Trip to Cremona between Stradivari and mustard nougat and monuments
All the fault of a letter. But a “t” cannot suffice to describe it. “Turàz”, “Turòn” and, the less refined “Tetàss”: Cremona it is much more than a monument, a dessert or an anatomical quote. “The clichés have made us famous – explains a chilled cyclist in Corso Campi – but there are many more” t “. Yeah, there’s Mina, there Tiger of Cremona: its vocal cords, like those of a violin, give timeless emotions. Then, there is Tognazzi, the Ugo passionate about cooking, who, having turned off the spotlight, devoted himself to his cookbooks, called the refrigerator “the family chapel” and always repeated: “Acting is a hobby. I eat to live ”. All from Cremona, all with a capital “t” to understand that yes, something special in the air of this remnant of Lower Lombard there must be, if taste and music, art and flavor have always been the menu of a town of just over 70,000 inhabitants, which has gone down in history for its confectionery and musical excellence, from nougat to lutherie. Stradivari and Sperlari, Guarneri del Gesù and Vergani, Amati and Dondi, then Luccini, Lanfranchi and Rivoltini with Ponchielli And Monteverdi: the list is long and tasty. And it doesn’t always start with “t”. How easy it is to understand during one trip to Cremona between Stradivari and mustard nougat and monuments.
Trip to Cremona between Stradivari and mustard nougat and monuments: near the Po
Celtic name to indicate the “crem”, a small hill not far from Bit that today flows further out of the city, Roman colony from 218 BC strategically placed on the Via Postumia that connected Genoa and Aquileia, it was Milan that “sweetened” the destiny of Cremona with the most musical of monosyllables, the “yes” of marriage between Bianca Maria Visconti and Francesco Sforza. It was October 1441 and she, very young, arrived in red at the church of San Sigismondo, a beautiful Renaissance jewel, to be visited on the eastern outskirts of the city. The wedding brought a new dynasty and a dowry to Milan Cremona protection and well-being. “And above all the Nougat“, Explains those who love the legend, according to which it was to amaze the guests at the banquet that this dessert was created, for the first time, on the shapes of the”tower ”bell tower of the city. History suggests, however, that the idea of a honey and almond cake could have come to the city from the South and from the Arabs, at least two hundred years earlier, also thanks to the itinerant court of Frederick II. But what does it really matter? Since then the Nougat is at home here. “Even if it doesn’t look like the Torrazzo at all”, some tourists observe from the tables of the Bar Portici. From there the bulk of the Bell tower“Class” 1267, stands out clearly: 112 meters and 473 steps, it is among the taller buildings to the world in just bricks.
“And it is anything but crumbly”, they still joke from the historic coffee, referring to the first, essential quality of Nougat, which according to purists should only be hard and crumbly. “Modernity and even dentists have done the rest!” Explain half-serious Luciano and Osvaldo of the Vergani shop. Soft, flavored, coated, declined in chocolates, softened as a walking mousse, more practical in the shape of a cake: today everyone is good at “beating nougat”, as they say, indicating the long hours of patient processing of the dough. The Torrazzo bells sound heavy, in the minor, as if to underline that time passes, fashions change, but what remains is the beauty of one of the medieval squares most fascinating of Italy, between the courtyard of Town Hallthe Loggia dei Militi, a prodigy baptistery of simplicity and solemnity and the loggia of the Bertazzola which unites the Torrazzo to the cathedral white and pink. All the streets seem to lead here, under its rose window that looks like an antique lace.
Trip to Cremona between Stradivari and mustard nougat and monuments: square and alleys
In fact there are at least 12, between streets and alleys, the possibilities that radiate from the square: on the left Via Solferino stretches with the “district” of pastry shops, Sperlari And Lanfranchi first of all, whose windows are “armed” and set up one in front of the other. “Here was the factory behind it”, explain from Sperlari who has been claiming the birthright of Cremona’s confectionery secrets since 1836. But in the mythical “box” that we have all received at least once for Christmas, in addition to Nougat there was also there mustard: now that the other historical brand Dondi was absorbed by the same international confectionery group Cloetta, the tradition of “mustard fruit” can continue. The shop Sperlari is a list of “good advice”, from how to consume nougat to how to accompany mustard where “the fruit must remain covered by the syrup, otherwise it spoils”, they recommend. One step and the next one enters the refined world of Lanfranchi, where the exclusive and the soft secret of Pan of Cremonahoney heart and dark and flaked chocolate “armor”.
For it shopping you stretch along via Mazzini or via Campi which also leads to Ala Ponzone Museum for a full immersion in history, archeology, violin making and art. This is also the proud home of another city excellence: theArcimboldo with his strange paintings made of vegetables and still lifes that come alive as you discover with a trip to Cremona between Stradivari and mustard nougat and monuments. And also ancient works but so modern that they almost become a myth.
Trip to Cremona between Stradivari and mustard nougat and monuments: the museum
What happens to another pride of the city: the violin, the one found in its purest form in Violin Museum Antonio Stradivari of Piazza Marconi. Once upon a time, the salt road that led across it started not far from here Po Bridge, to the river. Here the many renaioli, the sand and gravel miners, labored relentlessly, in a foolish and uncomfortable life. A whole other music today that the neighborhood and the square, thanks to a new urban layout with sculptures inspired by notes and violins, is the new city stave. Now there are the auditorium and the exhibition spaces: the drawings, the wooden shapes and the shapes of the Stradivari workshop have also converged here. A red velvet casket is the room that contains the most precious pieces such as the famous “Cremonese“Of 1715 and a little further on other Stradivari such as the”Heller“, Inlaid in 1679 up to the hedgehog and the”Scotland”That the master luthier made at the age of 90. They are worth like a Van Gogh because this is perfection: the knowledge and skills of the time are the same as we tend to today. In fact, here, as every three years, the “olympics ”of violin making, an international competition that selects violins, violas, cellos and double basses from all over the world. The best pieces will be exhibited in the section dedicated to contemporary lutherie.
A trip to Cremona between Stradivari and mustard nougat and monuments: sweetness
Bow and plucked string, the epigones of BelovedGuarneri del Gesù and Stradivari, today UNESCO heritage, they are still out there: in the world and in Cremona gathered as centuries ago in an “Island that exists” and which smells of ancient gestures. The Consortium of luthiersborn in 1996, is based in Stradivari square and today it gathers over 60 masters, including Italians and Cremonese by adoption. Their shops dot the historic center: here they work on orders from traders or individual artists and for the most part the market goes abroad. “Our brand”Cremona violin making“- they explain from the Consortium – in the meantime it guarantees a completely manual workmanship and expresses the originality and personality of the master luthier, respecting traditional techniques codified for centuries”.
Music for the ears and harmony of the palate: the chord of a violin, the crackle of nougat, the amber dripping of a mustard perfect, and still cured meat, cheeses, art, pride and skill. A story, or rather a thousand stories, which were all born in the shadow of a record-breaking bell tower and for a wedding of the past and which one after the other are revealed in a trip to Cremona between Stradivari and mustard nougat and monuments. All in one town in the quiet province? No, it’s not too much. Just tell his thousand souls using the right “t”. And then there will be more than three.