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Lombardy is an enigma.
This most highly developed and economically powerful of regions is a force in fashion, commerce, industry, advertising and technology. As one of the top five economic areas in Europe, its people seem to have more in common with their northern European counterparts than the stereotyped Latin type.
These are industrious, matter of fact people, with a strong work ethic. Yet for all this modernity, Lombardy retains some of the most beautiful landscapes in Italy.
And for lovers of art, nature and beauty it has an embarrassment of riches: the Cathedral, Castello Sforzesco, La Scala theatre in Milan; the lakes, Stelvio national park, the Gardesana” coast; the Lomellina and the Valtellina districts.
Plus well preserved civic building scattered through the land that range from the Romanesque, Gothic, through Renaissance to Baroque. The cultural, artistic and natural heritage remains impressive.
Gastronomy Lombardy’s location in northern Italy and close contact with the rest of Europe (particularly the French, Spanish and Austrians, who at some time or other have been major influence on this region) has been a particular influence on its cuisine. It is therefore no surprise to find a gastronomical mosaic, with each province providing a unique contribution to what is generally called “Milanes cooking”. Milan and Bergamo boast the best fish markets in Italy, despite having little seafood tradition.
The local cheeses are superb and the oil produced in the vicinity of Garda Lake is of an incomparable quality. Rice here is as important as pasta and one of the culinary masterpieces here is risotto giallo or saffron-flavoured rice.
History The history of Lombardy goes back a long way. It was taken from the Roman Empire in 568 by the northern Lombards, from whom it took its name. It has belonged to a number of foreign entities.
In the middle ages it was part of the empire of the Dukes of Milan, later on it fell under the auspices of Spain, Austria and Sardinia Activities Visit the Sirmione peninsula on Lake Garda and the “Gardesana” coast; the Lomellina and the Valtellina districts.
In the Sforza Castle, Milan, there are the Art Museums which comprise several sections for painting, sculpture and applied arts; the Brera Gallery, which houses some of the all-time masterpieces of painting; inn the Poldi Pezzoli Museum, a very rich private collection of paintings of great masters, fittings, art objects and ancient jewelry can be admired; other masterpieces of painting can be seen inn the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana.
The National Museum of Science and Technique is devoted to railway and air transports. In Brescia the Roman Museum has an interesting section devoted to the Christian Age.
In Como, the Civic Museums have large rooms for local history and art. In Cremona, the Civic Museum houses mosaics and relics of the Romanesque period, while the Stradivariano Museum displays the history of the famous ancient violin makers.
Bergamo has the important Carrara Academy Gallery. Mantua is known for the Ducal Palace with Gonzaga’s Palace and the Museo del Risorgimento. In Pavia there are the Civic Museums for archeology and painting.
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