Cremona: Special Places in Italy”

One of my favorite places to visit when I’m in Italy is the beautiful, ancient city of Cremona.  My mother grew up in this fair Lombardian town and lucky for me I’m able to visit my relatives there any chance I get.

Cremona is located in Lombardy a short train ride south from Milan.  It is of course known for its lengthy musical history of producing the famous Stradivarius violins and other stringed instruments.  It was the birthplace of Antonio Stradivari and to this day is home to the world’s best luthiers.  A visit to the Museo del Violino is a must for any first time visitor.  There and throughout the city one can see an artisan crafting one of these fine masterpieces.  It was a pure delight to be strolling through its narrow streets this past spring and hear the soft sound of violins tuning and playing in the air.

Of course like other Italian cities Cremona boasts a breathtaking piazza with its unique Romanesque Duomo, theCattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta and its octagonal Baptistry.The Torrazzo is the symbol of the city and by the way is the third tallest brickwork bell tower in the world.  I’ve enjoyed many a gelato or apperitivo here at a café overlooking this beautiful setting.

Cremona is also known for its contributions to la cucina Italiana.  It’s known for its stuffed pastas like marubini or tortelli di zucca and various styles of risotti.  I had some of the best marubini in brodo at the very casual neighborhood Trattoria Cerri.  They tasted just like the ones my nonna used to make.  On the sweet side Cremona is known for the famous nougat candy, Torrone which we see during the holidays but there you can find anytime. The sweet-spicy, syrupy fruit, Mostarda is also from this city.  My parents used to serve it with their turkey instead of cranberries but it’s usually served with bollito misto.

So the next time you have the opportunity to travel to Italy take a side trip to this often overlooked treasure.  You can stay at Hotel Impero, Piazza della pace, 21 – literally steps from the beautiful Duomo and town center.

Vi auguro una buona permanenza!

Angela Pasetti Holland

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