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Serena Tavoloni, 25, and Valerio Torresi, 26, arrived in Sydney, N.S., instead of Sydney, Australia. ((CBC))

A couple from Italy got a taste of Cape Breton hospitality Wednesday when they unexpectedly arrived in Sydney, N.S., instead of Sydney, Australia.

Valerio Torresi, 26, and Serena Tavoloni, 25, had never travelled outside Europe until Tuesday night when they found themselves in Nova Scotia instead of Australia where they had planned to fly.

At first, they assumed they were only changing planes, and when they found out it was actually the end of their flight, they didn't believe what had happened.

"The first reaction was fear," Torresi said. "And the second reaction is, 'No, it's a joke.' But it's true."

The couple's travel agency in Italy is correcting the booking error, and the couple hopes to be on their way to Australia soon.

In the meantime, they are being treated to a warm welcome in the city of about 23,000 on Cape Breton island. A local restaurant is providing a lobster dinner, and the couple will stay at the Day's Inn for free.

Torresi and Tavoloni said everyone they have met in Sydney has been kind, friendly and helpful.

This isn't the first time the two Sydneys have been mistaken.

Two years ago, a woman from Argentina spent an unintentional week in Cape Breton, and in 2002, a British couple made the same mistake and spent several days on the island.