuss tourism, heritage and the economy on Saturday, February 15.

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Councillor Brewster was also interviewed on Italian television about her visit and was invited to join the Mayor of Fano, Stefano Aguzzi, in leading Fano’s world-famous Grande Carnevale in front of 50,000 spectators.

The Carnevale dates back to 1347 and is the oldest and one of the most famous in Italy.

It offers local artists the opportunity to showcase their creative abilities and carnival floats are decked out in a variety of themes, from folk music to satire, and take up to a year to construct.

A total of 150 tonnes of sweets and chocolate are thrown into the crowds and caught by spectators during the parade.

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Councillor Brewster said: "The Grande Carnevale was one of the most impressive processions I have ever seen. The floats, pulled by tractors, were more than 18 metres tall, as big as our Town Hall moving along the High Street."

She added: "I encourage people to consider visiting Fano, with its pretty coast and one of the longest-surviving Roman walls outside Rome. When I asked what people were most impressed with in St Albans, they mentioned the Cathedral and Verulamium Museum.

"They loved the fact that the museum is so well laid out and gives the Italians a wonderful insight into what the Romans did in our city and district. It made me very proud."

Fano has been twinned with St Albans since 1998.