Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – Italy chapter on Lombardy and the Lakes has to say about Cremona:
“A wealthy, independent city-state for centuries, Cremona boasts some fine architecture. The city is best known around the world, however, for its violin-making traditions. It was in Cremona that Antonio Stradivari lovingly put together his first Stradivarius violins, helping establish a tradition that continues today. Some 100 violin-making workshops in the streets around Piazza del Comune can be visited.
Cremona’s medieval heart, with its magnificent cathedral, is a beauty. Cremona was an independent commune (town council) until the 14th century, when the Viscontis of Milan added it to their growing collection. To maintain the difference between the secular and spiritual, buildings connected with the Church were erected on the eastern side of Piazza del Comune, and those concerned with secular affairs were constructed across the way.”
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD