Cycling in Cremona
"Home of Monteverdi, Stradivari, Ponchielli"
Except for people like me, who immediately think of Monteverdi, the Italian town of Cremona is best known for its long tradition as a violin-making town. It was the home of Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737), maker of the famous Stradivarius violins.
His statue appropriately shows him passing on his violin-making knowledge and skills to the next generation, which is what violin makers have been doing in Cremona for well over four hundred years now.
Cremona is located in the Po Valley about eighty-five kilometers southeast of Milan.
The city of Cremona was officially founded in 218 B.C. and was a flourishing commercial center throughout the time of the Roman Empire.
The cathedral, which they say is one of the "most important examples of Lombardy-Romanesque architecture," was built during the 12th century, as were a number of other buildings that are still standing in Cremona.
I rode around Cremona on a rented bicycle that I had brought with me on the train from Milan, and then cycled from Cremona to Busseto.
Mozart in Cremona
The composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) arrived in Cremona on January 20, 1770, a week before his fourteenth birthday.
He was traveling with his father, Leopold Mozart, and they were on their way from Salzburg to Milan, where Wolfgang in the next two years would compose three operas for the “Regio Ducal Teatro”, which was Milan's opera house at the time.
In Cremona they checked in for one night at an inn called "Colombina" and in the evening they went to the Teatro Nazari, a forerunner of the present-day Teatro Ponchielli, and saw a performance of one of the many operas called "La Clemenza di Tito" -- but not Mozart's own version, of course, because he didn't compose his opera of that name until shortly before his death twenty-one years later.