Cremona Story

Those who know violins know Cremona – a region in Italy famous for producing them.  The great golden age makers Amati, Guarneri, and Stradivari all lived their lives and had workshops in the area, and the area remains a center of production for stringed instruments.  Last night I was with a small group eating dinner with a women fresh off a trip to Italy with a group of high school students:

Teacher Friend: Do you all know why Cremona is famous?

Ryan Libel: VIOLINS!

TF: Yes, [to the rest of the table] it’s a place famous for stringed instruments, we saw many different shops where they produce them and met some amazing people in the violin production business.

RL: I’m so jealous – do each of the old makers have a museum, can you tour their workshops, what’s it like?

TF: There’s one big museum of violinmaking there, but you can tour some homes of famous makers and shops too I think.  We didn’t do the museum.  Mainly my story is about our encounter with the police in the area.

RL: What?

TF: Well one of my students gave a local shopkeeper a 500 euro bill that was counterfeit!  The cops came and we sorted it out, but it was pretty hairy.  Apparently this kid found the bill in a bathroom in another town.  It was a photocopy – I think he definitely thought it was real, but of course he should have turned it in.  Anyway, we got it worked out and nobody went to jail.

I guess all I really know is that kid couldn’t have gotten much of a golden age violin for 500 euros!

Thanks for reading.


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