Province of Cremona
Province of Cremona
Typical canal in the countryside of Pandino
Map highlighting the location of the province of Cremona in Italy
|• President||Davide Viola (PD)|
|• Total||1,770.46 km2 (683.58 sq mi)|
(30 April 2017)
|• Density||200/km2 (530/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Telephone prefix||0372, 0373, 0374, 0375, 0363|
The Province of Cremona (Italian: provincia di Cremona; Cremunés: pruvìncia de Cremùna; Cremasco: pruìnsa de Cremùna; Casalasco-Viadanese: pruvìncia ad Cramòna) is a province in the Lombardy region of Italy. Its capital city is Cremona.
The province occupies the central section of Padana Plain, so the whole territory is flat, without any mountains or hills, crossed by several rivers, such as the Serio and Adda, and artificial canals, most of which are used for irrigation.
Lombardy has been inhabited since ancient times and stone age and Bronze Age rock drawings and artefacts have been found there. From the fifth century BC, Gallic tribes invaded and settled in the region, building several cities (including Milan) and ruling the land as far as the Adriatic Sea. From the third century BC the Romans expanded their sphere of influence into the area, and in 194 BC, the whole of what is now Lombardy, became a Roman province called Gallia Cisalpina. The Romans overwhelmed the previous civilisations and Lombardy became one of the richest and best-developed areas in Italy. It was here in 313 AD that the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great issued the famous Edict of Milan that gave freedom of religion to all people in the Roman Empire.
Following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, Lombardy was invaded by successive waves of tribes, the last of which was the Germanic Lombards in the late sixth century. Stability followed until 774, when the Frankish king Charlemagne conquered the area and annexed the Kingdom of the Lombards (most of northern and central Italy) to his empire.
The province of Cremona is a long, relatively narrow part of the Padana Plain in northern Italy, the outline of which is circumscribed by rivers. The province is orientated from northwest to southeast. To the west of the province lies the Province of Lodi, to the northwest lies the Province of Milan, to the north lies the Province of Bergamo, to the east lies the Province of Brescia, and to the southeast lies the Province of Mantua. The region of Emilia-Romagna lies to the south, Cremona abutting onto the Province of Reggio Emilia, the Province of Parma and the Province of Piacenza.
Several rivers flow across the Lombardy Plain to join the River Po which runs along the southern border of the province. The River Adda separates Cremona from the Province of Lodi and the River Oglio provides the border with the Province of Mantua. Other rivers in the north of the province include the River Serio and the River Tormo, and the River Mella makes up a short stretch of the border with the Province of Brescia. These rivers are linked by a network of canals which have been in place since at least the sixteenth century and are largely used for irrigation. The Muzza Canal takes its water from the River Adda and irrigates the land between that river and the River Ticino, converting the plain into a fertile area with rich meadows and productive agricultural land.
The total area of the province is 600 square miles (1,600 km2). Although the province is essentially flat, there are some undulations in the surface formed by the varying courses of the rivers over the millennia. For historical reasons, the province is subdivided into four rural districts, centred on Crema, Soresina, Cremona and Casalmaggiore. In the north, some watercourses emerge from the ground in the "line of springs", a phenomenon of the northern Lombardy Plain, where melt-water from the Alps flows underground through porous gravelly soils before being forced to the surface when it reaches impervious, clayey ground.
The climate is largely uniform throughout the province. The annual rainfall is about 750 mm (30 in) with October and November being the wettest months and February and July being the driest. The average temperature is 1.7 °C (35 °F) in January and 24.3 °C (76 °F) in July. There is often fog in winter, especially near the rivers.
Economy and culture
The principal economic resources of the province of Cremona are agricultural. Rice is grown with the help of water drawn from canals. Other crops include maize (corn), locally called Melegot and barley and to a lesser extent, soya and sugar beet. Grapes are cultivated and wine produced, and there is also a silk industry. The farms in the province are some of the most productive in the country. Other industries are quite developed, mostly in the northern zone, near Crema, where there are textiles, chemical, and mechanical factories.
Beef and dairy cattle are kept in the province. The beef serves as an ingredient for local dishes, and milk from the dairy cows is used to create traditional cheeses as well as producing butter and cream. The area is famous for its food specialities, such as nougat (IItalian: torrone) and mustard. It is unclear exactly where torrone originated, but the recipe used in Cremona is the best known.
The city of Cremona has a strong musical tradition. The cathedral, built in the twelfth century, provided a focus for musical activity and by the sixteenth century, the town was the musical centre of the region. Even now it attracts people to hear performances by ensembles and attend the many festivals. The Renaissance composer Marc'Antonio Ingegneri taught here, his most illustrious pupil being Claudio Monteverdi. The composer Pierre-Francisque Caroubel was born here and later moved to Wolfenbüttel in Germany to collaborate with Michael Praetorius. The town became renowned for the violins and other musical instruments that were made here (many members of the Stradivari, Amati, Guarneri and Bergonzi families of luthiers were all prominent citizens of Cremona), and was also well known for its concert bands. A band school was started here in 1864 under the auspices of the composer Amilcare Ponchielli. The "traditional violin craftsmanship in Cremona" was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2012.
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