geographic region of Italy
Europe > Italy > Northwest Italy

Northwest Italy consists of four of Italy's regions: Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy and Valle d'Aosta. To the east lies Northeast Italy, to the north is Switzerland and to the west France. The Italian Lake District is mostly in Northwest Italy.

Regions edit

Map of Northwest Italy
  Aosta Valley
a small region in the Alps
the coastal region
the eastern part of Northwest Italy.
the western region, containing most of Italy's border with France

Cities edit

  • 1 Aosta - Aosta is the regional capital of the Aosta Valley. It is located near ski resorts and the Gran Paradiso National Park, characterized by an alpine botanical garden, paths and species such as ibex and eagles. Among the vestiges of the Roman past are the Arch of Augustus and the Porta Pretoria, which once gave access to the city. The Sant'Orso complex includes a Romanesque cloister and a priory with a frescoed chapel.
  • 2 Bergamo – a fairytale pastel-coloured city perched atop a hillside, and the gate to Bergamo Alps.
  • 3 Brescia – a major industrial powerhouse since the Ancient Roman times, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • 4 Como - Como is a city located in the southern part of Lake Como. It is known for the gothic cathedral, the panoramic funicular and the pedestrian path along the lake. The Didactic Silk Museum illustrates the history of the Como silk industry, while the Tempio Voltiano is a museum dedicated to the physicist Alessandro Volta. To the north are the gardens overlooking the lake of Villa Olmo and other elegant villas.
  • 5 Genoa - Genoa is a port city and is the capital of the Liguria region. It is known for its important role in maritime trade over many centuries. In the historic center is the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, in Romanesque style with a black and white striped facade and frescoed interiors. Narrow streets lead to monumental squares such as the Piazza de Ferrari, with its characteristic bronze fountain and the Carlo Felice opera house.
  • 6 La Spezia - La Spezia is a port city in Liguria, Italy. Its 19th-century maritime arsenal and the naval technical museum, with naval models and tools for navigation, bear witness to the maritime heritage of the city. The Castle of San Giorgio, on the hill, houses an archaeological museum with finds from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. The adjacent Amedeo Lia Civic Museum houses paintings, bronze sculptures and illuminated miniatures in a former convent.
  • 7 Mantua (Italian: Mantova) – the Ducal Palace has a cycle of frescoes by Mantegna that no art lover should miss. This city is also an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • 8 Milan (Italian: Milano) – shares with Paris the title of fashion capital of the world, and is Italy's second city and the main Italian economic centre. Moral capital "," Economic capital "," Lombard metropolis "," City of Madunìna "and so on: these are all slogans that describe the appearance of Milan, not its tourist essence, which is that of the most suitable city. more familiar man than the ancient villages of old Milan who hides his pearls in the ravines of the spreading modern city, perhaps with reluctance, perhaps with jealousy, certainly with pride. Intimate ancient churches, sumptuous palaces, silent medieval corners. And then, the astonishing explosion of the Duomo with the gilded and adored Madonnina, to reveal to everyone the greatness, the dynamism, the ingenuity that brought the most intimate and subdued ancient Milan onto the world stage.
  • 9 San Remo
  • 10 Turin (Italian: Torino) – After the Italian unification, on 17th March 1861, Turin was the first capital of modern Italy.

Other destinations edit

  • 1 Cinque Terre - Thanks to the geographical and anthropic characteristics of the territory where they arise, the Cinque Terre are considered one of the most evocative Italian coastal attractions, for their naturally rough and rugged hilly context, softened by the construction of terraces for cultivation, which falls towards the sea with steep slopes; the villages, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore, arise in the points where the sea winds serpentinely into the earth, articulated to follow the natural shape of the hills. The Cinque Terre have been a World Heritage Site since 1997.
  • 2 Lake Como - Lake Como, with the cities of Como and Lecco constitutes a homogeneous tourist area which in addition to the two major cities groups the coastal centers of its shores, even if belonging to three different provincial administrative subdivisions: Cernobbio, Tremezzo, Menaggio, Gravedona, Colico , Bellano, Varenna, Bellagio, all centers that enjoy a thriving tourist economy.
  • 3 Lake Maggiore - A natural environment of enchanting beauty, views and inlets that look like pictures, coastal villages of elegant simplicity and great charm; it is not for nothing that the lake has transformed its notoriety from national to global, also thanks to the presence on its shores of world-famous personalities, which actually invests the Piedmontese side rather than the Lombard one. Angera, Intra, Ispra, Laveno, Luino, Maccagno and Pallanza are its best known Lombard and Piedmontese coastal centers. The northern part is in Swiss territory, and has its largest city in Locarno.
  • 4 Lake Garda - The largest body of water in the Peninsula and in Lombardy offers tourist opportunities of various kinds: climatic stays, including winter ones for the elderly and families, bathing and water sports activities; excursions on the reliefs that surround the lake basin; entertainment for young people in the countless clubs and amusement parks that are located near it also on the Venetian shore.

Understand edit

North-western Italy, also known more simply as North-West, is that part of the Italian territory that includes the regions of Liguria, Lombardy, Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta.

Geographical notes edit

It borders to the west with France through the western Alps, to the north with Switzerland through the central Alps, to the east with the regions of Trentino-Alto Adige, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna belonging to north-eastern Italy and to the south with the Ligurian Sea and the extreme offshoot of Tuscany in central Italy. North-western Italy encompasses a large part of the Po Valley and is crossed by the River Po, the longest in Italy.

Background edit

In historical terms of the last few centuries the North-West is mainly identified in the domains of the House of Savoy and therefore the continental part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which included, in addition to Piedmont, the Aosta Valley and Liguria. Lombardy, although culturally linked also to Piedmont and Liguria, has historically developed greater political and economic ties with the Veneto (Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia) and therefore with north-eastern Italy.

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Eat edit

There are many places where you can taste many specialties of Northern Italy such as Courmayeur (where you can taste fontina, a typical Aosta Valley dish, which can also be tasted in other tourist cities such as Aosta and Cogne), Livigno (where you can taste pizzoccheri , typical Valtellinese dish, which can also be tasted in other tourist cities such as Bormio and Chiavenna, but also the polenta taragna), Alba (where you can taste the black and white truffle, but also in other tourist cities such as Barolo and Barbaresco, famous for fine wines), Milan (where you can taste the Milanese risotto, obviously with its many variations and ossobuco, even in luxury restaurants).

You can also enjoy good fish meals in restaurants in cities such as Sanremo, Santa Margherita Ligure, Rapallo and Portofino.

In all regions there are typical products, for example Lombardy is famous for Bitto, Taleggio DOP, Bresaola della Valtellina, Salame di Varzi, famous in the Oltrepò Pavese, apples from Valtellina and onions from Breme. Of course there are many other less known products but always in the IGP, DOP, IGT classifications.

Drink edit

Aosta Valley : Wine production in the Aosta Valley is small, but highly qualified. The vines vary according to the areas in which they are grown.

The products made in this region are considered mountain wines and are collected under the regional denomination DOC Valle d’Aosta - Vallée d’Aoste DOC, which includes 15 types of grape and 7 area sub-denominations:


Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle



Enfer d'Arvier



Among the most sought-after white wines, we find Blancs de La Salle et Morgex produced from Prié Blanc grapes, a vine grown at high altitudes, up to 1200 m. Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, dry Moscati are also grown on the regional territory.

Among the red wines from Valle d'Aosta, worthy of note are the wines of Enfer d'Arvier and the sub-area of ​​Torrette, made with the Petit Rouge grape. Also interesting are the wines based on Cornalin, a native vine vinified alone or blended with Petit Rouge.

The Donnas DOC is instead a wine produced with 85% Nebbiolo grapes.

For sure, one of the most typical liqueurs of the Aosta Valley is genepì. It is a liqueur of very ancient origin, produced through the prolonged infusion of the floral stems of the black genepì.

Also worth tasting is the Ratafià, made with wild cherries, brandy and lemon zest.

The Aosta Valley also boasts a tradition in the production of grappa and distillates of alpine herbs.

Another local production is the famous Aosta Valley coffee. It is a preparation made with the "cup of friendship", a wooden container with a lid and various spouts, which is filled with hot coffee, to which lemon peel and grappa are added. A particular and tasty coffee, suitable to close the meals of the typical Aosta Valley cuisine.

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