Appointment with Stradivarius
In Cremona, to the Violin Museum to hear the instruments of the city's unsurpassed violin makers
What it is and where it is
Cremona is the city of the violin par excellence, home of thatAntonio Stradivari who lived between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and is universally recognized as the very personification of the art of violin making. This is reaffirmed by UNESCO, which in 2012 inscribed "Traditional Cremonese Violin Making" as a cultural heritage of humanity. This intangible asset is ideally enshrined in the Violin Museum, which nevertheless also had to equip itself with a sort of treasure room to store a series of priceless antique instruments.
Why it is special
A violin may be over a hundred years old, but if you keep it in perfect working order it does not lose some of its qualities. Said and done, and at the museum not a week goes by without these violins with grand names - Amati, Stradivari, Guarneri - being entrusted to musicians who have become its "coaches," so to speak. Auditions take place in a unique auditorium, conformed and lined with wood like the sound box of an instrument for maximum acoustics.
A bit of history
Cremoneseviolin making is a tradition that took root in Cremona in the sixteenth century, coming to number up to two hundred workshops in the following centuries in the shadow of the Cathedral with its famous Torrazzo. In the twentieth century, despite the opening of an International School of Violin Making, the city experienced a period of shadow, but also a subsequent revival that, with the opening of the Violin Museum in 2013, made it one of Lombardy's most popular destinations for international tourism.
A stone's throw from the Cathedral, on Via dei Lanaioli, is a violin-making workshop that has an exceptional story to tell. It was founded by Gio Batta Morassi (1934-2018), a native of Cadore, a great connoisseur of wood, a precocious talent in its workmanship, and a great master of the more recent course of Cremonese violin making. The workshop is now run by his heirs, and the interesting thing is to be able to observe them intent on their work beyond the window.
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