Regarded as the economic and industrial capital of Italy, Lombardy embodies many of the traits that have made Northern Italy such an economic powerhouse.
Discover – Northern Perceptions
Highly industrialized, the region is home to the largest urban area in Italy, stretching from Milan to the Alpine Lake Como. This urbanization is beset by the region’s ability to enthrall with its world renown culture and scenery.
Situated within a stone throw of the Alps, Lombardy and its capital Milan, like so many regions in Italy, have seen much of their culture shaped by the tumultuous nature of the ruling powers that have laid claim to the area. Having gone from a Medieval powerhouse to the capital of Napoleon’s Italian dominion, the area has seen an influx of cultural shifts, shaping everything from its gastronomy to its artistic impact.
Milan, the de facto capital of Northern Italy and one of Europe’s wealthiest cities, is a highly modernized city and represents a vanguard in design and fashion, helping to shape global trends. The city also boasts a proud heritage, reflected through its varied architecture.
The Duomo, built in a gothic style and regarded as one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, acts as a beacon in the city, unifying the surrounding area. With its impressive stained glass and architectural features, the Duomo offers some of the best views of the city for those brave enough to trek the journey. The Santa Maria delle Grazie church, one of Milan’s most historic, is home to one of the quintessential masterpieces of the art world, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper. Visiting the mural is a must for art aficionados.
Outside of the city, Lake Como provides some of the most breathtaking scenery in Northern Italy. Once a retreat for the Romans, it now provides a lakeside alternative for Milan’s wealthy and George Clooney, hoping to escape the summer heat of the city. Boat tours around the lake allow for breathtaking views with the occasional stop at quaint lakeside towns.
The town of Bergamo, situated on the Milanese periphery, with its two distinct areas of Città Alta and Città Bassa, acts a great cultural diversion for those looking to escape the Milanese summer crowds. The city’s Piazza Vecchia, in Città Alta or Upper Town, is widely considered one of the most beautiful in Italy.
Visit – Italian Alternatives
With a geography spanning from the Alps to the Po valley, viniculture in Lombardy is often shaped by the dramatic altitude changes seen throughout the region. Being devoid of any sort of ocean access, the region relies on its network of lakes to provide the tempered climate required to grow exceptional wines.
The Franciacorta wine region, situated near Brescia, has become famous for its sparkling wines. Widely considered as an Italian alternative to the French Champagne region, Franciacorta has become a staple of Lombardy viniculture.
The Valtellina valley in Northern Lombardy, a region reliant on the local elevation to attain its particular flavors, has become an excellent producer of Valtellina Rossa, a cherry scented wine derived from the Nebbiolo grape.
Taste - Milanese Classics
Having historically had a strong agricultural reliance on rice and corn, Lombardy has become one of Italy’s most specialized regions in rice-based gastronomy. Risotto, the most famous rice dish in the Lombardy, has become a staple of Northern Italian cuisine and a popular starter throughout Italy. Cooked under meticulous attention, Risotto has a rich, creamy texture. The Milanese variation, Risotto alla Milanese, uses beef stock, bone marrow and is colored with saffron.
Panettone, a sweetened bread loaf usually incorporating bits of dried fruit, tracing its origins to two Milanese bakers in the early 1900’s, has become arguably one of Italy’s most iconic deserts during Christmas time.
Flagship wine grapes
- Pinot Bianco
- Pinot Grigio
- Pinot Nero
Flagship wine appellations
- Curtefranca DOC
- Franciacorta DOCG
- Oltrepo Pavese DOC
- Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico DOCG
- Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG
Wine-related activities in the region
- Wine and food pairing
- Wine Tasting
- Discovery ride
Lagusello: Wine Harvest Ceremonies (September)
Vigevano: Medieval Horse Race (October)
Casteggio: White Truffle Festival (November)
Crema: Traditional Carnival (February)
Villimpenta: Rice Harvest Festival (June)
Commessaggio: Regatta on the Navarolo Canal (July)