Monza, Italy became a sister city to Indianapolis in December of 1994 under the leadership of Mayor Goldsmith of Indianapolis and Mayor Moltifiori of Monza. The two cities joined through a Memorandum of Understanding to seek areas of shared interest for economic cooperation and cultural exchange.  

Both Indy and Monza host world-renowned auto races. Since Indianapolis and Monza are home to the two oldest active motor speedways in the world (Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Autodromo di Monza), and two of the most famous car racing events (the Indy 500 and the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Italy) the theme of motorsports appeared the most natural starting point for the collaboration.









372 sq. miles 

12.75 sq. miles 

Year Established 



Number of Sister Cities  9 




The origins of Monza date back to the Roman civilization. The city has gone by many different names throughout history, ranging from Modicia, Modoecia, Modoetia, and then settling on Monza. Today’s name is first noted in 595 AD when the Lombard queen Theodelinda built the Basilica of St. John the Baptist, or the Cathedral of Monza, where the Iron Crown of Lombardy resides. Throughout the 12th century Monza was often back and forth between being dominated by Milan and having independence.  


Monza is known for hosting the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix. The track was built in just 110 days and it was the world’s third purpose-built racetrack, coming after Brooklands in the UK and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The track has been the venue for all but one Italian Grand Prix. In 1980 it was unavailable due to renovations.  


Indianapolis Motor Speedway  Autodromo di Monza 

Length of Track 

4.023 km 

5.973 km 

Laps Needed to Complete Race 



Year Established 









Many regions throughout Italy are known especially for their cuisine and signature dish; Monza is no exception. Risotto alla monzese, risotto with sausage, is a traditional dish that combines tastes from Milan and Monza. This is a simple dish made with risotto and long, thin pork sausage.  

San Gerardo bread and biscuits are also very popular throughout the region. They are named after Monza patron saint, San Gerardo. The townspeople gave San Gerardo this sweet bread as a thank you for him saving Monza from being flooded by the River Lambro. San Gerardo biscuits are made without eggs, so they keep longer. These biscuits date back to the Middle Ages where people would take biscuits on pilgrimages to San Gerardo’s tomb to be blessed and then hang them in their windows.  


In an effort to reinvigorate the relationship between Monza and Indianapolis, there is a pilot three-year program in place involving the reciprocal exchange of groups of university students between the two cities for periods of one week, based on a different theme for each year: the world of motorsports, medicine and urban planning.  

The first group of university students went to Monza during the fall of 2019, with a focus on the world of motorsports. The program included official meetings with the administration of the City of Monza, assisting with the Monza Rally Show from the team paddocks, a visit to the Autodromo di Monza guided by the CEO of the racetrack, a guided visit to the headquarters of Dallara (the builder of all IndyCar racing cars), as well as an afternoon at the stadium to see a soccer game played by the local Monza team 

A group of engineering students from Monza will be visiting Indianapolis in the fall of this year and will also be provided with a schedule of activities tied to the world of motorsports as seen from the Indianapolis side of the partnership. The students will also be granted the same opportunity as the students who travelled to Monza by being able to meet local Indianapolis leaders.


By Macy Burkhart