Buildings of Interest
The "Palazzo Comunale" of Crema dates back to 1525, and is a building on which history has left its mark. Builit during the Italian Renaissance, the building is well proportioned but it is built in brick, which was a typical Lomard trend, while the elegant three-arched loggia is evidence of the period of Venetian dominance in Crema. The Town Hall’s facade extends into the “Piazza del Duomo” with a series of sixteenth-century buildings and covered walkways, framing the piazza that was and still is the beating heart of the town.
This elegant building, a few steps from the Duomo of Crema, started being built in 1504 by the Benzoni family, but has undergone numerous modifications over the centuries, all of which make its high reaching structure unique among the buildings of Lombardy. The elegance and splendor of the rooms also rendered it fit for Kings, with the King of France, Louis XII, staying here in 1509. Another notable guest was a famous character from Alessandro Manzoni’s novel “I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed)"; after his visit Palazzo Benzoni-Donati became nicknamed "The Palace of the Nameless".
A list of all the buildings of interest in Crema could go on and on, but here are just few more that you can find whilst walking around the town center: Palazzo Vescovile (1548 - 1549) is an elegant building from the Italian Renaissance; “Palazzo Vimercati – Sanseverino” (1590 - 1602) is one of the most beautiful buildings built by the Vimercati family, and to date is still owned by their ancestors; “Palazzo Bondenti - Terni de Gregory” (1711) has been described as slightly decadent, but beautiful nonetheless, making it one of Crema’s most interesting buildings; “Palazzo Foglia” (built around 1650) is a building whose richly decorated Rococo interior contrasts its sober façade; and “Villa Albergoni – Arrigoni” (1756) is a spectacular private residence that you can get a glimpse of from via Cavour.
Built around 1548, it was originally intended to be the residence of the scions of the great Venetian families who, following the cursus honorum, were sent to be the Mayor of Crema and put their noble insignia on the walls of buildings. Several oil paintings representing the Venetian podesta that served Crema hang in the Council Chamber.
The prestigious “Palazzo Benzoni-Frecavalli”, once the home of the noble Benzoni family, is the magnificent building that now houses Crema’s Public Library. From its lavish front door to its interior decoration the building conserves the elegance and wealth that distinguished the Benzoni family.
This building belongs to a hidden and charming Crema, inhabited by the noble Vimercati family from 1422. The main entrance and the south side of the building are characterized by a sober and elegant style that tells you little about its rich and varied past. Turned into a hotel in the 18th C., its owners embellished the interior with furniture, paintings and other valuables from some of Italy’s great artists, including Guido Reni and Guercino, two great Italian painters of the seventeenth century, and Giorgione, an enigmatic sixteenth-century Venetian artist. In 1861 Giuseppe Garibaldi is recoded as having stayed at the hotel. After WWI, the building returned to its function as a private residence and in 1924 its new owner, Count Marazzi, hosted the then future and soon to be last reigning King of Italy, Umberto II.
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