Looking at a map of Italy. It's interesting to notice that Cremona,
Brescia, and Mantua all fall within a 30-mile circle. If you add in Venice which is just a little farther away, you have the entire home of the great
Italian violin makers encompassed in a very small area, smaller than the state of Ohio. A tiny area to produce such a great result.
This a chart of the greatest and most famous Cremonese and Brescian violin makers. The red line across the chart is where famine and plague
struck Cremona and Brescia in the 1630's. That plague wiped out the entire Brescian violin-making school with the death of Gio Paolo Maginni in 1632.
The Cremonese school hung by a thread with only one master remaining, Nicolo Amati. Nicolo was the teacher of both Antonio Stradivari and of Andreas
Guarneri. Just imagine if Nicolo had died ... no Strads and no Guarneri's!