Italy: Cremona – The City of Violins
Who loves music must know this city. Today, we are going tp Cremona, the town famous for violins. We will visit several monuments and introduce some personalities, including the famous poet Vergilius who studied here.
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There is not only a visitor center in Palazzo del Comune on Piazza del Comune medieval town hall houses not only the city's information center, but also one of the museums reminiscent of the local violin tradition. Immediately inside the arcade of the town hall, the statue of a violinist welcomes us and reminds us that the violin was first created right here.
The first instrument was made by Andrea Amati (in the 1530s) and for their beautiful and divine sound, the violin became popular with royal courts all over Europe. But when Antonio Stradivari, the disciple of the grandson of A. Amati, brought the craft to perfection. He went to the dolomite forests where he was looking for wood for violin production. His workshop has created over 1 100 pieces of which over 400 were preserved. No modern technology can create a violin with better sound, so it is no wonder that the Stradivari violins are the best and most expensive violin in the world even today.
The already mentioned museum displays four violins in one room on the first floor. The items are secured in a glass showcases. Here you can see some rare violins made in the most important violin workshops. Namely the violin by Giuseppe Guarnieri del Ges, A. Amati, N. Amati and Antonio Stradivari. The tour complements the sound recording. However, you can also look at the representative areas of the town hall to see everything.
If you want to see more than just four violins, head to Via Ugolani Dati near the city center. Here, in the monumental Palazzo Affaita, the Museo Stradivariano houses a collection of more than 700 violins, violoncello and guitars which belong to the famous masters. Gian Carlo Affaita, which came from a wealthy family of bankers and merchants, initialized the construction of this palace in 1561. At this place, the art lover will definitely stay longer, as the State Library and the Museo Civico Ala Ponzone museum also houses a Pinacoteca (a picture gallery) with works by demostic and European Renaissance masters. If you want to learn about history and violin production, we recommend visiting the Museo del Violino at Piazza Marconi. At Corso Garibaldi you can also visit Casa nuziale di Stradivari - the house where Stradivari lived and worked.
Cremona is still home to many violin workshops, and there is also a school. All you have to do is look at the shop windows on the streets. There you can find it at the violin stores. Some of them are workshops where you can see how violins are mate. At the same time, on tours you will take in the atmosphere of the secret this traditional manufacture. You can feel the art all around as well as the smell of old wood and paint, and craft tools and sketches all around. You can find such shops by the name liuteria - violin.
The fact that this tradition in Cremona still lives and violins are made by the classic method of hand-made precious woods, which lives up to the tradition of the family of masters of violinists from 16th to 18th century, is evidenced by the entry of the craft into the List of the Cultural Heritage by UNESCO (2012). Many cultural events and festivals related to violin production and performance take place in the city during the year.
Even during purposeless walks on the streets of the city, you will find a number of statues that remind people of the famous violinist past. Not just the violinist's statue in the arcade of the town hall, but also the statue of the famous violinist Antonio Stradivari on the square of the same name.
There is a bench on the square behind the cathedral, where you can sit down to the famous violinist who works over your work. In this way, Cremona recalls its famous history, making it a world-renowned place today.
Our next steps will lead to Piazza Roma, where the inconspicuous tombstone is located, the last rest of the most famous violinist of all time, Antonio Stradivari.
GPS: 45°08'00.1"N 10°01'22.6"E
Text and photos: Mgr. Anna Nociarová
Edited by: Infoglobe
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