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Cremona Museums

Palazzo dell’Arte
Piazza Marconi 5 – 26100 Cremona (IT)
Tel (+ 39) 0372 801801 – Fax (+39) 0372 801888

The Museum is in the Palazzo dell'Arte, designed by architect Carlo Neapolitan Cocchia . To want the building was especially Roberto Farinacci , leading member of the National Fascist Party , with the intention of giving the award of a prestigious Cremona . In fact, the war ended the event early as 1941, after only three issues. The yard was discontinued August 16, 1943 and resumed activity in 1946, the works were completed in 1947.
The building has been carefully renovated by the behest of Cav. Giovanni Arvedi and opened in September 2013.
The unique MDV Violin Museum offers visitors a fascinating journey into the history of stringed instruments, in a rich heritage of documents (such as drawings, models, forms and tools of Stradivari ) between perfumes ( wood ) , sounds and images, made real thanks to modern multi-media installations and films. Through the halls you can relive the origin and history of the violin, the method of construction of the instruments and their special techniques, the story of the most important family of Cremonese violin makers , the impressive and sustained dissemination of Cremonese violin in the world.
The property is also a research center and a meeting place of international specialists.
In the Palace , next to the museum , there is the Auditorium Giovanni Arvedi designed by the acoustic Yasuisa Toyota , which will host concerts and recordings to restore the sound to violins that have bewitched the greatest violinists of the past and present .


Via Ugolani Dati 4, Cremona
Tel +39 037231222- fax +39 0372461109

The XVIth-century Palazzo Affaitati houses the Gallery of the City Museum “Ala Ponzone”.

The Gallery has been made up during the centuries starting from the XVIth, especially thanks to collections of Ponzone Family. In 1842 it became a place opened to public, according to Marquis Sigismondo Ala Ponzone’s will and it has been enriched with works from former and deconsecrated “cremonese” churches. Today the collection of paintings and sculptures numbers more than 2000 pieces, but only a part of them can be admired in the exhibition rooms of the Museum.

The first exhibition room hosts the section dedicated to the Medieval period and the XVIth-century: it consists of sculptures, frescoes, ceiling boards and a wide selection of Bembos’s works.

The XVIth-century “cremonese” Gallery offers a complete anthology of painters that proves the shift from the XVth-century tradition to the Modern manner (Boccaccino, Pedro Fernandez, Aleni e Galeazzo Campi) and the achievement of the new sensibility of the Renaissance through the works of Camillo Bocaccino, Gian Francesco Bembo and the Campi, precursors of the naturalistic sensibility, that will be assimilated in Caravaggio, as well illustrated in the well-known “Saint Francis in Prayer”.

The San Domenico’s room consists in a sequence of works coming from the torn down Church of the Order of Preachers (Dominican Order) and shows the contributions of Milan in the local culture of the XVIIth-century (Cerano, Nuvolone, Procaccini).

The following exhibition rooms are dedicated to the “cremonese” still life (in one of them is on display the well-known Giuseppe Arcimboldi’s painting “the Gardener”), to the Family Ponzone’s portraits and to some interesting exemplars of XVIIth-century painting (Genovesino), that of XVIIIth and XIXth, showing the achievement of the Neoclassicism (Diotti) and the Romanticism (Piccio).

The last two rooms of the first floor collect a selection of applied art (oriental pottery, Lombard and European ceramics and majolica, enamel and ivory items).

The first exhibition room of the second floor is consecrated to the iconography of Cremona: the works on display show the history of the town and its pictorial representations.

The following rooms of this floor offer an overview about the Lombard and cremonese painting dating back the second half of XIXth-century (Gorra, Colombi –Borde) and the XXth (Vittori, Rizzi).

The third floor hosts the drawing and print room: the graphic collection of the Museum, that amount to some 2000 drawings and 4000 prints. The room has an exhibition area and some halls where it is possible to consult materials. Among the collection of drawings comes out a group of “cremonese” drawings of the XVIth century; whereas the most interesting collection of prints is represented by 200 exemplars from the XVth and the XVIth centuries.

Link: Museo Civico Ala Ponzone


Via Gioconda 5, Cremona
Tel +39 037223766

The original nucleus of the scientific section, like other sections of the City Museum of Cremona consists of Ala Ponzone’s legacy.

The collection is particularly interesting and precious, because Giuseppe Sigismondo Ala Ponzone (1761-1842) was first a naturalist and a trainer and then a collector.

At this first collection other small donations were added, mostly from local naturalists.

This scientific section followed the same destiny of the other collections of the City Museum “Ala Ponzone” up to 50ties: all of them were carried in Palazzo dell’Arte. The “new” Natural City Museum of Cremona was inaugurated the 30th October 1958, in conjunction with the Museum Week.
At last, since June 1995, the Museum has been based in the “Vecchio Passeggio” park.

The suggested itinerary is structured in sections, whose main theme is represented by the shift of functions of the Museum over the years: from a naturalistic collection “for the benefit of cremonese scholars” to an institution that today deals with the knowledge and the preservation of its territory.

The itinerary begins with the historical section (essentially made up of the Ala Ponzone’s original nucleus) and carries on through each disciplines (mineralogy, petrography, paleontology and zoology, with a special botanic section directly in the park) in order to arrive to an exhaustive reading of our territory.

The surroundings, natural and urban, allow two other locally linked themes to be added: a display of “the town upside down” and a reflection on bio-diversity preservation to close the itinerary.

Link: Museo Civico di Storia Naturale


Via San Lorenzo 4, Cremona
Tel +39 0372407775

The 31st May 2009 was opened the new “Archaeological Museum” in the St. Lorenzo’s Basilica and in the annexed Meli chapel. It represents the development of the old archaeological section of the City Museum, closed at the end of the 90ies in order to allow the renovation of some typology of materials, especially mosaics. It is also the completion of the Palazzo Affaitati exhibition, that is to say the original collections from Ala Ponzone Marquis’ legacy.

The St Lorenzo’s church, deconsecrated at the end of the XIIIth-century, belonged to Benedectine monastery and then passed to the Olivetans (Order of Our Lady of Mount Olivet).

The structure of the church is that of a basilica with a nave and two aisles and dates back to the end of the XIIth, beginning of the XIIIth-century. It shows the peculiar Romanesque nature: a wide articulation of spaces and the characteristic bracket decoration of the arches of the apse.

The excavations, made starting from 1962, allowed to bring to light the ruins of a previous church, that probably is the same mentioned in a parchment of 990, a funerary Early Christian church in a site once occupied by a late Republican Roman necropolis, which coasted the first suburban portion of the Postumia Street.

The idea to realize a museum in the historical complex that is itself an archaeological site, contributed to a complete renovation of what is still preserved both from a structural and decorative point of view.

Currently the museum hosts what is considered the core of the archaeological collection Cremona: through the findings discovered since the XIXth century up to the recent excavation in Piazza Marconi, it allows to reconstruct the image of the town founded by the Romans in 218 a.C., the first one northern than the Po River.

Cremona was a flourishing city till the 69 d.C., when it was torn by the internal war that allowed Vespasiano to ascend the imperial throne. Then the city was rebuilt, taking part of the building and monumental renewal that involved the most part of northern Italy in the IIIrd century d.C..

Link: Museo Archeologico


Via Castelleone 51, Cremona
Tel. +39 037221411

The location of the Museum of Folk Culture in the “Cambonino Vecchio” farmhouse was all along the key element for the choice of displayed collections and the ordering of mounting.

The old shed: this is the most remote evidence the farmhouse: six spans supported by round arches and five small central columns; a floor in the terracotta tiles and on the original litters a reconstruction of mangers. The outbuildings are consecrated to pig breeding, fattened pigs and three overlapping hen-houses. The arrangement shows items concerning the farming.

The “bugadeera” (a place used as laundry): In this room there are two brickwork cookers where inside were put metal cauldrons for the water boiling. The ceiling and wall blackening, preserved in the mounting, comes from the steam of the two cookers.
In one of the farmer’s houses it has been recreated the domestic setting and another one is the base of “cucina cremonese”.

The farm manager house: it is identifiable by the small bell tower on the roof. The first floor hosts the base of “El Zaac”. The room at the ground floor is used as educational workshop.

The manor house: has the central door that leads in the “bocchirale”, a large corridor used as “boardroom” that today, along with adjacent rooms, is used for didactic activities and temporary exhibitions.

The “barchessale”: the open barn for drying cereals, with its characteristic louvered grills, which allowed the courtyard to be perfectly ventilated. Under the porch on one side are exhibited the means of transport and on the other side the agricultural machines.

The new stable, whose access is through a space used as horses’ shelter, is made up of seven bays with pavilion vaults that form also the floor of the above barn. The mounting proposes tools for grooming horses and a series of other equipment used in all the phases of work in the fields, from ploughing to selecting the seed.

The Oratory of the Blessed Virgin of Caravaggio has two entrances: one accessible from the interior and the other from the exterior, adjacent to the main entrance of the farm. The Oratory hosts also today some traditional Marian services during the nights of May (the Marian month).

Link: Museo Civilta Contadina