Cremona is a medium-sized city in the Lombardy region in Lombardy and the capital of the province of the same name. The city is characterized by a beautiful medieval centre and a newer part with impressive palaces with large courtyards. Cremona is best known for its instrument makers. Among others, the famous Stradiviarius comes from Cremona.
Cremona travel guide
Tourist information office: Piazza del Comune, 5 – 26100 Cremona (Tel. +39 0372 407081 or 0372 407493; Opening hours: 10.00 to 16.30).
Town hall: Piazza del Comune, 8 – 26100 Cremona. Phone: +39 0372 4071.
Railway station: Cremona has its own train station. The city is on the Pavia-Mantova line. The train station is located on the north side of the historic centre, in Via Dante.
Public transport inside the city: Public transport within the city is provided by the KM Spa company. A ticket costs 1.30 euros and is valid for 90 minutes from the time of validating. On Sundays and public holidays, however, it is valid all day. When bought on the bus itself, it costs 2.60 Euro. The price of a day ticket is 2.80 Euro. A 10-card carnet costs 11.50 Euro and can also be used by more than one person. A weekly ticket costs 10.50 Euro and starts on Monday, while a monthly ticket costs 29.50 Euro.
The main church is the Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral, with its 12th-century Baptistery. Other important buildings include the 13th-century Palazzo Comunale and the Torrazzo built between the 13th and 14th centuries.
The most famous palaces are Palazzo Fedri (Corso Matteotti), Palazzo Stanga Trecco (Via Palestro, 36) and Palazzo Trecchi (Via Trecchi).
Piazza del Comune is the city’s central square and is dominated by the immense facade of the Duomo. The Baptistery was built in 1167. The 112-metre-high Torrazzo dates from the 13th century and is the third-highest bell tower in the world.
Part of the Palazzo Comunale is used as a museum. It was built between 1206 and 1245. The Loggia dei Militi is an addition from the end of the same century.
The Palazzo Affaittati, built in 1561, is the seat of both the Museo Civico and the Museo di Storia Naturale. There also used to be a Stradivarius Museum, but it has moved to the Violin Museum in the Palazzo dell’Arte (Piazza Marconi, 5), inaugurated in 1947.
The Sant’Agostino Church (Via Breda) has the Cavalcabò Chapel, which contains a Perugino painting, as its main attraction. The Sant’Agata Church hides a number of frescoes by Campi behind its neo-classical facade. The San Sigismondo Church was commissioned by Bianca Maria Visconti in the 15th century. The San Pietro al Po dates from the 16th century.
The Palazzo Raimondi (Corso Garibaldi) is the seat of a school for instrument makers.
The busy Piazza Marconi dates from the 1930s. Here stands the Teatro Concordia Ponchielli, built in the time of Napoleon.
The Museo Berenziano (Via Milano, 5) deals with religious art. The Casina Cambonino (Via Castelleone) is the seat of the Ethnographic Museum of the Peasant Community of the Val Padana.
A brief history of Cremona
The area where Cremona is located was already inhabited in prehistoric times. In the 3rd century BC, the city became a Roman colony and in the 1st century its inhabitants were granted civil rights. After being pillaged by both Romans and barbarians, the city regained prestige under the Franks.
In the 11th century, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Conrad II granted political asylum to Benedict IX, who was 21 years old when he was first elected pope. At this time, the emperor also issued the Constitutio de feudis, which established the heredity of lower feudal lords in Italy.
In the same century, Countess Matilde di Canossa granted Cremona city rights. Its location along the Po river allowed its economy to flourish thanks to trade.
After being on the side of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa for a long time, the city became part of the Lega Lombarda and fought in the Battle of Legnano. Still later, Cremona assisted Emperor Frederick II in his fight against the Padanian communes.
After being incorporated into the Duchy of Milan, Cremona followed the fate of these rulers. The city came successively under the rule of the Spanish, the Austrians and Napoleon’s troops.
Major sources of income are agriculture (meat, oil, cheese, mustard) and the steel industry. Other than that, Cremona is still known for its string instruments.
How to get to Cremona by car
The city is located along the A21 (Torino-Piacenza-Brescia) motorway.