SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Italian government officially opened its doors in the city of Springfield Monday evening.

City leaders say this is a milestone for the city which is home to many generations of Italian families. This will help expand Italian-American relations, including trade and tourism.

The 25th floor of Monarch Place in downtown Springfield will become the space of the official western Massachusetts Consulate of Italy and the Italian Consulate will be designated as an actual sovereign territory and a part of Italy. “From the windows on this 25th floor you can see the entirety of Springfield’s south end, the place where so many came to pursue the dream that is America,” said Anthony Cignoli, A.L. Cignoli Company.

This new location means residents will no longer have to travel to the Boston Italian Consulate office for business or important personal matters to conduct with or in Italy. That can range from trade and tourism to dual residency to processing Italian passports and birth and death certificates.

“Here in Springfield there is a history if Italian presence..there is an Italian Heritage, and this office here will ensure to be here to promote and foster the relationship between the community and Italy,” adds Arnaldo Minuti, Consul General of Italy, Boston.

Western Massachusetts residents can be assisted directly by the consulate, with anything from Italian trade to tourism, processing Italian passports, as well as birth and death certificates.

Minuti is representing the Italian government at an event held Monday night. Many long-standing members of the Italian-American Community and business and civic leaders will be in attendance, including Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

Springfield’s office is the only one other than Boston in Massachusetts. The Worcester and Providence, Rhode Island offices will remain closed.