10 Best Things To Do In Cremona, Italy

things to do in Cremona

Craft has met, and then become, art for centuries in Cremona, Italy. In this city of craft, Andrea Amati designed the first violin for Lorenzo de Medici, and Antonio Stradivari and Andrea Guarneri learned and perfected the art of violin making. Cremona’s history rests comfortably in its streets; its past creating the present. A young man named Publius Vergilius Maro also learned his craft in Cremona. He studied in the city for nearly a decade before moving to Rome. He later wrote the Aeneid. Master architects, engineers, builders, stonemasons, and goldsmiths designed and created the magnificent cathedrals, churches, plazas, and Roman ruins of this city. Cremona is a living celebration of beauty craft–the work, the diligence, and the everyday mastery that allow for the creation of the transcendent moments of great art. Here are the best things to do!

1. Cattedrale di Cremona

The Cattedrale di Cremona, a stunning building on the Piazza del Comune, displays a variety of architectural styles including Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque. Completed between 1160 and 1170, the building houses important 14th, 15th, and 16th century frescoes and other religious art. Many consider the facade of the cathedral, with its rose window, portico, and series of small loggias, to be a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture.

Cattedrale di Cremona

Address: Piazza del Comune 5, 26100 Cremona CR, Italy

Website: Cattedrale di Cremona (in Italian)

2. Piazza del Comune

Piazza del Comune
Source: Photo by user Albertobru used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Piazza del Comune is the plaza at the heart of the historic center of Cremona. The Cattedrale di Cremona, Torrazzo, Loggia dei Milliti, Palazzo Communale, and Battisterio surround, blend together, and create the magical open space of this plaza. The construction of the architecture around the plaza began in the 12th century beginning with the Cattedrale di Cremona. The precise yet soft tones of the colors, balanced proportions, and rich artistic details of this space make it a masterpiece of Medieval urban design.

Piazza del Comune

Address: Piazza del Comune, 26100 Cremona CR, Italy

3. Torrazzo di Cremona

Cremona Torrazzo da via Solferino
Source: Photo by user Avemundi used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Over 112 meters (31.3 ft) tall, the Torrazzo di Cremona, a bell tower completed in 1309, reaches skyward from the Piazza del Comune. An intricate astronomical clock installed in 1583 with magnificent astrological depictions of stars and various signs of the zodiac graces its front. A climb to the top of the bell tower, although quite an effort, rewards those who persevere with amazing views of the city and surrounding countryside.

Torrazzo di Cremona

Address: Piazza del Comune, 26100 Cremona CR, Italy

4. Loggia dei Militi

Cremona - La Loggia dei Militi
Source: Photo by user Bimbacami used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Loggia dei Militi, a rectangular Gothic building completed in 1292, stands on the opposite side of the Piazza del Comune from the Cattedrale di Cremona. The city’s militia originally met and conducted business in the building. The city emblem can be found under the front portico.

Loggia dei Militi

Address: Piazza del Comune 8, 26100 Cremona CR, Italy

5. Palazzo Comunale

Cremona Palazzo Comunale
Source: Photo by user PaolaAssandriPhoto used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Construction began on the Palazzo Comunale, or Town Hall, in 1206 and continued in various stages until the 19th century. This building’s beautiful frescos span from the 13th century to the Renaissance. The Palazzo Comunale houses a world famous collection of string instruments, “Gli Archi di Palazzo Comunale,” which is open to the public.

Palazzo Comunale

Address: Piazza del Comune, 8 26100 Cremona CR Italy

6. Museo Archeologico San Lorenzo

Ex chiesa San Lorenzo (facciata)
Source: Photo by user Claudio Magnani used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The deconsecrated Church of St. Lorenzo houses the Museo Archeologico San Lorenzo, home of Cremona’s collection of artifacts from the Roman Republic and Empire. The collection includes funerary monuments, urns, mosaic floors, and parts of an ancient building.

Museo Archeologico San Lorenzo

Address: Via S. Lorenzo, 4, 26100 Cremona CR, Italy

Website: Museo Archeologico San Lorenzo

7. Museo Civico "Ala Ponzone"

Cremona, museo civico, entrata
Source: Photo by user sailko used under CC BY 2.5

The Museo Civico “Ala Ponzone” displays an impressive collection of art in the 16th century Palazzo Affaitati. Visitors can peruse galleries of precious religious icons, paintings depicting Cremona and Lombardy, and 16th century drawing and prints. The museum also houses the Carlo Alberto Carutti collection of historical instruments.

Museo Civico "Ala Ponzone"

Address: Via Ugolani Dati, 4, 26100 Cremona CR, Italy

Website: Museo Civico “Ala Ponzone”

8. Battisterio di Cremona

20110725 Cremona Baptistery 5924
Source: Photo by user Jakub Hałun used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Battisterio di Cremoa, or Baptistery, rises elegantly from a corner of the Palzzo del Comune. Originally constructed in 1167, this unique octagonal structure combines elements of Romanesque and Gothic-Lombard architecture. Later renovations added marble to the outside of the building to better match its the appearance with that of the cathedral.

Battisterio di Cremona

Address: Piazza del Comune, 26100 Cremona CR, Italy

9. Museo del Violino

Cremona - Museo del Violino
Source: Photo by user Bimbacami used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Learn about violin making through the ages at this innovative museum. The Museo del Violino offer concerts and live performances on historical violins. The museum also has galleries displaying violins crafted by famous Cremona violin makers including Andrea Amati, Nicolo Amati, Giuseppe Guarneri, and Antonio Stratavari.

Museo del Violino

Address: Palazzo dell’Arte, Piazza Marconi, 5, 26100 Cremona CR, Italy

Website: Museo del Violino

10. Chisea Di S. Sigismondo Monastero Domenicano San Giuseppe

Cremona, San Sigismondo 006
Source: Photo by user Mattis used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Chisea Di S. Sigismondo Monastero Domenicano San Giuseppe, a Dominican church attached to a monastery, sits slightly outside of the historic center of Cremona. Construction on the church began in 1463 and finished in 1492. A series of Cremona masters painted the stunning 16th century frescos in the church.

Chisea Di S. Sigismondo Monastero Domenicano San Giuseppe

Address: Largo Bianca Maria Visconti 3, 26100 Cremona CR, Italy

Website: Chisea Di S. Sigismondo Monastero Domenicano San Giuseppe

Craft into art

A city of beauty and music, Cremona invites visitors to think about the work that goes into the creation of art. Work and art cannot be separated from life. So, take the time to have a gelato, appreciate the craftsmanship that went into a good meal or bottle of wine, enjoy an interesting conversation with someone new, and listen to what Cremona is telling you.

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Lorre Luther is a writer who lives in the Netherlands.

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