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Cremona, Italy’s city of violins. A perfect day trip from Milan

By Thursday, 11 January 2024 12:09

Everything in Cremona, for far from Milan, speaks of music and violins. 

Cremona has some 140 violin workshops

This city in northern Lombardy, just over 100 kilometres south-east of Milan, (so ideal for a day trip from Milan or Venice) it is the home par excellence of violins and violin makers, also called luthiers. It is also the birthplace of illustrious musicians and composers like Claudio Monteverdi and Amilcare Ponchielli, and today some 140 violin workshops hand down the tradition of the old masters. It was also the birthplace of Antonio Stradivari, the unsurpassed master who made some of the most beautiful stringed instruments known to man. 

stradivari violin cremona

Stradivari was an extraordinary luthier

Antonio Stradivari, who was born in 1643, produced over 1,100 violas, guitars, cellos and violins, and about 600 of his instruments still exist today. To learn more about violins, visit the Violin Museum in Piazza Marconi which has excellent multimedia exhibitions on the history of the violin and how it is made. 

Cremona

A beautifully-preserved city centre 

Cremona is also known for its beautiful medieval and Renaissance architecture, such as the Torrazzo, one of the tallest medieval brick towers in Europe (at 112 metres high it is the second tallest in Italy) that houses one of the largest astronomical clocks in the world. The Piazza del Comune is the hub of the city's cultural and artistic heritage, a typical medieval square dominated by the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Palazzo del Comune with the Torrazzo - the city's emblem - and the Loggia dei Militi. 

cremona 2

Cremona is also famous for its nougat 

Cremona is also a centre of excellence for meat, cheese and confectionery products. Its rich and tasty cuisine boasts exclusive recipes featuring local ingredients, such as the grande bollito Cremonese, mixed boiled meats, or marubini which are meat-stuffed parcels of pasta.  In the city centre you can visit the historic shop of the Sperlari confectionery company. This shop is an Italian institution that has been open since 1836, and specializes in many delicious types of torrone, Italian for nougat, and other traditional sweets.

Interesting activities for children

This is a very welcoming city for anyone travelling with children as there are plenty of activities they will enjoy, like a visit to the Archaeological Museum that has guided tours suitable for younger visitors. And children will be fascinated by a visit to a local workshop to see firsthand the ancient art of violin making, and of course to Sperlari to try some of the delicious local confectionery. For information:  www.turismocremona.it   

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