There was only ever one place that could be the setting for a museum devoted to the violin: Cremona, Italy. Not only the birthplace of Antonio Stradivari, still considered the greatest violin maker, Cremona was also where the violin rose to prominence in the 16th century.
Museo del Violino is located in the once-abandoned Palazzo dell’Arte, which has been renovated into a complex of rooms housing priceless violins, including an Andrea Amati (credited as the inventor of the modern violin) from 1566, and a Stradivarius from 1715 known as Il Cremonese. The museum is a showcase worthy of the town’s illustrious heritage, where some of the world’s most valuable pieces are housed in a permanent collection.
Another section of the museum, dedicated to a re-creation of Stradivari’s original workshop, contains over 700 pieces of historical significance gathered together from various private collections. Cremona remains a global centre for violin production and was inscribed in 2012 on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The museum arguably soars toward its crescendo in the Giovanni Arvedi Auditorium, a concert hall of acoustic excellence named after the museum’s founder.