This is the area where red marble lions sit outside cathedrals. I love them.
Yesterday, when we arrived in Modena, another wedding had just taken place, and the happy couple and their family and friends were outside cheering and blowing horns and shaking rattles.
The Duomo is superb. Superlative. Absolutely beautiful in its architecture, art, complexity, my Blue Guide describes it as a splendid Romanesque building, combining red brick with red marble, and there is so much in its art, architecture, sculpture to see that I cannot begin to describe it today, and can only say it made my heart bound with joy. We were not able to see the art gallery as restorations following the earthquake are still being done.
This afternoon we visited Cremona, where we had a long lunch, waiting for the Duomo to reopen, during which we talked to a pianist, here with her pianist/composer husband for musical gatherings and concerts. Afterwards the Duomo opened and during our visit there was an ordination ceremony of deacons, with choir, organ and trumpets, all glorious, and the duomo is absolutely spectacular. A different kind of beauty and splendour from those of the more famous cathedrals.
As well as all these wonders we have spent time in Verdi country. We visited the house and estate, Sant'Agata, which was most interesting and very moving. Verdi could be a difficult person, but from the tours, the talks given by the guides, the house, the furnishings, the grounds and the land, and from the theatre and museum in Busseto, I feel I have a greater understanding of, and sympathy for this remarkable man whose music has given so much pleasure, joy and emotion to the world. To see his death mask, to read the newspaper reports of his death and to undersatnd how greatly he was - and is- revered, has been a great and emotional experiece for us.