Potenza, Italy

The City of Potenza

History of Sister City Relationship

Denver, Colorado and Potenza, Italy became sister cities in 1983 after a formalization by former Denver Mayor Federico Peña.  Geographic climates and a pride for the local environment made Potenza a good match for Denver.  At 2,637 feet, Potenza is one of the highest provincial capitals in Italy, overlooking the beautiful valley of the Basento River in the Apennine Mountains.

Facts At-A-Glance

Pronunciation: po’tentsa
Region: Capital of the Potenza Province in the Basilicata region of Southern Italy.
Population of Potenza: 67,122
Population of Italy:  62,007,540 (2016)
Mayor: Domenico Bennardi
Spoken Languages: Italian (national)

Potenza: Of Interest

  • In ancient times, Basilicata was known as Lucania and contained Greek colonies.  In the third century, it was conquered by the Romans and became the third region of Italy under Roman rule.
  • In 435 A.D., it fell under the rule of Odaocer, the first barbarian of Italy, followed by the Ostrogoths, Lombards, the Duchy of Benenvento, and, finally, under Byzantine domination.
  • The Apennine Mountain Range, L’Appennino Lucano in Italian, is quite high and also volcanic. The active volcano, II Vulture, is 4,363 feet high. Much of the surrounding area is uninhabitable.
  • Despite the volcanic activity, the region is abundant in wild animals, especially birds. Inhabitants of Potenza pride themselves on the abundance of the flora and fauna.
  • Basilicata is famous for its artisans, and also produces wheat, corn, oil, wool and silk.
  • Because of its power and position both geographically and politically, the city has experienced considerable growth in recent years, including a population increase.
  • History of the Potenza region. Watch video here.

Potenza – Denver Relationship

  • Denver has enjoyed visits from official delegations, many musical organizations, and high school, and community member exchanges.
  • Another prominent initiative is the provision of scholarships to give Denver students the opportunity to study abroad in Potenza.

Potenza Committee Contact Information

Committee Chair: Kathy Jackson 
Phone: (303) 832-1336
Email: potenza@denversistercities.org

Representative Potenza Committee Activities

  • Monthly committee gathering with like-minded people interested in Italy.
  • The committee holds a bi-annual bocce tournament for fundraising purposes.
  • Since 2010, the committee has organized three community trips to Potenza, enabling the Denver community members to experience the culture of the sister city with the aid of Potenza locals.
  • In 2012, the Potenza committee held their first wine tasting as a cultural event to make Italian culture more accessible to the Denver community.  The committee has also participated in the Festival Italiano to promote knowledge of Italian culture.

Potenza: Resources

Potenza Lodge, Denver founded in 1899

The official Potenza city website:


More info on the city of Potenza: