An entire city goes silent to save a Stradivarius

A violin made in Antonio Stradivari's workshop

Streets were closed down and noise was restricted in Cremona (Italy) to record the instrument's crystalline sounds.

Florencia Rastelli was mortified. A very experienced bartender, she claims she has never dropped a coffee cup in her life. But last Monday, while she was cleaning the counter at Chiave di Bacco, where she works, she knocked over a glass which broke with a bang as it hit the floor. Customers were dumbstruck, Rastelli recalls. "It's like they were thinking, how could this happen that day of all days? A policeman entered the coffee shop and told me to keep quiet. I was dying of shame."

The residents of Cremona, northern Italy, are experiencing a period of great sensitivity to noise. Police blocked streets in the city center, which is usually very busy, and traffic was diverted. In a recent interview, Mayor Gianluca Galimberti begged the citizens of Cremona to avoid making sudden and unnecessary noises.

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