Cremona rises in the heart of the Pianura Padana, by the river Po banks. It is this same “great river” which made the city a major centre for economical and commercial exchange since ancient times.
Furthermore, the presence of several waterways contributed to the development of agriculture and livestock farming which became among the most important in Europe. At the same time, Cremona experienced an extraordinary progress in art and culture. Throughout the centuries, the city was able to preserve a well-balanced proportion of history and modernity (still today, the population counts a little more than 70,000 inhabitants) and so it can offer not only its magnificent monuments and works of art but also a human-scale urban structure. As this guide illustrates, there are excellent architectural examples for all historical periods: the Roman era, visible in the traces of the city foundation, the Middle Ages, represented by the buildings located in the heart of town, and the Renaissance, with the Cathedral façade and frescoes. Then the 18th and 19th century, when violin making flourished, theatres rose and noble palaces of still unparalleled magnificence were built. And finally the early 20th century, a period which is increasingly attracting the attention of architecture historians as well as tourists.
The territory of the province – a long and narrow stretch of land - is no less fascinating.
Located between four rivers, the province is characterized by the presence of a great number of Municipalities (115), many of them of small size. They can be grouped in four main areas: the one developing around Cremona, the province capital; the areas around the towns of Crema and Casalmaggiore; the “middle area” around Soresina and Castelleone.
However, the whole territory is characterized by the same vegetation of both secular and younger trees, and offers a scenery which renews its shapes and colours with the passing of seasons though preserving its pattern of harmonious complexity. The vast network of cycle tracks winding through the green countryside will allow visitors to move around slowly and enjoy every detail.
The province is bounded by the rivers Adda, Serio, Oglio and the majestic Po, navigable waterways for charming cruises or shorter boat trips.
Not only the province of Cremona is pleasant for its sceneries but it also has several economic activities of excellence. Traditionally, its economy has been primarily based on agriculture; however, the service sector has gradually become the most important one for number of businesses and people employed.
The territory also counts a number of important companies in the food processing (cured meat, sweets and cheese) and engineering industry.
Local craft productions are famous all over the world: food (Cremona is home to the Torrone, a sweet that was “invented” on the occasion of the marriage between Bianca Maria Visconti and Francesco Sforza in 1441) and violin making which, from the beginning of the 16th century, is the jewel in the crown of Cremonese arts and crafts industry.
It is here that Stradivari, the Amatis and Guarneris were born.
In the heart of Lombardy, near Milano, Bergamo, Brescia and Verona airports, Cremona and its territory – with its refined social life, varied cultural activities and dynamic entrepreneurial spirit – are ready to welcome all visitors.