In Italy, Cremona is known for its Torrazzo (the Big Bell Tower), the Torrone (nougat) and its curvy women, but all over the world it is famous for being the capital of the violin.
In the sixteenth century the great lutists families who enlivened the town scene developed an excellence that is still unrivalled today, attracting tourists and fans from every corner of the globe.
Stradivari is a name that everywhere needs no introduction and many professionals have made Cremona their home trying to follow masters’ footsteps.
Behind the Baptistery, the lutists streets host workshops where many languages can be heard. From the windows overlooking the street you see faces that come from faraway: France, Korea, the Netherlands, Greece, Argentina, Cuba, Russia.
They love wood and music, dedicate their lives to the perfect union of these two elements: the end result is the magic of uniqueness, because there is no artisan violin like another, each of them is born and grows old in a special way.
The requirements are: love, knowledge, talent, dedication.
The Violin Museum is the key destination for those who come to Cremona chasing the story of the violin making’s fathers, but only after a walk in the streets of the center, among the historic shops that revive the town.
Lying along the ancient Postumia way, Milan’s river port, Cremona has been for centuries an important trade center, economic and political, that led the city to have, today, an architectural look hang in the balance between the Romanesque and the strict lines of fascism .
Walking from Piazza Stradivari to the beautiful Cathedral, passing under the Municipal Building’s arcades these two faces of Cremona appear as two parallel worlds that find harmony only seen from up there, from the Torrazzo: 505 steps of strain to get on top of the highest Italian bell tower and enjoy the show.
Cremona is also a city of taste, a provincial reality that boasts strong and famous flavors including salami, soft and mellow, the inimitable Mostarda (fruit, sugar and spicy mustard) and the Marubini (braised meat ravioli with nutmeg).
Here, on October 25, 1441, was cooked the first Italian nougat, served at Francesco Sforza and Bianca Maria Visconti’s wedding party, an event that is still celebrated every year at the Torrone Festival.
Claudio Gagliardini, a friend of ours that moved to Cremona from Rome, says:
"Cremona is the facade of its Cathedral bathed in the setting sun on a late spring evening, when the swallows fly low and pink and white marble become inflamed with love for the sun that goes away, leaving mouth open everyone walking around or drinking something in the bar of the central square.
Cremona is the constant surprise of its churches, beautiful and quiet. In addition to the Cathedral, Sant'Abbondio and its wonderful cloister, Santa Rita, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Hilary, St. Michael, St. Agatha, St. Augustine, St. Peter and the adorable San Sigismondo.
Cremona is a little gem, as well as its famous Ponchielli, whose red velvets highlight the golden woods and the clear blue ceiling, with the huge crystal chandelier that illuminates one of the most beautiful Italian theatres.
Cremona is music, culture, good food and great serenity. "
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