Music lovers will find Cremona an interesting place to visit for the day and it can be reached easily from Bergamo.
The Lombardian city is about an hour by car to the south of Bergamo and it takes less than two hours on the train, with one change at Treviglio.
Cremona is famous for the invention of the modern violin in 1566 and as the birthplace of composers Claudio Monteverdi and Amilcare Ponchielli.
Andrea Amati, who created the modern violin from the medieval fiddle, was followed into the profession by his sons, Antonio and Gerolamo and apprentices Andrea Guarneri and Antonio Stradivari, whose violins became recognised as the best in the world.
When you leave the railway station, if you walk along Via Palestro and turn left into Via Ugolani Dati, you will find the Museo Stradivariano, which is within the Museo Civico ‘Ala Ponzone’. The collection of items in the Stradivarius museum is housed in the elegant rooms of a former palace.
From the museum it is a short walk along Via Alessandro Manzoni to Piazza del Comune, where the decorative Duomo is connected by a loggia to the tallest bell tower in Italy, il Torrazzo, which measures more than 112 metres in height.
Before leaving Cremona do not forget to call at Negozio Sperlari in Via Solferino and buy some of their famous torrone (nougat). The concoction of almonds, honey and egg whites was created in the city to mark the marriage of Bianca Maria Visconti to Francesco Sforza in 1441, when Cremona was given to the bride as part of her dowry.