Lombardy (Lombardia in Italian and Lombard) is a northern region of Italy, and with 10 million people is the most populous one. Producing a fifth of Italy's GDP, it is also the mightiest economically. Geographically, Lombardy encompasses both Alps and Prealps in the north, and relatively flat plains in the south along the river Po and its tributaries. Between them there are many scenic lakes, and the alpine backdrop makes even the low-lying cities picturesque and the air rather fresh.
Lombardy is heavily industrialised, although most of the industry is actually not heavy, but rather mid-sized specialised machinery-building and other assembly and engineering firms, as well as consumer industries such as foodstuffs and apparel. The regional capital, Milan, is Italy's second-largest city and the foremost centre of commerce and a global fashion capital. Smaller cities also have considerable economic might, and have had so for many centuries, hence Lombardy is the region of Italy with the most UNESCO World Heritage sites - and simply, a lot of history and scenic views to explore and enjoy.
|Lombardian Alps and Prealps (provinces of Bergamo, Brescia and Sondrio)|
Among the alpine valleys, Valchiavenna, Valtellina crossed by the Adda and Val Camonica, one of the largest; the main urban centers are Chiavenna, key for communication with the other side of the Alps; Sondrio, the main administrative center; important tourist resorts and ski resorts are Madesimo, Bormio, Ponte di Legno, Santa Caterina Valfurva, Aprica. To see the Stelvio National Park. There are also less famous centers that have many attractions such as Edolo, Valdisotto, famous for the Levissima water; Darfo Boario Terme.
|Lake Como (provinces of Como and Lecco)|
|Southern Lombardy (provinces of Cremona, Lodi, Mantova and Pavia)|
There are located the cities of Vigevano, Voghera, Pavia, Lodi, Cremona, Mantua (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Casalmaggiore, Sabbioneta (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Viadana, Suzzara and their territories: Lomellina, Oltrepò Pavese, Pavese, Lodigiano, Cremonese, Oglio Po, Mantovano, Oltrepò Mantova.
There are also small but well-known municipalities such as Breme, Varzi and Brallo di Pregola.
|Grande Milano (metropolitan city of Milan and provinces of Monza and Brianza)|
- 1 Milan (Milano, the capital of the metropolitan city of that name) – shares with Paris the title of fashion capital of the world, and is Italy's second city
- 2 Bergamo – a fairytale pastel-coloured city perched atop a hillside, and the gate to Bergamo Alps
- 3 Brescia – a major industrial powerhouse since ancient Roman times, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- 4 Como – the city that gave the name to the popular lake
- 5 Cremona – home of Stradivarius violins, but also a wealth of ornate Romanesque architecture
- 6 Lecco – a charming litle city on Lake Como
- 7 Mantua (Italian: Mantova) – the Ducal Palace has a cycle of frescoes by Mantegna that no art lover should miss
- 8 Sondrio – the northernmost provincial capital situated amidst alpine mountain ranges
- 9 Varese – capital of the namesake province full of lakeside resorts
- The magnificent lakes of Lake Como - take boat trips in the shadow of the Alps to the picturesque villages of Bellagio, Varenna and Tremezzo - Lake Maggiore, Lake Garda and Lake Lugano.
- The tiny village of Erbusco, home of the award-winning wines of Franciacorta and L'Albereta, the country inn of Gualtiero Marchesi, one of Italy's premier chefs
- 1 Moltrasio
- The peninsula of Sirmione, on the south shore of Lake Garda
- The Caves of Catullo, an archaeological site of a former Roman villa situated on the tip of the Sirmione peninsula
- The Sirmione Spa, the largest privately owned thermal treatment centre in Italy
- 2 Val Camonica: UNESCO heritage site, medieval towns, castles, holy art in churches, roman sanctuary and theatre/amphitheatre, ski sports.
- 3 Oltrepò Pavese: Wine region in the utmost southern part of Lombardy, 70km from Milan, part of the Pavia province, medieval towns, castles, panoramic views.
- 4 Campione d'Italia: an Italian exclave in nearby Switzerland, with looser tax laws, a large casino, and great views over Lake Lugano
The Longobardis occupied the peninsula in the 6th century, and this area has been named after them ever since.
Lombardy is a prosperous region with fertile soil and a temperate climate. As in Piedmont, the Po Valley is the site of much heavy industry. High mountains in the north, marking Italy's frontier with Switzerland, provide excellent skiing and climbing.
Lombardy is the most populous region in Italy: it has about ten million inhabitants. Its capital is Milan. The region borders Switzerland to the north (Canton Ticino and Grisons), Piedmont to the west, Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige to the east, and Emilia-Romagna to the south.
The Lombard Alps crown the Region to the north; its mountainous territories are characterized by deep and long valleys (Brembana, Seriana, Val Camonica, Valtellina). Large mountain massifs, such as Spluga, Bernina, Stelvio, Adamello mark the northern border of the Region with grandeur, and with an incredible wealth of vast breathtaking views. The Spluga Pass and the Stelvio Pass are two important communication routes towards Switzerland and towards Alto Adige and the Germanic world. Further south, Lombardy is uniformly flat, between the Po and the foothills and hills that embrace the Pre-Alps and the great Lombard lakes: Lake Maggiore (Verbano) which it shares with Piedmont and is formed by the Ticino; Lake Como (Lario) fed by the Adda; Lake Iseo (Sebino) whose tributary is the Oglio; Lake Idro which is due to the Churches; Lake Garda (Benaco), which it shares with Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige and was created by the Sarca, who came out with the name changed into Mincio and, before throwing into the Po, forms the Mantua Lakes. In the territories located on the right of the Po only in the Oltrepò Pavese we find hilly and mountainous reliefs, in the triangular strip of land that goes almost as far as the Ligurian territory, in the Apennine valleys. Lombardy boasts an immeasurable abundance of water thanks to the large number of alpine streams, rivers, canals that affect its entire territory both in the plains and in the mountains. The result is a great wealth of alpine lakes set between its mountains, and in addition to the major ones it still includes a good number, between the pre-alpine and foothills, but also of the plains: the lakes of Varese, Monate, Pusiano, Annone, of Mantua, of Lugano which partly falls within the Lombard territory. Finally, it has a myriad of artificial lakes: it is no coincidence that Lombardy boasts the highest Italian hydroelectric production.
Hundreds of rivers and streams pass through the Lombard territory, the most important of which is the Po, which with its 652 km is the longest in Italy. For a long stretch it forms the southern border of the region and flows entirely in Lombardy only in the provinces of Pavia and Mantua. The other main rivers come from the Alpine side of the Po Valley and are all tributaries of the Po: in fact, the Lombard territory is almost entirely included in the catchment area of the main Italian river. Given the scarce extension of the regional territory south of the Po, Lombardy is practically devoid of Apennine rivers: in the Oltrepò Pavese there are no significant watercourses, while the only exception is the Secchia which in the last stretch of its course, before flowing into the Po, flows into the Mantuan Oltrepò. In addition to the Po, the main rivers are:
- The Adda (313 km) is the longest river that flows entirely in Lombardy. It was born in Val Alpisella and after crossing the entire Valtellina it enters Lake Como, succeeding from the Lecco branch to flow into the Po near Castelnuovo Bocca d'Adda (LO).
- The Oglio (280 km) which, after crossing the Val Camonica, enters Lake Iseo and exits at Sarnico passing through Palazzolo sull'Oglio and merging into the Po at Torre d'Oglio. Oglio marks the boundaries between the provinces of Brescia, Bergamo, Cremona and Mantua.
- The Ticino (248 km), which originates in Switzerland in the Canton of Ticino, is a tributary and emissary of Lake Maggiore and divides Lombardy from Piedmont for a stretch before flowing into the Po just south of Pavia, of which it is the main tributary by flow. of water.
- The Mincio (75 km) is the main emissary of Lake Garda, but it can be considered, with the lake itself and the Sarca tributary, a single river axis of 203 km (Sarca-Mincio system). Having escaped from the lake it marks the border between Lombardy and Veneto for a stretch, then flows into the province of Mantua, skirting the capital city before entering the Po downstream of Governolo.
- The Chiese (160 km), which originates in Trentino, is a tributary and emissary of Lake Idro and crosses the eastern part of the province of Brescia, flowing into the Oglio in the province of Mantua, near Acquanegra sul Chiese.
- Other important rivers are the Lambro (130 km), the Serio (124 km) and the Brembo (74 km), the Olona (71 km) and the southern Olona (36 km). The homonymy between the two Olona rivers is not of imitative or etymological origin, but is due to the fact that originally they were two sections of the same river, diverted by the ancient Romans in its upper stretch towards Milan.
The region is dotted with many large and small lakes, the main ones being:
- Lake Garda (or Benaco), of glacial origin, is the largest in Italy with an area of 370 km². It is 346m deep and 51.6km long. The large amount of water in the lake has significant effects on the local climate. In fact, olive trees, lemons and cedars, typical of the Mediterranean climate, are cultivated along its banks.
- Lake Maggiore (or Verbano) has an area of 212 km², an extension of 50 km, a width ranging from 2 to 4.5 km and a maximum depth of 372 m.
- Lake Como (or Lario) is characterized by an inverted Y shape, with the tip of Bellagio marking the separation into two branches. Completely excavated in the pre-Alpine area, the lake stretches for 46 km, has a maximum width of 4.3 km and an area of 146 km². It is the first in Italy in terms of perimeter (180 km) and the fifth in Europe in terms of depth (410 m).
- Lake Iseo (or Sebino) has the shape of an S, with an area of 65.3 km² and a maximum depth of 361 m. There is located the largest lake island in Europe, Monte Isola, which extends for 4.3 km².
- Lake Lugano (or Ceresio), located in Lombardy, but also Switzerland and has an area of 48.7 km². On its banks are the Italian municipalities of Porto Ceresio, Valsolda and Porlezza.
- Lake Idro (or Eridio), which holds the primacy of the highest altitude among the Lombard pre-alpine lakes. The lake, of glacial origin, is located in the province of Brescia on the border with the autonomous province of Trento and is formed by the waters of the Chiese river, which is also its outlet. Its elongated shape, surrounded by high mountains, is surrounded by steep banks which overlook the towns of Idro and Anfo, with its ancient fortified fortress. Ignored by mass tourism, Lake Idro is very popular with sailing and windsurfing enthusiasts for the constant wind, created by the channeling of alpine breezes between its walls, which favors the practice of these water sports.
When to goEdit
The climate of Lombardy, although it can be defined as a sub-continental temperate type, is very varied due to the different natural conformations present on the territory: mountains, hills, lakes and plains. In general, the summer seasons in the plains are muggy (due to the high humidity) and hot. Continentality means that the average maximum temperature in July is 29 ° C. But in these months of the year there are also frequent strong thunderstorms and sudden showers accompanied by hail, sometimes even heavy rains. Winters are cold and long with low rainfall. Precipitation is most intense in the pre-Alpine area, up to 1,500-2,000 mm per year, but it is also abundant in the plains and in the Alpine areas, with an average of 600-850 mm (23.6-33.5 inches) at the year. Total annual rainfall averages 827 mm. The temperature range during the year is high and the fog is intense. In the mountains, the climate is typically alpine with cool summers and abundant rainfall and long, rigid and little rainy winters. The Lombard Po Valley is one of the least windy areas in Italy. The snow, abundant on the hills, also falls on the plains, since the average minimum temperature in January is -1 ° C. Lake Garda helps to regulate the temperature of the surrounding areas, creating a "Mediterranean" microclimate that makes olive cultivation possible. The pre-alpine belt and the upper Oltrepò have a cool temperate climate, the mid-alpine mountain a cold temperate climate and the peaks a glacial climate.
Three of Italy's four busiest airports are in Lombardy:
- Milano Malpensa Airport is an intercontinental airport, and Italy's second aviation hub after Rome Fiumicino. It has multiple direct connections to Africa, Asia and North America, and across Europe, where it is served by full-service and low-fare carriers.
- Milano Linate is Milan's city airport, served by business-oriented flights to European major commercial centres, and by a dense Italian domestic network.
- Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport is served almost exclusively by low-fare carriers, taking advantage of its proximity to both Milan and the Alps.
Despite only Linate being in the city and province of Milan, all three airports are marketed as serving the city. One can easily get to other destinations in the province from them, without necessarily changing in Milan. There is also a small airport in Brescia. As of July 2018, it had no regular passenger flights.
Lombardy is easily accessible and practicable by cars, motorcycles and campers, as it has an important road network. Most of the flows that affect the region come from all areas of Italy being the region connected to the east with Veneto to the south with Emilia Romagna to the west with Piedmont to the north with Switzerland.
The motorways that cross the Lombard territory are the following:
- A1 or Autostrada del Sole connects Milan to Naples via Bologna, Florence, Rome.
- A4 or Serenissima connects Turin with Trieste via Milan, Bergamo and Brescia crossing the entire Po valley.
- A7 or Milano Serravalle connects Milan to Genoa via Pavia and Voghera.
- Autostrada dei Laghi the stretch between Milan and Varese was the first stretch of motorway built in the world and was inaugurated in 1924. It is divided into:
- The A8 starts in Milan in four lanes and in Lainate continues in three lanes for Varese (A8), Genoa / Gravellona Toce (A8 / A26).
- A9 starts from Lainate and continues in two lanes to Ponte Chiasso and Switzerland, passing through Como.
- A21 or Autostrada dei vini connects Turin with Brescia via Voghera, Piacenza and Cremona.
- A22 or Autostrada del Brennero connects Modena with the Brenner pass via Mantova.
Milan ring road system
- A50 - Milan West Ring Road
- A51 - Milan east ring road
- A52 - Milan North Ring Road
The Lombard road network exceeds 12,000 km, of which 900 are state-owned and about 11,000 are provincial. In addition to these extensions, there are almost 60,000 km of municipal roads, of which a third of an extra-urban type. In particular, since October 2001 2,457 km of previously state roads have become provincial. At the same time, the Region assumed the functions of coordination and planning in the area of viability.
Despite its great extension, the Lombard road network is not sufficient with respect to the growing demand for mobility. For this reason Lombardy is trying to promote the strengthening of its road network.
Road and train links connect the region with Switzerland. As Switzerland is not part of the EU, there is a possibility that you will be delayed by checks at the border, although these are infrequent and usually not rigorous. Remember your passport.
The Lombard railway network, has over 1500 km of line and more than 400 stations but is still inadequate for the development of the region and the new mobility needs of resident citizens, because it has serious capacity limits, in particular on the lines converging on the node. of Milan, the point of greatest crisis of the whole system.
The Region is committed to the development of railway infrastructures as a function of both the integration of the regional railway system into the European networks, through the strengthening of the major routes of the Gotthard and Simplon, and the implementation of its Regional Railway Service, intended as the backbone of an integrated system of Lombard mobility.
Over the last few years, a series of interventions to upgrade the railway lines have been carried out or are being implemented, which will make it possible to increase the capacity of local transport and improve the regularity of trains.
Among the projects carried out, we highlight in particular the completion of the Milan railway link and the start-up of the Milan-Bologna High Capacity. The Milan-Turin high-speed train is soon to be completed, while the Milan-Venice high-speed train and interventions for railway accessibility at Malpensa airport are planned.
There is a relatively dense railway network connecting cities and towns in Lombardy, although the layout is intricate and getting from one place to another may not be straightforward. You should be able to reach your destination within 1 or 2 hours by train. Otherwise, buses and minibuses link important destinations, especially those popular with tourists. Hubs are usually in regional centres, as well as near major railway stations and airports; you can try to change there if there are no direct connections. Regional train network is entirely managed by Trenord.
Regione Lombardia offers a good travel planner that lets you query the whole public transportation system.
If you plan to travel a lot, it might be worth buying a io viaggio ovunque in Lombardia [dead link] pass ticket. Those tickets let you travel without limit on the entire public transport system in Lombardy, including regional trains, buses and city public transportation systems, but excluding some ferry boat lines. Although expensive, they can easily be a cheaper option than regular tickets if you travel long distances. Passes are sold at railway stations (at ticket box or automatic vending machines) and at ATM automatic vending machines. You can buy 1, 2, 3 or 7 day passes (€16, €27, €32.5, €43 respectively - February 2015).
The railway company Trenord offers some good travel packages, under the Trenord Free Time [dead link] name. The package usually includes a ticket to an attraction or a trip proposal and a train ticket to get to the destination. Most of them are really useful only if you depart from Milan. It's worth to take a look at the offers as they can also suggest you some new or lesser known itinerary that you may like.
As the Autostrada A4 runs across Lombardy, with the road system radiating from its junctions, you can get around by car as well. The A4 frequently gets congested though and traffic jams can be long and excruciating, especially around Milan. Be aware that Italians drive fast and make no allowances for foreigners, so be sure you are OK with keeping up with the traffic and occasional displays of impatience from other drivers.
- Milan - There is a lot to say about Milan: it is one of the most important cities in Italy for history, artistic and cultural heritage and by far the most important metropolis in Italy from the point of view of economic development. In short: in Milan you can see the wonderful Duomo, symbol of Milan, the Castello Sforzesco, and Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper or stroll down Via della Spiga, the most famous and luxurious fashion street in Italy or, again, get lost between modern skyscrapers. It's up to you to choose, Milan can offer you everything you are looking for on a trip.
- Certosa di Pavia -
- Milan Fashion Weeks draw crowds of fashionistas to Milan every year.
- La Scala in Milan is a mecca for opera aficionados.
- You can enjoy water sports or more relaxed boating on the lakes.
- The Alps offer opportunities for hiking or skiing.
Lombardy's most famous culinary inventions are minestrone soup and osso buco (literally "ox knuckles"). To the west of Milan lie miles of rice fields, where the rice for risotto alla milanese is grown. Other typical dishes of the area include salumi (cold cuts) and polenta.
Lombardy is one of the richest regions in culinary traditions and typical products of Italy, thanks also to the variety of the landscape. The territory, located in the center of the largest Italian plain and bordered to the north by hills and the Alps, slopes gently towards an alluvial plain that hosts Lake Maggiore, Lake Como and Garda, which mitigates the climate with their mitigating influence continental allowing crops such as citrus and olive trees. The hilly and slightly mountainous areas host vineyards and orchards. Being the main producer of cow's milk in Italy, it boasts a great tradition of dairy products with as many as 14 DOP cheeses. Among the most famous and well known are Grana Padano, Gorgonzola and Taleggio.
But a single dish that characterizes the region does not exist.
On closer inspection, however, there are some foods that are common to the region: first of all rice which is consumed more than pasta in all the dry variations or in broth with Milanese risotto which could be identified as a symbolic dish of Lombard cuisine.
Related to rice is the use of butter used as a condiment to replace oil even in fried foods. Plutarch also remembers this when he tells that a certain Valerio Leonte had served Julius Caesar in person passing through Milan, asparagus seasoned with butter.
- Polenta appears in many dishes both served alone as a side dish for other preparations, for example with mushrooms and other winter vegetables such as cabbage, or combined with other ingredients such as Casera cheese, taleggio in the taragna polenta typical of Valtellina and the Brescia valleys. .
Both beef and pork, very tasty and tender, lend themselves to the preparation of exquisite dishes such as rustin negàà, ossobuco prepared in many ways, cassoela, Milanese cutlet.
Thanks to the large presence of lakes and rivers, Lombardy also boasts a great variety of recipes based on freshwater fish from the missoltini of Lake Como to the pike perch which appears in many Mantuan recipes.
The panorama of this cuisine ends with a great variety of desserts: the Milanese Panettone, the Mantuan Sbrisolona and other less known desserts such as the Miascia, typical of Lake Como, and the Donizetti cake from Bergamo.
Now it's your turn to start a gastronomic journey to get to know the culinary tradition of this beautiful region.
As in many other areas of Northern Italy, the aperitivo (pre-meal drink with appetisers, for which a small supplement might be charged) is very popular.
In general, the most popular appetizers on Lombard tables are based on cold cuts and cheeses, widely spread in the region, which however are often eaten as main courses or as a conclusion to a meal, accompanied or not by polenta or fried polenta.
The main Lombard appetizers are:
- the sciatt valtellinesi, crispy buckwheat pancakes stuffed with cheese that is melted during cooking in butter,
- the Milanese nervetti in salads, prepared with veal feet, beans and onions,
- the Bergamo-style margottini, semolina pies tied with egg, branzi and meat broth.
The typical first courses of Lombardy are:
- Risotto alla milanese or saffron risotto or yellow risotto. (" The legend would like to trace the Milanese risotto back to the mid-sixteenth century, intertwining the culinary symbol of Milan with its architectural counterpart, none other than the Duomo. A very unlikely story starring a Master in charge of the realization of the stained glass windows of the cathedral, his assistant who happens to be called Saffron and a banquet organized for his daughter's wedding. A spice added at the last moment that would have dyed everything yellow for the joy of the diners: too bad that , after this episode between burlesque and food adulteration there is no trace of the recipe in question for at least three centuries. Fast forward to 1829 and to Felice Luraschi's new economic Milanese chef, who delights us with the first complete and codified recipe of yellow risotto: rice, ox marrow, nutmeg, broth, grated cheese, saffron. are Artusi and the early twentieth century to add butter and at the same time "degrease" the risotto with a watering of white wine. In short, in bites and bites and avoiding slipping on the gras de rost (the roast fat that replaced the sausage as a base for the sauté from 1900) we are ready to taste our golden morsel").
- Pizzoccheri alla Valtellinese (Pizzoccheri alla Valtellinese are a first course based on buckwheat noodles whose indissoluble seasoning is cabbage, potatoes, butter and cheese).
- Casoncelli (There are two schools of thought of this stuffed egg pasta: one is from Brescia, the other is from Bergamo. Here we deal with the second, that of the city divided into "Alta" and "Bassa" and which is despite itself became synonymous with unpronounceable dialect. In these parts the casoncelli are called casonsèi and more than one element makes them unmistakable).
- Pumpkin tortelli (Pumpkin tortelli are from Mantua and are the typical pasta stuffed with pumpkin, amaretti, mustard, sugar, grana padano and nutmeg which is served as a first course on Christmas Eve).
The typical second courses of Lombardy are:
- The Milanese cutlet (There are two versions: the one on the bone, preferred by purists, with the highest, pink and soft meat, and the one also called "elephant ear", in which the meat is beaten very thin and fried with a crunchy breading).
- The ossobuco (This is a second dish of typical Milanese cuisine. According to the classic recipe, the ossobuco must be lightly floured before being put in a pan to brown with a sauté of parsley, garlic and lemon zest. moderate heat and with the addition of white wine and broth.
- The cassoeula (This is a kind of stew with ribs, luganega (Lombard sausage) and cabbage, to which other less noble parts of the pig can be added such as rind, pigtails, ears, etc.).
- Polenta (Based on water and corn flour, it could be eaten alone or instead of bread as a side dish in meat dishes, such as braised veal in red wine with polenta and stew with Piedmontese Barolo. there are numerous variations, such as polenta taragna, with buckwheat flour which gives it a darker color than the characteristic yellow, and ounce polenta (greased) prepared by adding cheese and butter).
Although Lombardy is outside the tradition of cultivation, the cultivation of the olive tree and the production of olive oil has been attested since the Middle Ages on the Lombard lakes, where the effect of large water basins mitigates the climate and protects the plants from high temperature changes typical of the rest of the region: overall in the region there are more than 1600 hectares of land planted with olive trees, most of which are dedicated to the production of olives for mills.
The Lombard territory has two protected designations of origin:
- Laghi Lombardi PDO Extra Virgin Olive Oil, in the two Lario sub-areas, produced on Lake Como and Sebino, produced on Lake Iseo
- Garda DOP Extra Virgin Olive Oil, in its Bresciano sub-area.
Both productions generally have a low productivity with low acidity oils, with a delicate flavor and particularly valuable.
The wineries in Franciacorta, around Erbusco, produce many excellent wines. The region has been elevated to the status of DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). Other remarkable zones for wine are Oltrepò Pavese (which is the zone around Pavia on the south banks of Po river) and the countrysides around Garda Lake.
Valtellina also produces excellent wines, famous for their strong taste and flavour.
As every big city in the world, Milan has also many high quality restaurants, wine bars and Enoteche (wine store) where you can find high class wines from all over the world.
The 30,000 hectares of vineyards in Lombardy are scattered over the large regional area. The vineyards of Valtellina are located on the slopes of the mountains, on the right side of the Adda, where the sunlight manages to ripen the bunches, while the vines are cultivated in terraces, often placed at the limit of the maximum altitude that allows them to development. In this area the most common type of training is the Guyot. Oltrepò Pavese, an area between the provinces of Pavia and Alessandria, has always been known for massive production of red wines for mainly regional consumption. The most widespread form of training is also here the Guyot.
Wines with the DOCG designation
Franciacorta produced in the province of Brescia
- Franciacorta Rosé
- Franciacorta Satèn
- Franciacorta Millesimato
- Franciacorta Riserva
- Oltrepò Pavese Classic Method (white and rosé) in the types rosé, cremant, pinot nero, pinot nero rosé, produced in the province of Pavia
- Valtellina Superiore (red) in the normal and Riserva types, with the possible indication of the Inferno, Grumello, Maroggia, Sassella and Valgella sub-areas, produced in the province of Sondrio, and of the Stagaflassi sub-area for wine bottled in Switzerland
- Sforzato di Valtellina or Sfursat di Valtellina (red) produced in the province of Sondrio
- Scanzo or Moscato di Scanzo (passito) produced in the province of Bergamo exclusively in the municipality of Scanzorosciate only. Notes: it is the smallest DOCG in Italy with 39 producers and 31 hectares of vineyards.
Wines with the DOC designation
- Bonarda dell'Oltrepò Pavese
Botticino produced in the province of Brescia :
- Botticino reserve
Buttafuoco of Oltrepò Pavese or Buttafuoco
Capriano del Colle produced in the province of Brescia :
- Capriano del Colle new red wine
- Capriano del Colle rosso
- Capriano del Colle rosso reserve
- Capriano del Colle Trebbiano
- Sparkling Capriano del Colle Trebbiano
Casteggio, allowed: the use of the mention vineyard
Cellatica produced in the province of Brescia
- Colli Morenici Mantovani del Garda white
- Colli Morenici Mantovani del Garda red or rosé
Garda DOC interregional produced in the provinces of Brescia and Mantua (Lombardy) and Verona (Veneto) :
- Garda Garganega
- Garda Pinot bianco (also sparkling wine)
- Garda Pinot Grigio
- Garda Chardonnay (also sparkling wine)
- Garda Riesling (also sparkling wine)
- Garda Italian Riesling
- Garda Cortese
- Garda Sauvignon
- Garda Cabernet
- Garda Cabernet franc
- Garda Cabernet sauvignon
- Garda Merlot
- Garda Pinot Noir
- Garda Marzemino
- Garda Corvina
- Garda Barbera
- Sparkling Garda
- Garda Rosè
- Garda classic White
- Classic Garda Chiaretto
- Garda Classico Rosso (also in the new type)
- Classic Garda Rosso Superiore
- Garda classic Groppello
- Garda Classico Groppello Riserva
Garda Colli Mantovani produced in the province of Mantua
- Garda Colli Mantovani Cabernet Riserva
- Garda Colli Mantovani Chardonnay
- Garda Colli Mantovani Merlot Riserva
- Garda Colli Mantovani Pinot Bianco
- Garda Colli Mantovani rosé
- Garda Colli Mantovani red
- Garda Colli Mantovani Sauvignon
- Lambrusco Mantovano produced in the province of Mantua, accompanied or not by the subzones: Viadanese-Sabbionetano and Oltre Po Mantovano
Lugana DOC interregional produced in the provinces of Brescia (Lombardy) and Verona (Veneto) :
- Lugana sparkling wine
- Upper Lugana
Oltrepò Pavese produced in the province of Pavia :
- Oltrepò Pavese Barbera
- Oltrepò Pavese Cabernet Sauvignon
- Oltrepò Pavese Chardonnay
- Oltrepò Pavese Cortese
- Oltrepò Pavese Malvasia
- Oltrepò Pavese Moscato
- Oltrepò Pavese Moscato sweet liqueur
- Oltrepò Pavese Dry liqueur Moscato
- Oltrepò Pavese Pinot Grigio
- Oltrepò Pavese Pinot Nero
- Oltrepò Pavese Riesling Italico
- Oltrepò Pavese Riesling Renano
- Oltrepò Pavese rosé
- Oltrepò Pavese red
- Oltrepò Pavese red reserve
- Oltrepò Pavese Blood of Judas
- Oltrepò Pavese Sauvignon
Riviera del Garda Bresciano or Garda Bresciano produced in the province of Brescia :
- Garda Bresciano white
- Garda Bresciano Chiaretto
- Garda Bresciano Groppello
- Garda Bresciano red
- Garda Bresciano red wine
- Garda Bresciano sparkling rosé
- Upper Garda Bresciano
San Colombano al Lambro or San Colombano produced in the provinces of Lodi, Milan and Pavia :
- San Colombano al Lambro Rosso
- San Colombano al Lambro Bianco
- San Martino della Battaglia DOC interregional produced in the provinces of Brescia (Lombardy) and Verona (Veneto)
- San Martino della Battaglia liqueur
- Curtefranca white
- Curtefranca white Vineyard
- Curtefranca red
- Curtefranca Rosso Vigna
Terre del Colleoni or Colleoni
Valcalepio, produced in the province of Bergamo :
- Valcalepio white
- Valcalepio red
- Valcalepio Moscato passito
- Valcalepio red reserve
- Valtellina Rosso or Rosso di Valtellina produced in the province of Sondrio
Valtenesi produced in the province of Brescia :
- Valtenesi Chiaretto
Wines with the IGT denomination
- Bianco di Lierna (Bianco in the normal, Frizzante and Passito types; Rosato in the normal and Frizzante types) produced in the village of Lierna.
- Alto Mincio (Bianco in the normal, Frizzante and Passito types; Rosato in the normal and Frizzante types; Red in the normal, Frizzante, Passito and Novello types) produced in the province of Mantua.
- Benaco Bresciano (Bianco in the normal and sparkling types; red in the normal and novello types) produced in the province of Brescia.
- Bergamasca (White; Rosé; Red in the normal, Moscato and Novello types) produced in the province of Bergamo.
- Collina del Milanese (Bianco in the normal, Frizzante and Passito types; Rosato in the normal and Frizzante types; Red in the normal, Frizzante, and Novello types) produced in the provinces of Lodi, Milan and Pavia.
- Montenetto di Brescia (white in the normal and sparkling types; red in the normal and novello types) produced in the province of Brescia.
- Province of Mantua (Bianco in the normal, Frizzante and Passito types; Rosato in the normal and Frizzante types; Red in the normal, Frizzante, Passito and Novello types) produced in the province of Mantua.
- Province of Pavia (Bianco in the normal and Frizzante types; Rosato in the normal and Frizzante types; Red in the normal, Frizzante and Novello types) produced in the province of Pavia.
- Quistello (Bianco in the normal and Frizzante types; Rosato in the normal and Frizzante types; Red in the normal, Frizzante and Novello types) produced in the province of Mantua.
- Ronchi di Brescia (Bianco in the normal, Frizzante and Passito types; Red in the normal and Novello types) produced in the province of Brescia.
- Sabbioneta (Bianco in the normal and Frizzante types; Rosato in the normal and Frizzante types; Red in the normal, Frizzante and Novello types) produced in the province of Mantua.
- Sebino (Bianco Passito; Rosso in the normal and Novello types) produced in the province of Brescia.
- Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio (White; Rosé in the normal and Frizzante types; Red in the normal and Novello types) produced in the province of Sondrio.
- Terre Lariane (White, also in the sparkling and passito Rosso types, also in the sparkling, passito and novello Rosato types, also in the sparkling and novello types)
- Valcamonica (White in the normal and Passito types; Red in the normal type or with the indication of the Marzemino or Merlot vines)
In Lombardy there are 5 DOCG, 23 DOC and 15 IGT.
Widespread in all wine areas is the production of grappa, especially in the province of Brescia and in the province of Sondrio: in particular, Valchiavenna was one of the most famous places of grappa production in Italy before the opening of the Simplon tunnel. The local grappa producers (grapat de la Val di Giust) in conjunction with the crisis in Valchiavenna, deprived of its historic traffic of people and goods due to competition from the Simplon, were forced to emigrate: some of the main families of grappa producers of all of northern Italy originate from Valchiavenna, including the Ghelfi, the Vener, the Levi and the Francoli. Distillate different from grappa are the imperial drops, a herbal distillate produced by the monks of the Certosa di Pavia. As for the typical liqueurs, the most famous are the Braulio, a Valtellinese liqueur obtained from the infusion of mountain herbs, the amaretto liqueur, based on almonds and herbs whose origins date back to the sixteenth century, and the Fernet Branca, a liqueur from characteristic bitter taste produced in the center of Milan in the original factory, at the time of its foundation on the edge of the city. Other liqueurs are the Vespetrò di Canzo, based on coriander, anise and orange peel, the Ramazzotti amaro created in a shop in the center of Milan by the homonymous pharmacist, the Acqua di tutto cedar, produced in Salò, and the nocino. Finally, the remaining spirits and liqueurs of large industrial groups should not be forgotten: the Campari group, creator of Aperol, Illva di Saronno, for the production of Zucca rhubarb in addition to the famous amaretto, and the Branca brothers' distilleries. The famous Lombard aperitif is pirlo, which is based on still white wine and Campari. It has Brescia origins and is similar in concept to the better known spritz, which instead has Venetian origins. The fashion of happy hour has also introduced the use of Aperol (much less alcoholic and complex) for pirlo instead of Campari. Pirlo is served in a tall stemmed glass with a typical balloon shape.
Large cities, like Milan, Bergamo or Brescia, are important business centres, so they have sizeable bases of business-oriented hotels. They are local hubs with connections to destinations within their provinces, and getting between them is also reasonably quick via a variety of means of transportation (trains, express buses or cars across the A4). Do note that accommodation in Milan is generally expensive, and prices skyrocket during major events or fairs, such as the Milan Fashion Week.
Destinations along the lines of the lakes, as well as those in the Alps, are popular with tourists, so you will find a variety of accommodation options there, from luxurious resort hotels to simple B&Bs.
While Milan features many of the usual tourist traps and con acts, as well as sizeable number of pickpockets due to the number of tourists there, other destinations are generally safe, and you can feel secure and welcome there. Do note, however, that in case you need to contact the police they can have very limited English skills and also may not be able to help foreigners much.