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Lombardy is bordered by Switzerland. It is the largest the region of Italy and from the Alps to the Po Valley offers a breathtaking landscapes. Lombardy is full of places such as Tonale, Bormio, Livigno and Madesimo, rich in modern facilities and fully equipped, a lovely place to stay for winter sports enthusiasts. Another characteristic of the region are the rolling hills. Among them, the area of Franciacorta is famous for its vineyards and wine production. On the western side of the region there is the famous Garda Lake. Sirmione and other renowned towns are excellent tourist destination. Lake of Como and Lake Maggiore are also wonderful places to see, surrounded by stately homes, parks and charming villages. Another beauty of nature are the Po Valley hills, covered by lakes and cultivated with paddy fields: is the typical landscape of Lomellina, the land of mondine, rich in folklore and traditions This region, enriched by its geographical position, is full of nature, history, art and culture blended harmoniously with innovation, technology, fashion, fun, modernity. The provinces are: Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Lecco, Lodi, Mantua, Milan (the capital), BrianzaMonza Monza and Brianza, Pavia, Sondrio, Varese.
Things To See
The natural landscape of Lombardy, its art and architecture offers to tourists many routes to visit. There are 5 UNESCO places: Mantua, Gonzaga and Sabbioneta, the “ideal city” of the Italian Renaissance; the Sacred Mountains a devotional route in Varese and Ossuccio; the prehistoric cave paintings of Valcamonica; the nineteenth-century industrial settlement of Crespi d’Adda and finally Milan, with its beautiful church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, where the great artist Leonardo da Vinci left part of his works. In the capital, Milan, it is important to list the Theather la Scala, worldwide famous stage of the opera, the Castello Sforzesco and the monumental Cathedral, the church of white marble dedicated to “Maria nascent”. In Monza is absolutely to see the very modern Autodromo, the Villa Reale and the Cathedral, in which is guarded the ancient “iron crown” that contain one of the nails of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In Brescia, the complex of the Monastery of San Salvatore is particular interesting to see. In Cremona, a city of Renaissance palaces where is still a living tradition of violin makers who had in Stradivari their maximum expression. Not to be misses are also the workshops of liutai (violin makers) and Stradiviarian Museum. Varese is called the “garden province”, while Sondrio, with the Castle Masegra owes its charm to the mixture of different eras and styles. The city of Lecco takes its importance from “I Promessi Sposi”, masterpiece of the writer A. Manzoni, with the famous “branch of the lake” on which the city stands. In Bergamo the Accademia Carrara is one of the largest Italian art galleries, the Colleoni Chapel and the Donizetti Theatre, dedicated to the most illustrious citizen and renowned composer of Bergamo. The Victory Square features the medieval landscape of Lecco overlooked by the Cathedral and the Town Hall. Finally Como, at the very tip of the western side of the lake, is known for its beautiful villas including Villa Olmo, an impressive neoclassical building.
What to Do
From the mountains to the great lakes of Lombardy it provides an excellent environment for even the most demanding visitors. In fact the mountain peaks welcome skiers and snowboarders in the famous ski areas; among these we must mention the Valcamonica and the Valtellina with the frequented stations of Livigno, Bormio, Aprica and hundreds of kilometers of slopes. In summer the mountain becomes the ideal place for climbing (particularly appreciated the Adamello peaks), rafting, trekking and mountain biking. The Stelvio with its great charm for more adventurous hikers, completes the idyllic framework. In Lombardy there are several health spa structures, rich of waters with therapeutic properties, such as Boario Terme or Bormio thermal baths, surrounded by a magnificent park. Lake Garda, Como and Iseo ensure rest breaks and entertainment with possibility of sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, canoeing, cycling, hiking, excursions and boat trips.
The Sacred Mountains are a UNESCO site, providing the ability to perform spiritual and nature trails of singular value; in Valchiavenna you can discover the traditions of a land that has been the point of contact between Italy and northern Europe for centuries; the natural parks of the area of canals reveal many different landscapes, all of great charm, from the hills of Brianza to the green banks of the Adda. Wine roads from Valtellina to Lodigiano, from the Oltrepò Pavese, to the province of Mantua to finish in the land of Franciacorta, offering to fans excellent and delicious taste. It’s a unique journey among terraces and hills covered with vineyards, it is nice stop to see all the wineries and farms to taste the delicious wines and the famous local specialties.
What to Taste
One of the specialties of Lombardy,, the one you cannot miss, is the saffron risotto, the pavese egg soup, the Milanese breaded cutlet and finally the cassoeula with pork and cabbage. Pizzoccheri are also very known and appreciated, a type of noodle original of Valtellina, as well as bresaola coming from the famous valley. Then there is also the raw salami of Varzi, and among the freshwater fish, very famous are the lavarelli, dried and cooked on the grill. Cheese Gorgonzola (from the homonymous city center) is one of the most appreciated cheese by villagers. Finally there is mascarpone, the lodigiano , Grana and Robiola. World famous are the cakes Christmas, such as panettone of Milan. Equally famous are also amaretti di Saronno, the sbrisolona cake of Mantua and the Cremona nougat. As for well famous wines there is Grumello, Inferno, Sassella Valtellina. At the first place remain the sparkling Franciacorta products, such as Bonarda and Barbera Oltrepò Pavese
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