Cremona

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The Bell Tower in the Town Square at Cremona

We headed to Cremona for the last weekend of their Festa del Torrone. Cremona is relatively small, but it seemed clean and safe. The festival itself was awesome. There were lots of market stalls selling nougat, candied nuts, roasted nuts, chocolate, and various other sweets. The main thing being sold was nougat. So much amazing nougat.

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Some of the nougat for sale at the stalls

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Even the statue got some sweets!

The first night we were there we went to the main square and watched some dancing, a marching band and flag waving, and some people walking around on stilts. It was actually quite impressive.

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Stilt dancers

For some reason, we got the bright idea of going to a free Italian comedy theater. However, since we can’t understand Italian, we had a really hard time following what was happening. So during the long winded introduction to the play, I turned to my husband and excitedly exclaimed, ‘this is great!’ After which, we both got the giggles and couldn’t even look at each other for laughing. Lesson learned: comedy theater is generally more entertaining when you understand the language.

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The town square on the last night of the festival

The next day we watched the grand finale of the festival in the Piazza del Commune. It happened to be the 180th birthday of Sperlari, which I think is a lolly making company. So they had made a giant cake to share with the whole crowd. We listened to the crowd singing happy birthday, at least that’s what we assumed they were singing, and then everyone lined up for cake. My husband didn’t want to lose our good vantage point, so I went and got us a lovely piece of sponge cake with cream in the centre and cream with crushed nougat on top.

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The Sperlari van

Then we watched the awesome performances. The flag waving and throwing was very good, and then they turned the lights off and switched on some luminescent lights and did the flag waving again with glowing flags! This was followed by three men skillfully playing violins inside an inflatable bubble. Cremona is famous for its violins, particularly the Stradivarius ones, which originated there and are now among the most expensive violins in the world.

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The violin players

Next came luminescent jellyfish and stilt walkers who danced around while a girl performed some songs in English. I had been expecting Italian songs, so I found it quite strange to hear English songs being performed.

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Part of the flag waving

Cremona was quite small, so there really didn’t seem to be a whole lot to see apart from the festival, but we did have a lovely relaxing time there. It was rather fun to attend an Italian festival, especially when nougat was involved!

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