Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno welcomed his counterpart, Antonio Rescigno from the Italian town of Bracigliano.

After an exchange of literary and artistic gifts, the two mayors re-affirmed a sister city agreement first signed in 2008 between Springfield and the southern Italian community. Mayor Sarno’s own roots go back to Bracigliano.

“My mom, god rest her soul, Clara Sarno and my father Al “the barber” Sarno came from Bracigliano, and they emigrated here,” he explained. “And when the mayor indicated Bracigliano had 5,600 people, it might not be large in number but it’s very large in heart.”

The La Fiorentina pastry shop and Mom and Rico’s on Main Street are among the dozens of prominent businesses founded by immigrants from Bracigliano. Mayor Rescigno wasn’t surprised by their success.

“People from Bracigliano work very hard and they are hard working people,” Rescigno said. “And they’re not afraid to sacrifice themselves and can be very close to the family to make the city proud.”

These are some of the men and women who emigrated from that small Italian town during the last half-century to find Western Massachusetts the land of opportunity.