The city of Carmel has announced a new Sister City relationship with the city of Cortona, Italy. Cortona joins Jelgava, Latvia; Kawachinagano, Osaka, Japan; and Xiangyang, Hubei, China to become Carmel’s fourth international Sister City.
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Carmel’s union with Cortona was established to promote international goodwill, understanding, student educational exchanges and expanded business relationships between the two cities and their respective nations.
Mayor Brainard discussed the educational value of sister cities in an interview with Carmel Monthly Magazine: “The Latin teachers at Carmel High School are excited about these opportunities. We’ve had a Sister School in Japan since before we had a Sister City [in Osaka] that goes back to the early 1990s, and we’ve had students go back and forth, spending a couple of weeks in each other’s countries and homes, which are tremendous opportunities. We’ve sent city employees and police officers to Japan, and they, in turn, have sent their employees here to see how things are done differently. Cortona is a very old town, and Carmel is a very new city. We can learn from each other.”
Known for its wineries, Cortona is a historic city in the Tuscany area of Italy with landscapes of low mountains and lakes. In the 4th-5th century B.C. Cortona was one of the twelve Etruscan cities, rich and prosperous, governed by powerful noble families and judges whose names can be found on monuments and other archaeological finds. The city, located in the province of Arezzo, is one of the most popular hilltop towns in Tuscany, Italy. The hilltop overlooks the Val di Chiana valley, guarded by the massive Etruscan walls, dating to the IV century B.C., well before it became a part of the Roman Empire. The picturesque hilltop with its spectacular views was the setting for the book and movie “Under the Tuscan Sun.”
Cortona is known in the area as a city that appreciates the art of fine food, wineries, and beautiful art. Cortona is full of museums containing beautiful pieces of art and history. The Museum of the Etruscan Academy houses historical artifacts, and the Diocesan Museum contains work by Luca Signorelli and Fra’ Angelico.
The Archidado Joust, or the Joust, is held twice every year – on the third Saturday in June and on the first Sunday in September in Arezzo’s beautiful Piazza Grande, which is a short drive from the town of Cortona. Festivities start a week earlier when the captains take an oath, draw the sequence in which they’ll charge and practice throughout the week in the evenings.
Mayor Brainard hopes Cortona’s culture might be shared with Indiana as well. “Cortona’s deputy mayor Francesco Attesti is a world-renowned concert pianist,” Brainard said to Carmel Monthly. “It would be an incredible opportunity to have him come [to Carmel] and perform with the Carmel Symphony Orchestra.”