Beautiful Destinations in Northern Italy in the Po-Plain (Padana)

The Po plain in northern Italy (Padana) is characterized by one thing above all: it is flat as far as the eye can see. The Padana is the largest plain in Europe.

We have brought together the best destinations to visit in Northern Italy for you. You will admire the cultural cities of  the Po Plain in Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna. According to our experience, several of these beautiful places are visited during a trip to Italy. In each of these cities there are valuable art objects and a lot of history to discover. It is worth visiting not only the famous metropolises Milan, Bologna, Parma, Padova, Verona, but also the smaller towns with their medieval and Renaissance buildings.
The city centers are now all traffic limited and there are excellent restaurants of traditional cuisine in addition to the many sights and not too expensive.

We are happy to create a visit program that is tailored to your needs in terms of content and cuisine and can be completed with a boat trip on one of the Northern Italian Lakes  or a visit to the Palladian villas.

Best Northern Italy Towns

We’ve all kind of heard the names before. Sometimes these are associated with a product such as Parma with the ham and the hard cheese, Modena with the aromatic vinegar. We have gathered the most interesting for you.

Vigevano, northwest of Pavia, is small and tranquil and still an insider’s tip away from tourism. The place is full of beautiful Renaissance buildings and a Castel of the Visconti family. The footwear industry, to which a museum is dedicated, is still very strong. The city is surrounded by rice paddies. It grows the best risotto rice in Lomellina, as this stretch of land is called.

Pavia is a beautiful old university town with many sights from the Middle Ages.

A covered bridge Ponte Coperto leads over the Ticino river into the pedestrian zone Strada Nuova to the cathedral square and the center in Piazza Vittoria. The small university town has something special to offer: the Certosa di Pavia monastery with the precious church and the monastery with the monks’ cells, which is cultivated by Cistercian monks.

Better known is Monza’s race track as the venue for Formula One. But also the beautiful old town of Monza is worth a visit with the Villa Reale in the park of Monza, which was built in 1777 by Maria Teresa of Austria. Milanese come to Monza to buy furniture. The showrooms of the well-known Italian brands can be found all over the city.

In Bergamo there is the modern lower city and on the hill, surrounded by the Venetian city walls, the historic upper city, accessible by the city cable car. The neighborhood village of  Crespi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A magnificent workers’ settlement with a textile factory in the centre. It was the first village in Italy to get electric light. The hydroelectric power plant on the River Adda is still in operation today. The settlement is beautifully cleaned out and inhabited.

In the new Museo del Violino you will learn from five centuries of violin making and Cremona‘s most famous masters Amati, Stradivari, Guarneri. Cremona is known to all music lovers for famous violin makers such as Stradivari and Guarneri. The newly built museum of violins is definitely worth a trip.

Parma is not only the city of famous musicians such as Arturo Toscanini and Giuseppe Verdi, but also the headquarters of the European Food Authority. The most famous products for tasting are the Parma ham and the Parmesan cheese. We are happy to provide you with a complete tasting program with visits.

Brescia is one of the most beautiful and oldest coastal towns in Lombardy. Great are the well-preserved excavations from Roman times with the Capitoline Temple in the Roman Forum as well as the mosaic footbents of the Roman villas in the museum of the monastery complex Santa Giulia and San Salvatore.

Mantua is located south of Lake Garda on the Mincio River. Mantua is definitely worth seeing with its medieval old town around Piazza Sordello and Piazza delle Erbe. A very special experience is the visit of the “Camera degli Sposi” to the Doge’s Palace and the former amusement Palazzo Té of the Gonzaga.

Modena is best known for the Aceto Balsamico di Modena, as well as a motorsport resort and the Maserati plant. The Ferrari plant is also nearby.

The medieval town centre of Ferrara within the well-preserved city wall with the narrow and picturesque streets of the Jewish quarter has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In Vicenza you should not miss the Villa Rotonda Capra, a masterpiece by Palladio and the Villa Valmarana ai Nani with frescoes by Tiepolo. From the hill of Vicenza you have a great view and visit the church of S. Corona, Piazza Signori, Palladio Basilica and the Cathedral.

The most important attraction in Padova is the chapel of the Scrovegni family, which was painted in blue and gold by Giotto at the beginning. Another treasure in Padua is the Basilica of San Antonio with four cloisters and many works of art.

Visiting Bologna means eating well. Bologna’s old town with its towers from the Middle Ages and about 40 km of arcades is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.  The University of Bologna is the oldest university in the Western world. It is important to visit the Anatomy Amphitheatre in the university’s Palazzo Archiginnasio.

Verona is famous as the city of the lovers Romeo and Giuliett and the Amphitheater Arena. In the summer month you can visit Italian operas open air in the Arena.

Piacenza is beautifully situated in the Po Plain on the border between Lombardy and Emilia Romagna. Piacenza is not too big, but very pretty and definitely worth a visit. In the middle of the center is the Piazza Cavalli. The magnificent aristocratic palaces are lined up all around. The city still belongs to the Piacentini, tourists are rarely seen. Completely underestimated, as we think.

Let yourself be surprised by the sights in Piacenza.

Travel Tips for the Padana (River Po Plain)

The towns of culture of the Po Plain can be easily reached from Milan by train or car. If you want to visit more than one city, then we recommend staying in one of the places. In the smaller towns, the nightlife is rather tranquil and in addition to a nice dinner followed by an evening walk, there is rather peace and quiet. So you can escape the rather hectic hustle and bustle in Milan.

We are happy to offer a tailor-made round trip with hotels, local guided tours, tickets and transfers. Please send us if necessary Your request.

It is worth visiting several cultural cities on a trip to Italy. We like to put together themed trips for groups. Here are some ideas:

Theme Music

  • In the footsteps of Giuseppe Verdi in Parma and his birthplace Busseto/Roncole and
  • Visit to the city of violin makers Cremona with the new violin museum

Subject of gastronomy

  • Visit to the city of the European Food Authority Parma
  • Visit to a museum to choose from: Parma ham, Parmigiano Reggiano, pasta, wine, salami, of course connected with a tasting
  • Pasta demonstration in Bologna with a visit to the historic market and tasting

Art Theme

  • Visit to the “Camera degli Sposi” in Mantua
  • Visit to the Lombard Benedictine monastery of Santa Giulia in Brescia
  • Visit one or more Castelli to Modena

Subject Motorsport

Modena is also called the “Land of Engines.” The industrial and cultural heritage of the Modena region bears names such as Ferrari, Maserati, Pagani Automobili, B.G.Engineering, De Tomaso, Bugatti. Museums and works can be visited.

Bespoke Itineraries and Individual Trips to the Best Destination in Northern Italy in the Padana (River Po Plain)

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