CELANO, ABRUZZO, ITALY
Celano in the Abruzzo Region of Italy is also twinned with Zejtun. From late 1100 till 1530 Malta along with Celano formed part of the Kingdom of the two Sicilies, comprising Malta, Sicily and Southern Italy as far as the Abruzzo Region.
The monarch was often in conflict with the Pope who was claiming that part of Italy for himself. In 1223 Frederick the Second reconquered Celano which had rebelled in favor of the Pope. As punishment the whole population was exiled to Sicily and Malta. Indeed it is believed that the Swabian Monarch used this ploy to rechristianate Malta following the Arab occupation.
This event still forms part of the collective memory of the present day population of Celano. They sought twinning with Zejtun as a celebration of remembrance of their past history as well as to revive centuries old links which the Local Council of Zejtun also cherishes.
TOCINA, SEVILLE, SPAIN
Tocina lies in the heart of the Andalusia plain of Spain half an hour drive from the capital of the region - Seville. It is mainly an agricultural area with abundant orange and olive groves but with thriving commercial activities already associated with Seville.
The linkage with Zejtun arises from the historical development of the towns since it was a dependency of the Chivaric order of Malta. The plans for the present parish church in Tocina were prepared in Malta by the Lorenzo Gafa’ School of architects and the belfries as well as the general layout of the façade have a striking resemblance to the Zejtun Parish Church edifice.