A day trip to Cremona has been my first solo excursion, catching an early bus from Salsomaggiore, which did arrive at the right time, offering the right money, that we’d been told by the bus company was essential. Except my right money was not what was required, so I was left scrabbling through my coins, to be rescued by the bus driver.
‘Head for the Duomo’, I’d been told. Fearful of getting lost, I made sure I kept that tall Tower in sight from wherever I went. There were people queuing to take the ‘vertical tour’ to the top of the Torrazzo or Bell Tower, c.1300, the highest made of bricks in Europe. Good luck to them; my friend’s mother had told me how as a child, she had been taken to the top and seen the cars down below like ants. The stuff of nightmares for me.
I preferred to look in the Cathedral, consecrated in 1190. It is breathtakingly high and solid, arched and full of gold and frescoes, impossible to see them all in the gloom and so far up. There are several galleries, with special dedications and candles to be lit for special prayer requests.
I sit for a while in the main nave, savouring the peace and coolness, while in a smaller area a Mass in Latin is being sung, with five priests officiating, and quite a few attendees. I could have sat there all morning…
When it is empty I take a photograph of this gold-bedecked ‘chapel’ and wonder how it must be to have such grandeur as your local church.
Even the rear of the Duomo complex is impressively lofty. The left hand octagonal building is the Baptistry, not open at the time of my visit.
Feeling I have had enough of religious subjects, I think I will like the Commune or Town Hall (mainly 13th century) as the approach frescoes appeal here, and am assured by the Tourist Office that is open for me to see inside.
Silly, gullible me…