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Cremona visit 2022!

For a violin dealer, Cremona is our Mecca. I have been lucky to visit every year for the past 15 years or so…and now try and go more than once a year. Certainly not easy during the pandemic.

Anyway, it went something like this…

Early morning start, breakfast at Heathrow…mask up…on the flight to Milan. Post Brexit it’s a long wait for passport checks…I must remember to get my Irish Passport sorted (Thanks Grandad!).

We picked up our hire car and my assistant, Martin, drove the 80 minutes to Cremona.

First stop, my B&B…a great 2 bedroom apartment to myself…..of course above a violin makers workshop (Giuseppe Arrè)…stuffed full of Italian artefacts, paintings and a few violin related bits! You cannot escape it in this city. Martin stayed in a nearby Hotel.

First up we went downstairs and saw Giuseppe Arrè. He had  just finished a nice violin…is it for sale? Probably not but he will let me know. He is an ex musician and his instruments always sound great. I love the colour of his varnish also.

We then visited Eric Blot for me to collect my Enrico Marchetti viola (Turin, 1885/90) that Eric had certified. I bought this viola last September in the Mondomusica carpark…didn’t even play it…but it was love at first sight. Maybe after doing this job full time for 20 years now I know what I’m doing!

For the next 2 days we  had some great dinners and actually after drinking far too much with my good friend and maker, Alessandro Tossani on the Monday night I was a little worried about my head first thing Tuesday morning…thank goodness for Italian coffee!!

For the next 2 days it was meetings with 10 or so makers that I have orders with or wanted to see. I really have enough new instruments now so can afford to be a little picky………we don’t have many sub £10K instruments in the shop so I was lucky to pick up 4 violins that now fit into this group. I have to remind myself sometimes that it’s a lot of money for most people to spend on a violin!

We arrived back in London on the Wednesday…in the office on Thursday it felt like we had been away for a week!

I look forward to my next visit in May.