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The Art and the Culture City

 

Cremona is a city of art, with a rich and variegated cultural and monumental heritage and a museum system which is one of the most important in the country.

The Town Hall square with the complex made up of the Torrazzo, the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Town Hall and the Loggia dei Militi is one of the most relevant examples of medieval architecture, still unimpaired in all its glory.

Among the symbolic places of the local culture there  is the Ponchielli Theatre, a historical and traditional theatre  , a real architectural jewel, perfectly preserved.

It offers a prestigious bill with high quality seasons of prose, operas, concerts with classical and modern music.

The following are some of the places that you can't miss during your stay in Cremona

The main part of the "Ala Ponzone" City Museum was created thanks to a donation by the marquis Ala Ponzone (1842) and has been enriched with works from former churches and successive legacies. Since 1928 it has been based in Palazzo Affaitati, an example of 16th century Cremonese architecture. The picture gallery is currently being prepared, with works by mainly Cremona artists from the 15th to the 20th centuries but there are also works by famous painters such as Caravaggio and Arcimboldi. There are also oriental pottery, enamel and ivory objects. Special areas have been created for the most important cultural events of the town.

The new Archaeological Museum is located in St. Lorenzo's basilical church and in the annexed Meli chapel, dating back to the 15th century. It displays what is considered the core of the Cremona archaeological collection: through the findings discovered since the 19th century up to the recent excavation in piazza Marconi, it allows to reconstruct the image of the town founded by the Romans in 218 b.C., the first one northern than the Po river.

In the park there are prIzed local botanical specimens, varied wildlife and a small "lake" which is becoming a natural habitat. The Natural History Museum is situated inside the park.
It was bequeathed by Ala Ponzone and is particularly interesting as Giuseppe Sigismondo (1761-1842) was also a naturalist. Other donated collections, above all from local naturalists, were added. The suggested itinerary is in sections, one historical, a systematic passage through the individual disciplines of mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology and at last a perusal of the local area.
The surroundings, natural and urban, allow two other locally linked themes to be added: a display of "the town upside down" and a reflection on bio-diversity preservation.

A typical closed-courtyard farmhouse, situated on the northern outskirts of the town, has been a museum since 1978.
The group of buildings, some of which may go back to the 15th century, are organized around a threshing floor, the place where the harvested crops were treated before being stored in the barns. The museum displays examples of peasant working tools and objects in everyday use.

The city hall palace was built in 1206 with the typical architectonic shape of the Lombard broletto and then amplified in 1245. The medieval structure of the palace was never modified until the end of the 15th century. Since 1496, and during the next century, the façade was been modified by replacing the 13th century mullioned window with three lights with rectangular windows, furthermore also a new marble broletto was placed against the central pillar of the façade.

Our bell tower, commonly called ?Torrazzo?, stands next to the cathedral. It is 112 metres high and it is made up of two different structures, one of which lies above the other. The first one was probably built in 1267. It is a Romanesque tower with Guelph battlements. The second one is made up of two optagonal tambours placed on the top of the tower. The building could have been completed in 1305. The sphere and the cross on the top of the dome date back to the XVII century. Climbing up the tower is really breathtaking. On its top you can enjoy a wonderful view of our town and of the river Po. The belfry contains seven bells, which were built in 1744. Each of them is devoted to a saint, also to St. Omobono, our town?s good mom. Their sounds create a concerto in A flat.

The foundation of 1100 and the extensions of the 13th and 14th centuries. There is no reliable information about early Christian churches pre-existing the cathedral. Probably there were two before August 26th 1107 when, as it is proved by the foundation stone, the building works started. An earthquake, as the bishop Sicardo narrates several years later, interrupted the building process in 1117, which started again in 1129. It is not still clear to what extent the building was damaged by the earthquake; it is known, though, that most of the material used for the old building was re-used, including some ornamental elements such as the prophets on the sides of the main door. The original aspect of the cathedral, a Romanesque structure, is very different from the present one.