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Travel Lombardy Italy; Sights, Map, Weather, Hotels, Tips, Photos

Lombardy Italy covers the Po Valley, and the middle of the Italian Alps bordering Switzerland in the north, Emilia Romagna in the south, Piedmont to the west and Tretino Alto-Adige and Veneto in the east.

In the north, high mountains mark Italy's frontier with Switzerland and this is where you will find both summer and winter resorts. Including Livigno a duty-free area that many people flock too in order to save on taxation. Other areas of interest include Madesimo, Stelvio, Santa Caterina, Valfurva, Bormio, Aprica, Chiesa, Caspoppio and Ponte di Legno.

The lake region of Lombardy Italy with a castle and the Alps
In the central part of Lombardy, pleaseant hills border the famous Lake Como on whose banks you can find a number of quiet resorts like Cadenabbia, Cernobbio, Bellagio, Tremezzo and Menaggio.

Other lakes include Iseo and the western bank of Lake Garda with resorts such as Limone, Sirmione, Desenzano and Gardone.

Lake Como, Orta, Iseo, Garda and Maggiore are all popular destinations for the Milanese who love to escape to these areas over the weekend or during the height of summer.

Lakes of Lombardy

Lombardy is the most densely populated region of Italy, with its capital being Milan,  one of the most important commercial and fashion centers in Europe. Many artistic splendours can be found in Milan such as the Brera Gallery and Leonardo's famous Last Supper in the Church Maria delle Grazie. But perhaps the city's cultural activities can best be seen at the famous La Scala opera house, one of the 3 greatest opera houses in the world.

The structure of the Duomo in Milan took a full 500 years to complete! It was begun in 1336 and was finally completed in 1813. Its enormous dimensions, the many spires and its solemn interior with its beautiful 15th and 16th century stained glass windows make it one of the most significant buildings in the whole of Italy.

Lombardy offers tourists a landscape of dramatic mountains and lakes. Some of the most admired Alpine landscapes and lakes can be found in the province of Varese, in the north-western part of the region.

Bergamo Skyline at Sunset . (Photo Archive Turismo Bergamo by P. Ardiani)

Famous People of Lombardy Italy

Lombardy is where many famous people have been born. The poet Virgil, said to be one of Italy's greatest poets came from a little village just outside of Manua.  Claudio Monteverdi, the 16th century composer and singer, was born in Cremona, Stradivarius, famous for making violins of the same name was also born in Cremona. And finally Donizetti, the famous composer, was born in Bergamo.

Skiing in Lombardy Italy

With the mountains close by for skiing, Lombardy is a playground for all seasons. The mountains Bormio and Stelvio have good snow and are sought after for summer skiing. The Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio is also popular with hikers and nature lovers.

 The mountains and valley of Stelvio, Italy

Stelvio, Italy

Places to Visit in Lombardy Italy

Besides Milan being one of the financial powerhouses of Europe, Lombardy also has a number of main towns and cities that also exude wealth and style and are worth visiting. Mantua, Cremona, Bergamo, Brescia and Pavia should be at the top of your list of places to visit in Lombardy.

10 Beautiful Small Towns to Visit

1) Bellagio
2) Bergamo
3) Como
4) Cremona
5) Montova also known as Mantua
6) Monza
7) Pavia
8) Sirmione
9) Sondrio
10) Vigevano

Slow Food Italy - Food in Lombardy Italy

Italy's Slow Food Movement is very much alive here. Fish and seafod, both from the lakes and the sea, are very popular. The food of Lombardy is also heavily influenced by its Swiss neighbors, and recipes of this region use lashings of cream, butter, and cheese.

Rice from the Po Valley and polenta are also on the menu, and the pasta is always fresh and usually stuffed with spinach, meat, cheese or pumpkin. Gorgonzola, famous the world over, originated in an area just outside Milan.

The main meats that are eaten are pork and veal and many famous Italian dishes have originated from this area. Cotoletta alla Milanese, Osso Bucco and Risotto alla Milanese are all Lombardian regional dishes.

Then there is Bresola, a cured cold beef from Valtellina,  baked spinach (spinaci in tortino), stuffed courgettes (zuchinne ripiene) potato and onion pie (pasticcio di patate) and lesso misto a very nice concocction of boiled meats with a green sauce, pheasant with grapes, pigeons with lemons and veal with marsala wine.

Those of you who have a sweet tooth, you are certainly not forgotten. Mascarpone cream and syllabub are eaten here, and look out for Barbajada which has chocolate in it and Rossumada.

Wine in Lombardy Italy

The best wine in Lombardy is that of the sparkling variety. The Franciacorta is a mellow red, and the white is dry and fruity.  

Vineyards in Lake Garda also produce good wines. Due to the micro climate that exists in the lakes area here you can not only find good vineyards, but olives and lemons also flourish.

Weather Lombardy Italy

The climate of Lombardy is continental, hot and muggy in the summer, cold and foggy in the winter. But the lakes enjoy a mild micro-climate providing a pleasant diversion in the winter and a delight in the summer. Because of their presence the temperatures of the area are a few degrees higher than surrounding areas allowing olive trees, palm trees and even citrus trees to flourish.

Average Temperatures for Lombardy

Temperatures (high) 17 26 17 7
                           (low) 6 15 7 -2.5
Days of Sun 5 9 5 3
Depth of Rain (milimeters) 74 78 89 64
Month of Year April July October January

Best time to Visit Lombardy

The best time to visit Lombardy really is during spring or fall as in summer the valleys can be very hot and in winter the area can be quite miserable if you are not here for the skiing.

Weekdays are the best for visiting the lakes as they get really crowded with the locals who come in their droves from the cities to visit this region over weekends.

The mountains experience lovely weather in the summer, although you can get rather wet from the occasional deluge of rain.  Again, if you are wanting to visit the ski fields visit them during the week, out of school holidays.

Map of Lombardy Italy

Here is a map of Lombardy Italy that if fairly detailed with towns and roads maked accordingly.

Travel Video of Lombardy

Lombardy is really quite beautiful, as you will see from the following travel video. It is not too long and gives you an overview of what you can expect on your travels to Lombardy Italy.

Books on Northern Italy and Lombardy


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