Lombardy Travel Guide: Tips for Traveling to Lombardy
Lombardy is a region located in northern Italy, known for its vibrant cities, stunning natural landscapes, and delicious cuisine. If you are planning a visit to Italy, you can't miss a trip to Lombardy.
In this Lombardy travel guide, we’ll tell you all the information you should have before traveling to Lombardy!
Location of Lombardy
Below, we show you where Lombardy is located.
Map of Lombardy on Google Maps
History of Lombardy
Lombardy has a rich history dating back to Roman times. In the Middle Ages, Lombardy was an important center of trade and culture, and its influence spread throughout Europe.
During Roman times, Lombardy was known as Cisalpine Gaul and was a Roman province from the 3rd century BC. During this period, important infrastructures such as roads, aqueducts, and military fortifications were built.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Lombardy was conquered by the Ostrogoths, and then by the Lombards, a Germanic people who founded the kingdom of the Lombards in the 6th century.
During the Middle Ages, Lombardy became an important center of trade and culture in Europe. The cities of Milan, Pavia, and Cremona became centers of art, science, and literature. During this period, many churches, monasteries, and palaces were built, and an architectural style unique to the region, Lombard Romanesque, developed.
In modern times, Lombardy became one of the most prosperous regions in Italy, thanks to its textile, chemical, pharmaceutical, and machinery industries. In the 20th century, Lombardy was the scene of important historical events, such as the resistance against the Nazi occupation during World War II and the student and worker protests in the 1960s.
Today, Lombardy remains one of Italy's most important regions and is known for its rich history, cultural heritage, and stunning natural landscapes.
Nature of Lombardy
Lombardy is a region with a very diverse nature. In the south of Lombardy, the Po Plain is rich in rice, corn, and wheat crops, as well as orchards and vineyards. This area also boasts some of Italy's largest natural parks, such as the Stelvio National Park and the Po Lombardo Regional Park.
To the north of Lombardy are the mountains of the Alps, where you can find snow-capped peaks, glaciers, alpine lakes, and lush coniferous forests. In this region, you can also find ski resorts and winter sports.
In the east of Lombardy, you will find Lake Garda, Italy's largest lake, surrounded by hills and mountains, offering breathtaking natural beauty and a wealth of outdoor activities.
In general, Lombardy's nature is very varied and offers a wide range of landscapes, from agricultural plains to the snow-capped peaks of the Alps. This natural diversity makes it a very popular region for tourism and outdoor activities.
What to See and Do in Lombardy
Below, you will discover all the activities you need to know about to plan your trip to Lombardy.
Discover Milan, the Capital of Lombardy
Milan is the largest city in Lombardy and the capital of the region. Known for being one of the world's leading centers of fashion and design, Milan is a popular tourist destination in Italy. The city is famous for its impressive Gothic cathedral, the Piazza del Duomo, and the Teatro alla Scala, one of the most famous opera houses in the world.
Enjoy Lombardy's Gastronomy
Lombardy's gastronomy is one of the most varied and delicious in Italy. From risottos to ossobuco, from the famous panettones to the wines of the region, Lombardy's gastronomy is a true delight for food lovers. Don't miss the opportunity to try some of Lombardy's typical dishes on your trip.
Explore the Stunning Lakes of Lombardy
Lombardy is home to some of the most impressive lakes in Italy. Lago di Como is one of the most famous and has been a popular tourist destination since Roman times. You can also visit Lago di Garda, the largest lake in Italy, and Lago Maggiore, known for its beautiful islands and gardens.
Discover the Beauty of the Italian Alps
Lombardy is also home to the Italian Alps, a breathtaking mountain range that offers some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe. If you enjoy hiking or skiing, the Italian Alps are the perfect place for you. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the stunning natural landscapes of the region.
Visit the City of Bergamo
Bergamo is a city located north of Milan, known for its impressive historic center, surrounded by a medieval wall. The city is divided into two parts: the upper city, with its cobblestone streets and beautiful churches, and the lower city, more modern and commercial. Don't miss the opportunity to know Bergamo on your visit to Lombardy.
Discover the Beauty of Lombardy's Vineyards
Lombardy is a region known for its high-quality wine production. Lombardy's vineyards are located in mountainous areas and near lakes, which gives them a unique and delicious taste. If you are a wine lover, don't miss the opportunity to visit some of Lombardy's vineyards and taste their wines.
Enjoy the Museums in Lombardy
History and art lovers will be delighted with Lombardy's many museums and galleries. From the famous Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, which houses an impressive collection of Italian and international art, to the Cenacolo Vinciano museum, which features one of the most famous works in the world: Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper.
If you are a science enthusiast, visiting the Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan is a must, while the Violin Museum in Cremona is a must-see destination for music lovers.
Lombardy Events and Festivals
Lombardy is home to many exciting events and festivals throughout the year. In spring, Brescia hosts the famous Mille Miglia, a classic car race that runs through the region. In summer, Lake Como is the setting for several events, including the Como Jazz Festival and the Como Theater Festival.
Autumn is the grape harvest season, and many towns in Lombardy hold wine and food festivals. In winter, Christmas markets in Milan and elsewhere are popular tourist attractions.
Best Cities to Visit in Lombardy
Lombardy has several charming cities to visit. Some of the best cities to visit in Lombardy are:
The capital of Lombardy, Milan is known for its fashion, design, art, and architecture. It is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with many tourist attractions, including the Milan Cathedral, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Teatro alla Scala, and Castello Sforzesco.
Bergamo is a beautiful medieval city located in the hills of Lombardy. It is known for its old town, called "Città Alta", which is surrounded by Venetian walls and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
Como is a city located on Lake Como, it is known for its natural beauty and historical heritage. Lake Como is one of the largest and most beautiful lakes in Italy and is a popular destination for tourists.
A city with a rich history and cultural heritage, located on the Po Plain. It is known for its magnificent Renaissance and Baroque palaces, as well as its churches and cathedrals.
A city that was famous for its production of musical instruments, especially violins. It is also known for its cathedral and its main square, the Piazza del Comune.
A university town located in the Ticino River valley. It is known for its Romanesque and Gothic architecture, including the Cathedral of Pavia and the church of San Michele.
These are just a few of the many charming towns that Lombardy has to offer. Each has its own history and cultural heritage and offers a unique experience for visitors.
Transportation in Lombardy
To get around Lombardy, there are several transportation options available. Here are some of the most common options:
Lombardy has an excellent public transportation system that includes trains, buses, and subways. The company in charge of managing public transportation services in the region is ATM, which offers an interactive online map to help you plan your trip.
In addition, there are transport cards available, such as the MilanoCard, which offers discounts on public transport services and other tourist attractions.
If you prefer to drive, you can rent a car at the airport or a car rental office in the city. Keep in mind that traffic in cities can be quite heavy and roads in rural areas can be narrow and winding.
For cycling enthusiasts, Lombardy has many kilometers of bike paths and cycling routes that offer breathtaking views of the region's landscapes. Several companies rent bicycles in the cities and some towns, such as BikeMi in Milan or LombardiaBike in Lecco.
Cab and Private Transportation Services
If you prefer the convenience of a private transportation service, there are many cab companies and private transportation services available in Lombardy. Some popular companies include Uber, MyTaxi, and TaxiBlu.
As you will see, there are many transportation options available in Lombardy, from public transportation to car rentals, bicycle rentals, and cab services. Be sure to plan and choose the option that best suits your needs and preferences.
Getting to Lombardy
Lombardy has excellent transportation connections both nationally and internationally. Here are some of the most common options if you are wondering how to get to Lombardy:
The largest airport in Lombardy is Milan-Malpensa International Airport, which has direct connections to many cities in Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa. Other important airports in Lombardy are Milan-Linate Airport and Bergamo-Orio al Serio Airport.
Lombardy has an excellent railway network, which connects the region with many Italian and European cities. The main railway stations in Lombardy are Milan Central Station, Porta Garibaldi Station, and Milano Rogoredo Station.
If you prefer to drive, Lombardy has an extensive road network connecting the region with the rest of Italy and Europe. The main highways that cross Lombardy are the A1, A4, A7, and A8.
Another option to reach Lombardy is by long-distance buses, which connect the region with many Italian and European cities. The main bus companies in Lombardy are Flixbus and Eurolines.
Gastronomy in Lombardy
Lombardy is a region rich in gastronomy and enology, with a wide variety of typical dishes and drinks that are worth trying during your visit. Here are some of the most popular foods and drinks in Lombardy:
- Risotto alla Milanese: this dish is a specialty of Milan, made with rice, saffron, butter, onion, and meat broth. It is a creamy and aromatic dish that is usually served with meat or fish.
- Osso buco: another typical Milanese dish is osso buco, which consists of slices of veal slowly cooked in meat broth, vegetables, and white wine. It is served with gremolata, a mixture of garlic, parsley, and lemon zest.
- Pizzoccheri: this dish originating from the Valtellina region is made with fresh buckwheat pasta, homemade cheese, potatoes, and kale. It is a tasty and comforting dish served hot.
- Valtellina Casera: is a cow's milk cheese, typical of the Valtellina region. It has a soft texture and a delicate flavor, perfect to accompany any dish.
- Wines of Lombardy: Lombardy is a wine region that produces a wide variety of wines, from strong reds to fresh whites. Some of the best-known wines of the region are Franciacorta, Nebbiolo, Pinot Nero, and Barbera.
- Amaretto: it is a sweet liqueur made from almonds and sugar. It is a typical drink of Lombardy and is usually drunk as a digestive after meals.
- Campari: it is a bitter and herbal drink, used to prepare the famous Negroni cocktail. It is usually drunk as an aperitif before dinner.
In short, Lombardy is a region that offers a great variety of typical dishes and drinks, from risotto alla Milanese to local wines and liqueurs. Don't hesitate to try some of these flavors during your visit to the region.
Best Time to Visit Lombardy
The best time to visit Lombardy will depend on your personal preferences and what you want to do during your trip. In general, spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) are generally considered the best times to visit Lombardy, as the weather is mild and the crowds are not as large as in summer.
If you plan to visit Lombardy's lakes, spring is an excellent choice, as the flowers are in full bloom and the scenery is spectacular. Autumn is also a good time to visit the lakes, as the foliage on the trees changes to beautiful shades of orange and red.
If you are a skiing or snowboarding enthusiast, winter (December-February) is the best time to visit Lombardy, as there are many ski resorts in the region, including the famous Bormio ski resort.
If you are interested in festivities and cultural events, Christmas and Easter are popular times to visit Lombardy. At Christmas, many cities and towns have Christmas markets, light shows, and other celebrations. During Easter, some cities, such as Milan, have religious processions and other activities.
Therefore, the best time to visit Lombardy will depend on your interests and preferred activities. Be sure to plan your trip to make the most of your time in this stunning region of Italy.
Lombardy is a region rich in history, culture, nature, and gastronomy. From the majestic mountains of the Alps to the vibrant cities full of art and fashion, there is something for everyone in this beautiful region.
Whether you're looking for an outdoor adventure, a cultural experience, or a delicious meal, Lombardy will not disappoint, don't hesitate to travel to Lombardy on your next visit to Italy!