Italy: Cremona

Cremona was an absolute stunner and a surprise to the upside. It’s not mentioned in many guidebooks, not a UNESCO site, it’s located somewhat in the shadow of Milan and in the middle of agricultural nowhere. And it’s a total wow! It has an absolutely stunning Cathedral of Cremona, dating back to 1077, a Romanesque-Gothic structure with an elaborate facade, clock tower, another side facade, and a sole-standing Baptistery – all gracing the central square. The interior is even more mind-boggling – with old paintings and frescoes on the walls and ceiling and an even more ancient crypt. This cathedral easily blew away all the rest o have seen so far on this trip in Italy – Modena, Parma, etc. There are several other towers and palaces in town and even more interestingly – Cremona is home to most of the violin masters in Italy, including Stradivari. The Violin Museum attests to the old tradition of violin-making.