Violin in Cremona

October 9, 2007 at 05:01 AM · Hello,

I am going to Italy next summer to visit a couple of cities an plan on stopping to cremona. I have been playing violin for 3 years now, and my violin needs an upgrade. I taught it would be interesting to buy a violin in cremona. As anyone had previous experience of shopping in cremona. I am also wary of the prices I would have to pay... I have a budget of around 1500$ with a potential increase to 2500$. I would prefer to stay on the lower end of this scale. I already have a nice bow (carbon fiber that works like a charm).

I am stopping to Cremona as the last city of my trip after venize and florence. Should I start by cremona and if prices are too expensive go to florence to find a violin?

Thanks for any input.

Replies (26)

October 9, 2007 at 03:21 PM · Hi Claude

With your budget it would be best to perhaps buy a violin at home. For me at this end the Chinese instruments are best. Try your local violin shop. Handmade violins in Italy start at around $7000.........

Cremona is a great town to visit ....I was there on the weekend and even though I vist often due to work it still excites!


Sean Bishop

October 9, 2007 at 03:26 PM · Yikes,

This is partly what I feared. I would have made a good story for my violin to get it in Italy... But they must carry violin from other countries or prices.

Lol, at worst I'll bring back a violin case (lol)

October 9, 2007 at 07:31 PM · Claude,

I brought back a very fine violin from Cremona last year. The maker is Michele Buccelle. He apprenticed with Maurizio Tadioli who is quite well known in Cremona. Both make great instruments. Check out the website:

Have fun, Marty

October 9, 2007 at 10:25 PM · I checked their web site, but they don't talk about the price one would expect to pay to bring back a violin. At 7000$ in the low starting point, I won't bring back any violin...

He certainly looks to be a good luthier.


October 9, 2007 at 10:32 PM · The old Italian currency, the Lira (that we called "Liretta") was a quite weak currency. So Italian products (including violins) were quite inexpensive outside Italy... An Italian maker could sell a violin abroad and live in Italy 5 or 6 months with the money... We could get a Poggi from the price of an air ticket Sao Paulo/Rome when Poggi was alive in the seventies...

Now we have the Euro, and prices have skyrocketed in Italy... a maker is obliged to sell an instrument in the 7 K range, otherwise he will starve. And all that came together with Chinese makers, veramente un incubo per i liutai Italiani...

October 9, 2007 at 11:26 PM · Yes I understand that they need to sell their violin at a reasonnable price but I was wondering is workshop or apprentices violin could be had for less..

Maybe I'll go back later to Italy and get a violin when my budget is better.


October 9, 2007 at 11:55 PM · Go back when the exchange rate is better. They're screaming and crying over there right now because their goods are so expensive. Somebody has it in for them.

October 10, 2007 at 12:27 AM · I've been in Cremona many many times... As a maker and player - and an Italian speaker, that makes things much, much more easier - I would say it was rather difficult to find an instrument to please me there.

What I got there and I love is a bow quartet (two violin bows, a viola and cello bow) made Jean Narros, quite a good bow maker.

I really don't like the spirit varnish commonly used there, as well the relatevely "cold" and impersonal look. And the sound, well many will say "sound is subjective", and yes, it may be, but not to me...

Many instruments with a more Italian look and sound are being produced outside Italy...

On the current Tarisio auction I found lot 492 very Italian, and it was made by... Carl Becker!!!

Of course there are good makers in Italy today, but you will have to look for them.

October 10, 2007 at 12:52 AM · Regarding the last post by LUIS CLAUDIO MANFIO, this man speaks more bravely than I. My first inclination would be to agree, but many in Cremona are my friends. And I have no need for my "disparagement" insurance premiums to increase. ;)

October 10, 2007 at 12:51 AM · David, I have many friends there too and now I'm afraid of being "impicato" (hanged) on Piazza del Duomo!!!

October 10, 2007 at 12:54 AM · Buddy, if you're hanged for championing truth, the least I can do is to offer you vinegar on a sponge. ;)

(Reference to a famous, historic execution)

October 10, 2007 at 12:56 AM · Every year or so, there is a Cremona exhibition in the USA starting from Rochester, NY going across California. They have many makers from Cremona there. There is a website that has more info. However, I don't see this year's info up yet. At these different violin shops, you get to try violins and other string instruments from different makers. However, the price range is higher than your budget; it is something like starting from $8000 and upwards.

October 10, 2007 at 01:40 AM · Ok, so I want to listen to Bocherini's Stabat Mater during my execution!!! Perhaps a bottle of Amarone and some fresh "funghi porcini trifolatti" as a final wish...

October 10, 2007 at 01:56 AM · Only too happy to oblige, but do you think they'll let me into the country after I was quoted in trade journals saying less than flattering things, after judging the Cremona violinmaking competition?

A couple of us who were less than discreet with our opinions haven't been invited to judge again. ;)

Wait, I have the answer! I'll sneak in, hiding inside a large, hollowed out wooden "Cremonese Horse".

Should be easy, I already have a few woodworking tools.

October 10, 2007 at 02:25 AM · David... Are you sure you don't want to consider a "Cremonese Sheep" instead? I think the horse idea was already used somewhere else... :-)

October 10, 2007 at 02:25 AM · Good thing you didn't use the word "Trojan", or I might think you were talking disgusting dirty stuff.

October 10, 2007 at 02:26 AM · Me?? :-)

October 10, 2007 at 02:30 AM · Hello, Mrs. Holmes, this is Dave. Does Jeffrey ever talk dirty?

October 10, 2007 at 03:04 AM · Let's just defame everybody.

October 10, 2007 at 08:37 PM · "Let's just defame everybody."

Jim; So far, have we defamed the Cremonese, the Trojans, the horse, the sheep, my wife, ourselves or all of the above?

Hope all is well... Cheers!


October 12, 2007 at 08:05 PM · There's a good Stradivari in the Cremona civic museum if you can manage to lay your hands on it.

October 12, 2007 at 09:53 PM · I am still going to visit all the museum and shops in cremona, but I won't put aside money to buy a violin there for this trip.

Thank you all, this is exactly what kind of info I was looking for.

I'll just visit the luthier in my region to find a nice violin.


October 12, 2007 at 11:53 PM · I think you will love Cremona!

The Church (Duomo) is divided in 3 buildings, as in most Italian Churchs: the duomo (church), the bapstery and the tower bell, that we call "campanile" in Italian, but that in Cremona is called "Torrazzo", and is the tallest in Italy.

It survived many earthquakes and is very old (from 1300, if I'm not wrong), and you can climb it!!! I did that, I think many makers did that too in the last 400 years. The form of the Torrazzo inspired a Cremonese candy that is called "Torrone", my father loved it.

Have a "cafè" also in Piazzad del Duomo!

Turris Libraria (bookshop) is quite a good place to visit too, full of violin books. Ciao!

October 13, 2007 at 07:32 AM · I'm going on a trip to Cremona, and I'm bringing a fiddle.

Violins aren't allowed.

I'm going on a trip to Cremona, and I'm bringing a wooden bow. Carbon fiber will not do.

I'm going on a trip to Cremona, and I'm bringing...

Beethoven! Mozart may not come.

(anyone else know this game?)

October 13, 2007 at 08:35 AM · I know a game like that, but that would have restricted you to bringing etudes, Ernst, and so on, while I would bring Beethoven, Bach, Bartók, Brahms, the Bible, and a bow.

We played it with Ignace once, and after a few rounds he brought his ideology book.

In your game, I have no idea what to bring.


October 13, 2007 at 09:06 AM · Figure it out.

I'm bringing jello.

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