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Ludlow San Pietro Twinning Association - Ludlow, UK and San Pietro in Cariano, Verona, Italy  Pule vigneti i colori dei vigneti

 Pule vigneti i colori dei vigneti -
Pule’s colourful vineyards

BEGINNINGS

The first contact between Ludlow and San Pietro in Cariano was a rugby match in 1989. The mayor of San Pietro at that time, Sergio Ruzzenente, was involved with his local rugby club. Chris Crowcroft, a member of the Ludlow Rugby Club who had spent some time working in Italy, became friendly with Sergio and arranged for the Italian team to visit Ludlow for a friendly match.

Subsequently, in December 1990, the Italian mayor wrote to Ludlow Town Council inviting the town to consider twinning with San Pietro. Twinning is a formal arrangement between two communities wishing to form a public bond of friendship and goodwill. San Pietro is also twinned with Ingelheim in Germany and Sans in Austria.

The Town Council responded positively to the invitation and a small delegation went to San Pietro for an exploratory visit in May 1991. The group comprised a teacher from Ludlow College, Chris Crowcroft as interpreter and Stanley Jones representing the Town Council.

Although the two towns are quite different in some ways - San Pietro is actually a comune or collection of five frazione or villages, San Pietro being the biggest - there are also similarities. The population is similar in both towns and both are predominantly agricultural/rural communities. San Pietro is in the heart of the Valpolicella area where arguably some of the best wines in Italy are produced.

Our visit was a great success. We were impressed with the friendliness and enthusiasm of our hosts, the area is beautiful, San Pietro is conveniently situated between the charming city of Verona and popular Lake Garda - and the wine is excellent!

On our return, a public meeting was called to gauge the level of support for such a twinning. The meeting was well attended and a steering committee was formed to pursue the idea further. This committee developed into the Italian Twinning Association.

There followed more exchanges between the two towns with larger groups going to Italy from Ludlow and vice versa.

Ludlow formally twinned with San Pietro in April 1992.


TWINNING

Twinning is an excellent way for a community to broaden its horizons. Through the Italian Twinning Association many Ludlow people have developed friendships with Italian families and there have been several very successful exchanges between Ludlow School and the schools in San Pietro.

In the early days we stayed with families which was the best way to understand a different culture with the added benefits of being relatively inexpensive and great fun. In more recent years, as children have grown up and moved on, groups have chosen to stay at local agriturismos - simple countryside accommodation - or small hotels, though we still maintain strong links with our friends from twenty years ago. Furthermore it is important that we have a greater understanding of the countries that we are now so closely linked with through the EU.

One of the greatest achievements has been the link between Ludlow’s hugely successful Food and Drink Festival and San Pietro’s own Food and Drink Festival, the Magnalonga. 2002 saw the very first Ludlow Magnalonga which was so popular that it has become a regular annual event.


INDEPENDENCE

Like the French Twinning Association, Ludlow San Pietro Twinning Association is an independent body. Although we have the support of the local authorities, there is no direct link between us and we are not financed by them. By contrast, the Italian twinning association is supported by the San Pietro in Cariano local authority with both administrative help and generous funding.

Coat of arms of San Pietro in Cariano

Coat of arms of San Pietro in Cariano

Looking towards San Floriano

Looking towards San Floriano

Il cortile del commune

Il cortile del comune- the council’s courtyard

Walkers on the Magnalonga

Walkers on the Magnalonga

Ludlow twinners sampling the Magnalonga wine and food

Ludlow twinners sampling the Magnalonga
wine and food

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