City of the low Po Valley area, near the river Serio, Crema is the second most important city in its province, after Cremona. The city's name derives from the term Lombard "krem" (height). The first records of the city date back to the VI century, coinciding with the Lombard invasions. It is mentioned for the first time in a document of 1074 as home-town of a person called Rozo, who was witness in a brief act of investiture, issued by the bishop Arnolfo of Cremona, for his cousins Guglielmo and Vado of Carugate. Once the medieval castle was built, the town followed the same history and fate of nearby Milan. It was completely destroyed by Barbarossa in 1160 and slowly rebuilt, at first, as a possession of Cremona, then under the rule of the Visconti and finally from 1400 to 1747 submitted to the Republic of Venice.
The high artistic and architectural heritage of Crema is proved by its glorious past.
Among the sites worth visiting, not to miss:
- The Cathedral entitled to Our Lady of the Assumption, in Lombard Gothic style, built between the late XIII century and the beginning of the next one. The façade features a gable with a statue of the Madonna and Child with Saints John the Baptist and Pantaleon. The interior is austere and solemn, divided into one major nave and two side aisles and preserves valuable artworks by local artists such as Madonna with Child "by Rinaldo Spino and restored by Vincenzo Civerchio, the "Assumption" of Civerchio "Adoration of the Magi" by Giovanni Paolo Cavagna, a wooden statue of the Madonna and in the presbytery, two paintings by Gian Battista Lucini dedicated to the "Miracles of the Eucharist". The nave ends in an apse where a wooden crucifix is placed.
- The Church of the Holy Trinity (1737-1740) in the Baroque style;
- The former Church of San Domenico (1463-1471) now used as a theater;
- The XVI century Venetian walls that surrounded the city;
- The Town Hall, the Torrazzo and the Praetorian Palace, symbols of the wealth and power of the city in the XVI century;
- Palazzo Bondenti, the largest palaces in Crema;
- The Bishop's palace with its precious paintings;
- The former Convent of St. Augustine, now the seat of the Civic Museum of Crema and Cremasco;
- The Church of St. Benedict, built in 1621-1625 and restored in the XX century;
- The Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Croce (1490-1493), an elegant brick building in the Bramante style;
- The XVIII century Palazzo Arrigoni Albergoni, preceded by a magnificent garden;
- Palazzo Vimercati Sanseverino, in Venetian Renaissance style;
- Palazzo Terni De Gregori, in Baroque style;
- Palazzo Sangian Toffetti;
- Palazzo Benzoni-Frecavalli, now houses the municipal library;
- The XVI century Church of San Giovanni Battista, with frescoes by Gian Giacomo Barbelli;
- The Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie, frescoed by Gian Giacomo Barbelli;
- The former Renaissance church of Santo Spirito and Santa Maria Maddalena;
- Numerous noble villas (Villa Tensini, built in the XVII century with frescoes by Gian Giacomo Barbella; Villa Albergoni; Villa Benvenuti in Baroque style; Villa Perletti which houses valuable works of Giovanni Fattori, Giuseppe Pellizza from Volpedo, Giovanni Segantini and Telemaco Signorini; Villa Zaghen in Art Nouveau style; Villa Rossi in neo-Gothic style; Villa Martini in Neoclassical style; Villa Carini, with a large English garden; Villa-Albergoni Zurla).