Cremona, the land-border between Lombardy and Emilia Romagna is nestled in the heart of the Po Plain. It has a long agricultural tradition and offers countless treasures to travellers seeking out special attractions: churches, villas, castles and parish churches are scattered all over the area, in the major towns and in the peaceful countryside.
The main town of the province is Cremona, where the highlights of the old city centre include the beautifully preserved Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Loggia dei Militi, the Torazzo and the Palazzo Comunale. A cultural centre of some importance, every year the city hosts important exhibitions at the Museo Civico Ala Ponzone and boasts the “Archi di Palazzo Comunale” stringed instrument collection.
Cremona is the birthplace of Stradivari and is famous for its violin-making tradition. Today, it is still possible to visit the artisan workshops that are specialised in the crafting of stringed instruments.
The Cremona territory lies between the Po and Oglio rivers and offers many beautiful architectural attractions. Villa Manfredi, built by Voghera on a pre-existing fortress, is located in Cicognolo. Torre de’ Picenardi boasts the eighteenth-century Villa Sommi-Picenardi, while the Gonzaga-style square of Isola Dovarese has preserved its original Renaissance layout. Piadena is home to an important archaeological museum with a rich collection of findings of ancient civilisations and cultures of the Po Plain, while the magnificent eighteenth-century Villa Mina della Scala can be seen at Casteldidone. Casalmaggiore is also worthy of a mention, and there visitors will find the Museo del Bijou (Costume Jewellery Museum), the Santuario della Madonna della Fontana and Crema, whose urban plan and numerous churches and palazzi attest to its rich history.
Of particular interest in Crema are the Duomo and the singular decoration of its façade, the fifteenth century Basilica di Santa Maria della Croce and the spectacular Palazzo Terni-Bondenti. Pizzighettone, a fortified hamlet on the Adda River, preserves an impressive 2 km curtain wall, confirming the strategic role it played in the past. The main attractions at Soncino, a military fortress on the Oglio River, are the Sforza-era fortress with its imposing angular towers, the Parish Church of Santa Maria Assunta and the Museum of Printing. Visitors should also discover the Visconti Castle at Pandino, featuring a fascinating, almost perfectly preserved architectural structure.
The Cremona area attracts visitors not only because of its cultural and artistic heritage, but also because it offers unique hospitality to the most demanding gourmet travellers, who will be able to savour the true flavours of good food.
Along the route, visitors will have the chance to taste a lot of typical products, such as, cheeses (Gorgonzola DOP, Grana Padano DOP, Provolone Valpadana DOP, Quartirolo Lombardo DOP, Taleggio DOP, Salva Cremasco DOP, Pannerone), cured meats (Salame Cremona IGP) and traditional dishes such as Marubini, Tortelli cremaschi, Blisgòon di Casalmaggiore, Gran Bollito Cremonese, Bumbunéen, Baci di Cremona, Bussolano di Soresina, Spongarda di Crema.
To get there by car: A1-A21 motorways from Milan and Piacenza; A22-A4-A21 motorways from Bolzano, Verona and Brescia; A1-A21 motorways from Bologna. By train: FS Milan-Mantua.