Lombardia - Places to visit - Cremona
The town stands 45 m. above sea level on fertile plains near the left bank of the Po River, just past its confluence with the Adda River.
Of Gallic origin, it became a Roman colony (218 BC.). After the fall of the Empire, it was subject to Barbarian invasions before becoming a free municipality in the 11th century, often at war with the other Lombard towns; it fell to Visconti rule in the 14th century.
From then on, for brief intervals, Cremona formed part of the Duchy of Milan, sharing its destiny, and after the Lombard-Venetia period, it was involved in the Italian Risorgimento.
Monuments: Duomo (12th-14th century), Lombard-Romanesque, Torrazzo (13th century, 111 m. high, the highest bell tower in Italy), Romanesque baptistry, Palazzo del Comune (13th century), Loggia dei Militi (13th century), Palazzo Foari (Renaissance), Chiesa di Sant'Agostino (14th century church, Lombard-Gothic), Palazzo Affaitati (1561).
Unlike most Lombard towns, the economy of Cremona is based on flourishing agriculture and animal husbandry, facilitated by the fertility of the surrounding plain. Industry is closely linked to the primary sector with food production (pasta, salami, cheese, cakes) and engineering (construction of farm machinery).
The manufacture of musical instruments is a tradition and the lute workshops have been world-famous since the 16th century. Cremona also has a river port of some importance.
Events: Opera season at Teatro Ponchielli, musical and theatrical celebration in September-October.
Famous People: Claudio Monteverdi (musician, 1567-1643), Nicola Amati (lute-maker, 1596-1684), Antonio Stradivari (violin-maker, 1644-1737), G. Antonio Guarnieri (lute-maker, 1683-1745).
Cultural Institutions: Museo Stradivariano (museum), Museo di Storia Naturale (museum of natural history), Fondazione Monteverdi, civic museum, lute school (the only one in Europe), Museo della Civilt Contadina della Valpadana (peasant museum).
In the Province: Crema (agricultural and industrial centre), Soncino (Sforza stronghold, printing museum), Pandino (Visconti castle), Soresino (dairy produce), Pescarolo and Uniti (linen museum).