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Art and culture

Cremona is the world capital of stringed instruments - the ancient art of building violins and other stringed instruments is something the town is very proud of, because among all, the violin is the instrument than more than any other strikes the chords of feelings and stirs emotions. The tradition of stringed instrument construction is carried on by more than two hundred workshops. Famous violinmakers from Cremona include Antonio Stradivari and the Amati and Guarneri families. Every year the prestigious Cremona International Violin Making School welcomes and trains students from all over the world. Everything in the town speaks of violins and music. Some workshops organise tours in which participants can see how violins are made before their eyes (booking is usually required). To celebrate this town's extraordinary vocation, the Violin Museum is scheduled to open soon. In this state-of-the-art museum, visitors will be able to learn about everything that rotates around the magical world of violins and to hear and enjoy the unique "voice" of the violin in halls with perfect acoustics. Famous musicians such as Monteverdi and Ponchielli came from Cremona. They contributed to creating an important tradition in classical and concert music, with prestigious events such as the Monteverdi Festival.

Cremona is a city of art, with a rich and varied cultural and architectural heritage and some of the most important museums in Italy. The square in front of the town hall, with the monumental complex made up of the Torrazzo, the Duomo, the Baptistery, the Town Hall building and the Loggia dei Militi is one of the most significant examples of medieval architecture, which is still intact and can be admired in all its splendour. One of the symbols of culture in Cremona is the Ponchielli Theatre, a historical and traditional theatre and a perfectly preserved  architectural gem. Many interesting and prestigious events are held here, such as high quality drama production, opera, concerts and music events.

In the middle of the fertile Pianura Padana, with its thriving agricultural and zoo technical activities, Cremona is one of the best areas for the production of excellent cured meats and cheeses, such as the IGP Salame Cremona, the Provolone Valpadana cheese, the Grana Padano cheese, the Cotechino vaniglia (vanilla pork sausage). Cremona is the unrivalled capital of torrone (hard sweet), mostarda (a kind of pickled fruit) and marubini (a kind of filled pasta). In addition to the most famous products - which are marketed all over Italy - Cremona offers a range of "municipal denomination" products (known as "de-co", from "denominazione comunale" [municipal denomination]) - these niche products, tightly bound to the town's history and tradition, are true delicacies that can only be enjoyed inside the town walls. The traditional local cuisine is rich and very tasty, with exclusive dishes prepared using locally produced ingredients, such as the "gran bollito cremonese" (a kind of boiled meat) or marubini in broth - just to mention two of the most famous. Local dishes can be enjoyed in the town's many traditional restaurants.