Authentic Italy travel specialists

Italian Travel Guide – Lombardia

With its vast options for travel destinations covering everyone from outdoor enthusiasts to fashionistas, Lombardia, also known as Lombardy, is a region in Italy that can entertain anyone. Go for a round of golf or a visit to the thermal spas, or enjoy the nightlife and fashion in Milan. The possibilities are endless and so are the memories to be made.

Milan (Milano)

Milan is considered one of four fashion capitals (Paris, New York, London & Milan). It also houses the largest population of any metropolitan area in Italy. The mixture of history and modern amenities in Milan make it a very popular tourist destination. See all the new fashion trends here during Milan Fashion Week or come for the historical significance and see Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper at the Santa Maria delle Grazie. The shopping in Milan is incredible, especially for fashion. Some of the world’s most recognizable brands are headquartered here including Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Prada. Head to the Grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II for an opulent shopping experience. In addition, there are many significant historical buildings and museums to engage the mind. The list includes places like the Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science, the Piazza dei Mercanti, Milan Archaeology Museum, the Piazza del Duomo, and the La Scala Opera House among many others. An entire vacation could be spent within this one city, but Lombardy has so much more to offer than just Milan.

Bergamo

Dripping in charm and history, Bergamo has quite a bit of amazement to offer guests. There are two sides to Bergamo, a modern city (Bergamo Bassa) and the medieval, historic city (Bergamo Alta). Take some time to walk through the fantastic Basilica of St. Mary Major, constructed originally in the 12th century and completed in the 14th century, the incredible detail and artwork here is worth the visit. Just outside the Basilica is the Colleoni Chapel, which was a later addition. The old city is partially surrounded by Venetian walls and includes ancient gates in amazing condition for their age. Take a walk in places on these Venetian walls to admire the architecture and look down on the rest of Bergamo. From there, travel to the Museum of Natural Science and Archaeology and view some historic weaponry, mosaics, stone tablets, ancient household items and more. Walk on ancient Roman roads and head to the Accademia Carrara to view some incredible artwork.

Brescia

Situated at the foot of the Italian Alps, Brescia offers some of the most breathtaking scenery and historical structures. It is worth taking a day trip or longer to see some of the sites here. Check out the Piazza del Foro in the historic old town center to see the ancient buildings and Roman ruins like the Capitolino temple. Next, head to the Brescia Museum of Art and History, housed in an old monastery. This museum includes the history and prehistory of Brescia as well as relics, artwork and sculptures. The Duomo Nuovo is a more modern cathedral with only a few hundred years of history (started in 1604 and completed fully in 1825), but it is a stunning site with white stone, marble, detailed stucco work and sculptures. Lastly, save some time to walk around and through the Brescia Castello, where relics and designs are housed in the museum and the grounds host refreshing forests and gorgeous views.

Como

Sitting on the southern tip of Lake Como, this city is regarded as picturesque and beautiful, especially with the lake backdrop. As a tourist destination for outdoor enthusiasts, the city also offers incredible dining, historical buildings and the opportunity to visit local museums. Renowned for its stunning architecture, the Como Cathedral is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and was started in the 14th century. Close to the Cathedral you can find the Como Archaeological Museum, housed in the Palazzo Giovio, and featuring historical artifacts from the Como region. Como has a long history of silk-making, the history of which can be seen in the Museo Didattico della Seta in Via Castelnuovo. Don’t forget to take the funicular train up to Brunate for some stunning views and delicious restaurants. 

Cremona

Cremona is famous for its musical history and traditions, including the world-renown violins of Stradivari. Spend some time in the 12th century Cathedral of Cremona, featuring examples of Romanesque artwork. Climb the 502 steps to the bell tower for an amazing view – this structure is the tallest pre-modern building in Italy. Head to the Museo del Violino to learn more about the musical history of the violin and Cremona. With all the elegance and history in Cremona, it is worth stopping in on your vacation trip to Lombardy.

Lecco

Enjoy the sites and architecture in this small, lakeside town. Stroll past the Basilica of St. Nicholas, a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic church, originally constructed in the 11th century. Next, head for the cable car ride to Piani D’Erna, which is a mountain resort in Lecco. Finally, take a stroll along the lake or grab a bike and cycle the area for a view of the beautiful scenery and fresh air. 

Lodi

This delightful town has some historic buildings and areas to visit including Tempio dell’Incoronata, a small church with a deceiving exterior and impressive interior. Next, stop at the Basilica di San Bassiano, dating back to the 14th century, this church includes gorgeous frescoes and amazing acoustics, which is why it still hosts concerts. This area includes some delightful restaurants, and castles to explore as well.

Mantua (Mantova)

This Renaissance city has an incredibly rich and long history, dating back thousands of years. The Basilica di Sant’Andrea, constructed in the 15th century, took over 300 years to fully complete. The architecture and history in this building make it a definite stop on a visit to Mantua. Ducal Palace, built for nobility and home of the Gonzaga family for almost 400 years, is home to approx 500 rooms, 7 gardens and 8 courtyards making it one of the largest palaces in Europe. Lastly, visit the Rotonda di San Lorenzo, the most ancient church in Mantua. 

Monza e Brianza

Home to the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix, this city has so much more to offer than this popular yearly attraction. The Duomo di Monza, for instance, is a beautiful cathedral with construction starting in around 1300 and completion in 1681. The detailing and architecture make it stand out, even in a historical region full of amazing buildings. The Royal Villa of Monza, situated in the Parco di Monza, includes the Royal Chapel, the Teatrino di Corte, the Orangery and the Royal Apartments. Guided tours are available here and worth considering. Admire the Palazzo dell Arengario, originally the town hall in the historic town center of Monza. Lastly, take a walk to the Ponte dei Leoni, the bridge dedicated to the King of the Lombard-Veneto Kingdom and featuring marble Lions standing guard. 

Pavia

This ancient university town was part of the history of both Charlemagne and Einstein – odd but true. Spend some time in this little town and enjoy the sites like the Duomo di Pavia, with a dome that is the third largest in Italy. Da Vinci is said to have played a role in the design of this cathedral that was started in 1488 and completed in the 20th century. Nearby, find the Basilica di San Michele, constructed in the 11th century in place of a 7th century church that collapsed during an earthquake. See the medieval towers still standing, although most of the original towers have not survived, three are present in the Piazza di Leonardo da Vinci.

Sondrio

This small, less popular city, may be a fantastic day trip idea to get away from some of the crowds in the larger cities while still enjoying the scenery and history of Lombardy. Start with the Giardini Di Palazzo Sertoli, a lovely architectural palace with mesmerizing frescoes and lovely gardens. Next, tour the Castello De Piro al Grumello, built between the 13th and 14th centuries, it overlooks the city of Sondrio. This castle consists of two buildings within a surrounding of walls. 

Varese

A stunning, mountainous town, only kilometers from Switzerland, this town offers outdoor enthusiasts some incredible outdoor activities. Take in the Castiglioni Museum, exhibits from ancient Egypt highlighting the traditions and techniques they used. Next head to the Casa Museo Lodovico Pogliaghi, a house featuring numerous works of art and some Egyptian exhibits. Walk along the Olona River or hike the nearby hills and mountains to discover a multitude of different flora and fauna as well as fresh air and gorgeous scenery.