Half-day trip: Cremona

11th May, 2019

By the time I got to Cremona, I was tired. I had already walked around Piacenza that morning, and I had caught four trains (two to Piacenza and then two to Cremona), so I was a little worn down.

And I will be honest, when I got off the train, my first impression of Cremona was “oh my God, why did I come here”. It appeared to have not much at all, and I was a little bit apprehensive as I followed a main road into the city centre.

Twenty minutes of walking later, I still really wasn’t feeling it, until I stepped into the medieval Piazza del Comune and saw this:

The Cathedral and Baptistery

I immediately headed into the Cathedral and was stunned. Every surface was elaborately decorated, including the ceilings, and the amount of detail and preservation of the artworks was impressive. The crypt was also open to the public, and was similarly beautiful.

The pictures below, although they give some indication of how stunning the Cathedral’s interior was, don’t do it justice at all.

inside the crypt of the Cathedral

After exploring the Cathedral, I went to the adjacent Baptistery, which was much less elaborate but also beautiful.  There was a great sense of calm, and the high ceiling and copious light created a very tranquil atmosphere.  I spent several moments perusing the pieces displayed in the Baptistery and enjoying being cut off from the bustle of the piazza outside.

inside the Baptistery

Once I had left the Baptistery, I moved on to the Torrazzo, the tall clocktower on the other side of the Cathedral.  Not only are visitors able to climb the tower to enjoy views of the city, but several floors within the tower have been curated into a museum about time.  This works really well to break up the long and otherwise quite tiring flight of stairs which lead to the bell at the top of the tower. 

The tower contains various astrological instruments (including those shown below) and allows visitors to view the cogs of the clock in action.  It’s incredibly interesting and really cool to see, particularly when the ascent to each floor of the museum is spotted with views such as this:

astrological instruments

Upon reaching the top of the tower, I was able to look out over the city, from the Cathedral directly below to the mountains in the far distance.  The views were absolutely beautiful, and I spent quite a bit of time standing quietly and gazing out over the panorama.

views from il Torrazzo

When I finally descended, I had a quick look at the medieval Palazzo Comunale (pictured below) and trudged back to the train station, well and truly fatigued by this stage, it was with a sense of being very content that I had in fact visited Cremona, and with a happiness that it had been such a wonderful and beautiful afternoon.

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