Lombardia or Lombardy is one of the many regions in Italy. It is located in the northern part of this beautiful country and is considered one of the richest and most populous of all the 20 regions. With its colorful and interesting history, the remarkable architecture and the stunning beauty of Italian lakes, Lombardia is no doubt a must-visit.
Lombardia is also known for the numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites that can be found in the region. One of these is Crespi d’Adda, a historical community located in Capriate San Gervasio in the province of Bergamo. It was a settlement built by Cristoforo Crespi next to his cotton mill to provide a residential area and social services for the factory workers. It is said to be the first Italian village to have modern public lighting. Nowadays, the mill has stopped its operation but the village is still largely inhabited by its original workers’ descendants. Bergamo’s upper city or Citta Alta also offers loads of interesting places to visit. Its Piazza Vecchia includes the historically significant Palazzo della Ragione, a 12th century building but rebuilt in the late 16th century. Torre Civica or Civic Tower, also known as Great Bell is another historical building in this area. Being the tallest tower in the city, it offers the most outstanding view of Bergamo. Piazza Duomo, on the other hand, is home to Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore. It is a well preserved Lombard Romanesque structure. Next to it is the Cappella Colleoni or Colleoni Chapel, a church and mausoleum built for Bartolomeo Colleoni, a military leader and member of one of the city’s most outstanding families during his time, and Meda, his beloved daughter. Its Renaissance architecture and decorative art are remarkable and note-worthy. The square also features Bergamo Cathedral, a 17th century church that remains the seat of the city’s bishop. Its neo-classical west front was added in 1889. The lower part of the city, or Citta Bassa, is Bergamo’s modern city. Residential buildings, shopping districts, the train station and museums are some of the things to enjoy.
In Milan, the capital city of Lombardia, another UNESCO site awaits the visitors. The church and Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie is the keeper of the world-famous mural of the Last Supper by the great Leonardo da Vinci. It is one of the major attractions of the city and a real must-see. As Italy’s main commercial and financial center, Milan is home to various high-rise buildings. It is also the country’s fashion and design capital, so this is the best place to do some extensive shopping. You might want to shop in one of the oldest shopping malls in the world, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Named after Italy’s first king, it was built around 1870 by Guiseppe Mengoni. Aside from shopping, its architecture is another great reason to visit the building. Milan’s Cathedral or Duomo di Milano is the fifth largest church in the world. The Gothic style cathedral is also home to the most enduring symbols of the city, the bronze statue of the Virgin Mary atop the duomo. This magnificent structure also provides the most stunning views of Milan. Palazzo Castiglioni is an impressive palace designed by Guiseppe Sommaruga that reflects the extent of Art Nouveau popularity during the early 20th century. It became and remains the seat of Traders’ Union of Milan. Sforza Castle or Castello Sforzesco is another notable castle to visit. Built by the Duke of Milan, Franceso Sforza, during the 15th century, it was renovated in the 16th and 17th centuries and became one of the largest citadels in Europe. Today, the ruin houses various museums such as the Museum of Ancient Art, the Museum of Musical Instruments, the Applied Arts Collection, and other art and historical collections. Outside the castle is a beautiful park with a lovely fountain. You can enjoy your visit by exploring the courtyards and admiring the exquisite statues and archways. In the central part of Milan, you can enjoy parks and gardens such as Sempione Park and Montanelli Gardens. While the latter hosts the National History Museum of Milan and a planetarium, Sempione Park includes the Milan City Aquarium, a Napoleonic arena, a panoramic tower, a Japanese garden and even a public library.
The Italian Lakes are enough reasons to go and visit Lombardy. With good weather and picturesque sceneries, Italian Lakes are perfect getaways. Lake Maggiore, the longest lake of the Italian Lakes, is a 65km stretch of fresh and serene air, the relaxing sight of clear blue waters and an overwhelming exploration of exotic plants. A romantic boat ride on Lake Como with its lakeside villas and abundant vegetation is another way to enjoy the Italian Lakes. The largest and most popular of these Italian lakes is Lake Garda. It is surrounded by the Dolomite Mountains, so the views are spectacular, and hosts resort towns that offer water sports and other outdoor activities. It is a favorite destination for tourists. Exploring the neighboring villages will also prove to be enjoyable and adventurous.