A wealthy, independent city-state for centuries, Cremona boasts some fine medieval architecture. The Piazza del Comune, the heart of the city, is where Cremona's historic beauty is concentrated. It's a wonderful example of how the religious and secular affairs of cities were divided neatly in two. The city is best known around the world, however, for its violin-making traditions.
Cremona was thought to have been founded by Celts, but the oldest archaeological finds date to the creation of a Roman outpost here around 218 BC. The city's glory days came as an independent comune (city-state) from the 11th century, until it was occupied by Milan in 1334. It would remain largely under the jurisdiction of the Duchy of Milan until the latter fell under the thumb of Spain in 1525.