Things to do - general

Where is Lombardy? Lombardy is the most populated and wealthiest region in Italy. It is situated in the north of the country, bordered by Switzerland and by the Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna, Trentino-Alto Adige, Veneto and Piedmont. The capital of Lombardy is the city of Milan, which is the second most popular tourist destination in Italy. There are many great sites in Milan including: the Duomo, Sforza Castle, La Scala opera house, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the San Siro stadium. Milan is also famous as the home of ‘The Last Supper’ by Leonardo da Vinci.

The provinces of Lombardy are Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Lecco, Lodi, Mantova, Milano, Pavia, Sondrio and Varese. It has a total area of 23,861 square kilometres and a population of 9.4 million. Lombardy is divided into three distict zones: mountains, hills and plains. Piz Zupo, in the Bernina Range of the Alps, is the highest peak of Lombardy at 3,996 metres. Below the Alpine mountain ranges lie the Alpine foothills. The famous Italian lakes lie in this zone. From west to east these are Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Como, Lake Iseo, Lake Idro, and Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy.

Lombardy has a wealth of historical and artistic treasures, as well as astounding Alpine and lake landscapes. It also includes four World Heritage Sites:

  • Milan, the Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci
    Crespi d’Adda, and example of industrial archeology
  • The prehistoric Rock Drawings in Valcamonica
  • Two of the nine Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy, that is Sacro Monte del Rosario di Varese and Sacro Monte della Beata Vergine del Soccorso, at Ossuccio, province of Como
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Languages spokenItalian and other local dialects
Currency usedEuro
Area (km2)23,840
Population10 million

Culture and history info

In the early 13th century the Visconti family of Milan rose in power and unified the whole region under the strong central authority of the family, who gave way after the death of Gian Galeazzo Visconti in 1428 to the Sforza. The decadence for the Granducato of Milano began with the coming to Italy of Charles V of Spain, and a true revival only took place in the mid-18th century when the region was under the Austrians who, after the Congress of Vienna in 1815 established in Northern Italy the Lombardo-Veneto Kingdom, always under their influence.

During the Second War of Italian Independence the region was among the first to be annexed to Italy, in 1859, when the Milanese rose against the Austrians in the glorious "Five Days" and saluted the coming of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy.

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