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About Lombardy

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Lombardy Guide Italy

Lombardy Guide

Lying between the Alps and the River Po, Lombardy is the wealthiest and most industrially developed of all the regions of Italy. It is also the most densely populated. For this reason, it is one of the most surprising destinations of any tourist. Most people don't expect to find such an extraordinary cultural, artistic and natural heritage. From the cities of art to the small villages, from the unmistakable atmosphere of the lakes to the impressive Alpine valleys, not to mention the vast variety of food and wine on offer, all of which surprise and fascinate visitors.

Art and culture
Besides its main city, Milan, Lombardy is full of cities of art and small villages that attract tourists inside their walls from all around the world. Milan is the Italian economic and financial engine and the city that dictates trends in Italy, from technological innovation to design, fashion or lifestyles. Milan is also one of the most important cultural centers in Italy with a first-class artistic and architectural heritage. Como, the cradle of Romanesque art in Lombardy, is the gateway to surrounding villages and the splendid villas around this magical lake. Bergamo is one of the most picturesque areas of Lombardy, famous for its subdivision on two levels: the spacious and modern lower part of the city and the renowned "Città Alta", a real historic and artistic gem which owes its splendor to its age-old Venetian buildings. Brescia is an ancient Longobard dukedom that offers a rich cultural heritage dating from Roman times to present day. The city also hosts highly important art exhibitions. The banks of the River Po host a fascinating itinerary of cities along the Padana plain. Mantova is an agricultural city full of charm with three small lakes from the Mincio River. (Our lodging suggestion: Design Hotel Casa Poli - Mantua, Elegant atmosphere, minimalist design and quality services: a luxury stay in the heart of Mantova.) Tourists have always been bewitched by its squares, buildings and extraordinary artistic treasures that date back to the reign of the Gonzaga dukes. Cremona, home to the maker of Stradivari violins and gourmet city par excellence, hosts one of the most beautiful medieval squares in Europe and the highest bell-tower in Italy. Lodi, at the heart of an agricultural area full of rivers and ancient castles, is a small and charming medieval city with red brick buildings and cobbled streets. Pavia, the ancient Longobard capital, is renowned for its Renaissance charterhouse, Romanesque churches and covered bridge. Lastly, Vigevano is a small architectural gem that owes its charm to the creative genius Bramante.

Nature and relaxation
Lombardy is one of the regions offering most variety in Italy. From the endless plain to the Alpine glaciers seen while passing through the delicate hillside of the Oltrepò, Lombardy offers a wealth of nature and landscape composed of mountains, rivers and lakes which are ideal for walking or cycling tours. Mountaineering enthusiasts will find lots to do. From magnificent Valtellina, rich in history and tradition, to the huge peaks of Bernina, Ortles and Adamello, or the famous ski resorts of Bormio, Madesimo, Aprica, Livigno and Ponte di Legno. Nature lovers will find more than 133 protected areas in Lombardy, from parks to reserves and protected sites, the best of which include Stelvio National Park and Adamello Park. Extraordinary land composed of glaciers, valleys, woodland and waterfalls and a natural habitat for animals at risk of extinction, such as the ibex and brown bear.
And last but not least, water. Even though Lombardy doesn’t touch the sea, it still has 400 Km of riverbank this is composed of the famous lakes of Lombardy, Lake Maggiore, Lake Como, Lake Garda and Lake Iseo, where one can breathe the romantic atmosphere of the Belle Époque among the magnificent, noble villas.

Food and Wine
Lombard cuisine includes lots of rice, vegetables and cheese, with long cooking times and often single dishes. Polenta reigns in the kitchen. Risotto, such as the dish “Risotto alla Milanese” is also renowned, as are pasta with fillings, such as Casonsei from Bergamo and Brescia, Marubin from Cremona or pumpkin ravioli from Mantova. Valtellina is home to Pizzoccheri, pasta made from buckwheat. Meat dishes include the famous Milanese fillet (covered in breadcrumbs and fried), but stew and game are also traditional dishes. One of Lombardy’s most symbolic dishes has to be Casöla, a rich stew with cabbage and pork.
Cold cuts have ancient aromas and flavors: Cotechino, pork meat that requires some cooking, Brianza salami, Varzi salami, Cremona salami, goose salami from Mortara, Violino di Capra from Valchiavenna and the famous Bresaola from Valtellina, made from seasoned beef thigh.
Cheese produced in Lombardy is synonymous with high quality. Each area has its own little gem: Casera and Bitto from Valtellina, Provolone, Grana and fresh Crescenza from Valpadana, Quartirolo, Bagoss, Formai de Mut and Taleggio from the valleys around Bergamo and Brescia, not to mention one of the most famous Italian cheeses, Gorgonzola.
Wine from Lombardy boasts an ancient tradition and is produced in three main areas. Franciacorta, an area between Bergamo and Brescia, which produces excellent white and red wines, as well as the most famous Italian sparkling wine: Franciacorta DOCG. Oltrepò Pavese is a hillside area south of Pavia where 16 white and red DOC wines are produced, lying among the old villages and castles. Lastly, Valtellina produces great red wines such as Valtellina Superiore or vintage “Sfursat”. The area is famous for its cultivation of vineyards on terraced land supported by stones that cling to the steep slopes.

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