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Cremona - Land of the Violin.

snow

Snow capped lion outside the baptistry. - Cremona

Snow capped lion outside the baptistry. - Cremona

Cremona.

On our last visit to Italy, we decided to visit Cremona for the day. We took the train from Brescia and the journey took about an hour. We left Brescia on a cold, but bright day with clear blue skies. About half way through the journey, a thick fog descended and we travelled through a bleak, snow covered wintery landscape on our way to Cremona. Fortunately Cremona itself was not too foggy, just a bit cold. In Cremona we visited Stradivarius Square, the Piazza del Comune with its lovely cathedral, bell tower, town hall and baptistry, several violin shops, a church, the River Po, the Piazza Roma, the Piazza Lodi and the Po River.

We were supposed to spend just half a day in Cremona then travel onto Mantua, but I insisted we visited the Church of St Pietro on the Po which turned out to be closed. I also insisted that it must be near the River Po and we should go there, too. It was nowhere near the Po and by walking to the river, we missed the train to Mantua, so that city will have to wait for a future visit. Such is life. Two cities on one day is excessive for us anyway. We are not really speedy travellers. Cremona is a lovely historical city. Its cathedral and the square on which it is located are very beautiful. It is of course world renowned for violin making and is the home of the Stradivarius violin.

Stradivari Square.

Cremona was the birthplace of world famous violin maker, Antonio Stradivari. He was born in Cremona in 1644 and lived here till his death in 1737. His violins have the best sound of any violins in the world and are very valuable. As well as violins, Stradivari also made other stringed instruments such as cellos, guitars, violas, and harps. There is a square named after him in his home town with a statue of Stradivari passing on his violin making skills to the youth. Stradivari lived a long and productive life, dying at the age of 93. He is buried in the Church of San Domenico in Cremona. Stradivari Square is right next to the Piazza del Comune where Cremona's cathedral is located.

Stradivari Square.

Stradivari Square.

Stradivari Square.

Stradivari Square.

Stradivari Square.

Stradivari Square.

Stradivari Square.

Stradivari Square.

Stradivari Square.

Stradivari Square.

The Piazza Del Comune.

The Piazza del Comune is Cremona's main square. It is surrounded by beautiful buildings such as Cremona's lovely cathedral, its tall bell tower, its town hall, the loggia dei Militi and the baptistry. Cremona's tourist office is also located here. Cremona's tall bell tower is known as the Torazzo. It was built in the middle of the thirteenth century. It has a clock dating from 1583. The Torazzo is 112 metres high, making it the highest medieval tower in Italy. We did not go up it, but apparently there are lovely views from the top. We did go in the cathedral which had wonderful paintings inside. The Baptistry is an octagonal shaped building dating from the late twelfth century.

The Piazza Del Comune

The Piazza Del Comune

The Piazza Del Comune

The Piazza Del Comune

The Piazza Del Comune

The Piazza Del Comune

The Piazza Del Comune

The Piazza Del Comune

The Loggia Dei Militi.

The Loggia dei Militi means the loggia of the soldiers. This building is on the Piazza del Comune next to the town hall. Its portico contains the emblem of Cremona which is being held by the city's mythical founder Hercules. The Loggia dei Militi dates from 1292.

The Loggia Dei Militi

The Loggia Dei Militi

The Loggia Dei Militi

The Loggia Dei Militi

The Loggia Dei Militi

The Loggia Dei Militi

Cremona Cathedral.

Cremona Cathedral is known as the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta in Italian. It is the seat of the Bishop of Cremona. Construction of the cathedral began in 1107 and the building was probably finished in around 1170. Inside the cathedral there are frescoes of the Stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph among others. Pairs of lions guard the outside of the cathedral and nearby baptistry. The facade of the cathedral has a lovely rose window and many sculptures.

Cremona Cathedral and Bell Tower. - Cremona

Cremona Cathedral and Bell Tower. - Cremona

Cremona Cathedral

Cremona Cathedral

Cremona Cathedral

Cremona Cathedral

Cremona Cathedral

Cremona Cathedral

Cremona Cathedral

Cremona Cathedral

Cremona Town Hall.

The Palazzo Comunale, located on Piazza del Commune, is Cremona's old town hall. It was built in the early thirteenth century. There are frescoes under the portico. We did not go inside, but apparently there are some traditionally decorated rooms inside plus exhibitions of stringed instruments.

Cremona Town Hall

Cremona Town Hall

Cremona Town Hall

Cremona Town Hall

Cremona Town Hall

Cremona Town Hall

Violin Makers.

Cremona is famous for being home to Stradivarius violins. Near Piazza del Commune you can still see some workshops where violins are made, repaired and sold. These were all closed when we visited, but their window displays were interesting.

Violin Makers

Violin Makers

Violin Makers

Violin Makers

Violin Makers

Violin Makers

The Church Of San Pietro Al Po.

The church of San Pietro al Po dates from 1563. We walked all the way here because I had read the interior was beautiful. It was unfortunately closed. The exterior was quite plain. There was a nativity scene at the front of the church. From its name I expected this church to be on the River Po, but it is not.

The Church Of San Pietro Al Po

The Church Of San Pietro Al Po

The Church Of San Pietro Al Po

The Church Of San Pietro Al Po

The River Po.

Our problem was that the River Po was not actually on our map and I was convinced the Church of San Pietro al Po must be on the river, so we went the wrong way to the river. Well, not so much wrong as round about and indirect. It took us a long time to get there and not very much time to get back to the centre. The River Po was actually quite beautiful with the weak wintery sun reflecting on its waters. As we were gazing into the river, a small fishing boat passed by.

The River Po

The River Po

The River Po

The River Po

The River Po

The River Po

The River Po

The River Po

The River Po

The River Po

The Ponchielli Theatre.

On the walk back from the River Po we passed the Ponchielli Theatre. The original theatre at this site dated from 1747 when some local noblemen decided to present the town with a public theatre. The theatre was designed by Cremona architect Giovanni Battista Zaist. Unfortunately that building was destroyed by fire in 1806. The current Ponchielli Theatre is named after Amilcare Ponchielli the great Cremona operatic composer.

The Ponchielli Theatre

The Ponchielli Theatre

The Piazza Roma.

This is a pleasant central square in Cremona with very beautiful gardens and lots of interesting sculptures. We really enjoyed wandering around here and taking lots of photos of all the fascinating statues.

The Piazza Roma

The Piazza Roma

The Piazza Roma

The Piazza Roma

The Piazza Roma

The Piazza Roma

The Piazza Roma

The Piazza Roma

The Piazza Roma

The Piazza Roma

Piazza Lodi.

Piazza Lodi has a statue of the composer Claudio Monteverdi in its centre. Monteverdi was born in Cremona in 1567. He is credited with writing the first ever opera L'Orfeo. He died in Venice in 1643, aged seventy-six. Monteverdi had a huge influence on the world of music.

Piazza Lodi

Piazza Lodi

Cremona is easy to reach by train. We got there in about an hour from Brescia. It is also on a direct line from Milan and Mantua. The train station is about fifteen minutes walk away from the historical centre of Cremona. It is an easy walk, exit the station and go straight ahead. There was an interesting monument in the square directly in front of the station. Our trip to Cremona went through some snow filled wintery landscapes. Address: Via Dante, Cremona.

Cremona Train Station.

Cremona Train Station.

Outside Cremona Train Station.

Outside Cremona Train Station.

On the way to Cremona.

On the way to Cremona.

On the way to Cremona.

On the way to Cremona.

Posted by irenevt 22:14 Archived in Italy

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Comments

Love the snow-capped lion. It really looks like winter.

by Beausoleil

Hi Sally, It certainly was. It was freezing.

by irenevt

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