Best Places to Visit in Lombardy Italy

Lombardy in northern Italy is with over 10 million inhabitants the largest Italian region and the economic engine of Italy.

From the Alps in the north to the picturesque lakes, surrounded by mountains and into Europe’s largest lowlands with beautiful river landscapes and charming cultural cities, you can discover the diversity of Lombardy. Discover the best places to visit in Lombardy with it’s beautiful landscapes.

The cultural cities of Milan, Bergamo, Brescia and Cremona form a kind of city quadrangle. Bergamo is the northern city on the hill on the edge of the Bergamasque Alps.
In the northern arc around the three Lombard cities, the northern Italian lakes Lake Como entwine themselves in the north of Milan, Lake Idro and Lake Iseo northeast of Bergamo and Lake Garda east of Brescia.
All cities of culture offer rich treasures from a long history and culture that have been excellently preserved. Take enough time on a trip through Lombardy and use our insider tips to find the most beautiful sights, some of which are off the main travel routes.

Things To Do in Lombardy Italy

Bergamo and Brescia Capitals of Culture 2023

Bergamo and Brescia were extraordinarily named as Capitals of Culture 2023 in 2020, the year of the Corona Pandemic. Both cities were hit very badly right at the beginning of the pandemic in February, March 2020. Before the extent of the infections that had already occurred had been recognized, thousands of people in the cities and the surrounding small towns had been infected. Hospital staff became infected, resulting in thousands of serious illnesses and deaths. The pictures of the coffins that were transported from Bergamo by the army because the capacities of their own cemeteries were not sufficient, went around the world.
With the recognition as joint cultural capitals in 2023, the hope is also placed in the two cities of art, Bergamo and Brescia, that they will approach this goal together and not as competitors.

In the north, Lombardy is separated from the Swiss cantons of Graubünden and Ticino by the Alps. The Alpine chain with the Valchiavenna, the Valtellina and the Valcamonica valley are wonderful areas for hiking and winter sports.

The large Northern Italian lakes Lago Maggiore, Lake Como, Lake Iseo and Lake Garda are popular holiday destinations for Italian and foreign tourists. Lake Iseo has achieved particular fame because the wrapping artist Cristo installed his floating peers on Lake Iseo in the early summer of 2016.

In the USA, Lake Como has gained interest in recent years. The actor George Clooney, who owns a historic villa on Lake Como and who beats the international drum for his love for Italy and Lake Como, played a major role in this success. Of course, this boom in visitors also has an impact on prices in the holiday areas on Lake Como with its beautiful villas and exotic parks on the shore.

German is spoken on Lake Garda, it is the most visited lake by Germans, while the Swiss tend to prefer Lake Maggiore.

A large part of the landscape is characterized by the Pianura Padana, the Po plain. It is the largest lowlands in Europe and it covers large parts of Lombardy, but also Piedmont and Veneto.

The extremely fertile land not only feeds the densely populated north of Italy with wheat, maize and meat. There are also large wine-growing areas. The Franciacorta wine region is also internationally known for its special sparkling wine.

The large rivers, which have their sources in the Alps and flow from north to south, flow through them to flow into the Po, which pulls with the collected water towards the Adriatic Delta in Veneto.

  • Ticino from Lake Maggiore
  • Lambro from Lake Como
  • Adda from Lake Come, Lecco part
  • Serio from the Bergamasque Alps
  • Oglio from Lake Iseo
  • Mincio from Lake Garda

The river parks have become recreational areas with lush flora and fauna and have been used for centuries to supply energy through hydropower. The entrepreneur Crespi, among others, took advantage of this when he founded his textile workers’ town Crespi d’Adda. Today, Crespi d’Adda is a World Heritage Site and an open-air museum.

The capital of Lombardy is Milan. Milan is not on any river. Therefore, canals had to be built, the Navigli, to create waterways through Milan that used to serve as transport routes and now as entertainment districts.

The most beautiful Lombard cities of culture are Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Mantua, Monza, Pavia, Vigevano and Varese.

One of the world’s best-known products is Grana Padana hard cheese from Lombardy. It is similar to the Parmesan cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano, but which has the Parma and Reggio Emilia region as its origin.
Other typical Lombard cheeses are Gorgonzola, Taleggio, Bitto and hundreds of other types, all of which you can buy and try on site. The best way to do this is at one of the weekly markets, where every trader sells a huge variety of their own varieties.
Lombardy is also a large exporter of wine and sparkling wine. Sparkling wine and wine come mainly from the growing areas of Franciacorta, which is south of Lake Iseo, from the Oltrepò Pavese, which connects to the Po plain in the south, and from the foothills of the Alps of the Valtellina.
Special meat and sausage products are the Bündnerfleisch Bresaola della Valtellina, the salami from Cremona or Varzi, and of course the air-dried raw ham.
The olive oil from Lake Garda is also of particularly high quality.

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Lombardy Italy Map

You can hover over the dots on the Lombardy map to see the name of the city. A click will bring you to the page of that city and the best places to visit in Lombardy.

Map of Lombardia
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