Wednesday, June 29, 2011


After leaving Florence, we headed north to Brescia, with a quick stop in Cremona, home of the world’s famous violinmakers, Stradivarius, and a few others I can’t remember. As much as I love violins and museums separately, and especially violins in museums, the highlight of the town was definitely climbing the 400 foot tall bell tower (and leaving?) built in the 1200’s- it’s amazing that something that tall could be built in the 1200’s!

The view from the top was nice too, although looking down was pretty nauseating, and the spiral staircase was a little scary.

And here’s an obligatory shot of some Stradivarius violins (it’s not one of my best…):

After leaving Cremona we drove another hour to a southern suburb of Brescia, Manerbio. The town enthusiastically greeted us, and we got to hear a concert from the local bands, which included some classics: Another Brick in the Wall (Part II) and 25 or 6 to 4. We had Wednesday free to explore Brescia, which while not all that exciting still had some cool churches and piazzas, displaying all sorts of styles, from Baroque, to Roman, to Venetian to Facist, respectively:

And a cool castle with good views of the city:

That night we played our concert and then returned to Brescia. Thursday we went for a wine tasting in the famous Franciacorta region in the early afternoon and then returned to Brescia to a play a concert at the music conservatory in Brescia, definitely, the loudest and most echo-y venue I’ve ever played in….

Friday started off with a trip up Lake Garda, to Riva del Garda, nestled in the foothills of the Alps at the northern end of the lake…

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