Lombardy is a breathtaking blend of mountain peaks, rolling hills and fast-paced cities. Visit quiet medieval towns nestled in the countryside, take part in an adventure trek through the Alps and go shopping in one of the fashion capitals of the world.
The biggest city in the region is fashion-forward Milan, which also happens to be Italy’s financial hub. Splurge on the latest fresh-from-the-runway fashions at designer retailers and learn about Milan’s history while touring centuries-old landmarks such as Sforzesco Castle and Filarete Tower. Milan also has an excellent arts scene. Highlights include the Ambrosiana Library and Painting Gallery and the Brera Gallery, which counts masterpieces by Raphael and Caravaggio among its collection.
Outside of Milan, worthy daytrip destinations include Monza, which is known for its historic royal residence, the Villa Reale. Visit the Colleoni Chapel in Bergamo and attend an opera at the magnificent Teatro Donizetti. In Cremona, about 90 minutes’ drive southeast of Milan, sits the Stradivarius Museum, whose exhibits chronicle the history of violin-making in the region.
Explore the Masegra Castle in Sondrio and head to the city of Lodi which retains its medieval charm. Wine tasting is a popular activity in the Franciacorta area, where vineyards stretch for miles. Foodies won’t want to miss Gorgonzola, where they can taste the potent-smelling eponymous cheese.
Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy alpine sports in the winter months at resorts such as Livigno and Bormio. In the summer, the Stelvio Glacier offers skiing even on the hottest days. Rafting and mountain biking are also common summer activities. For something more low-key, trek along the nature trails of the Sacred Mountains and sail across the sparkling waters of Lake Garda. See the landscape that inspired Leonardo da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks as you stroll or cycle along the banks of the Adda.
Most international travelers to the region arrive via Lombardy’s main airport, Aeroporto Malpensa, just north of Milan. Driving and trains are the best ways to get around the region. Be sure to validate your train ticket by stamping it at the yellow machines on train platforms before boarding.
Visit the breathtaking region of Lombardy for urban excitement as well as idyllic lake and mountain scenery.