Lombardy is a historic region and one of the 20 regions which make up the whole of Italy. It is populated by about one-sixth of the population of the whole country, and about one-fifth of Italy's total gross domestic product is produced by the region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country. It is also the region with the most number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in all of Italy. Its capital, Milan, is to the world as a fashion, artistic, and historical capital, and is one of the more beautiful cities in Europe. The region is divided further into districts that are represented by their key cities. Further, it is also crossed by the Alps, one of the more majestic mountain ranges in the world. Lombardy originally referred to the entire territory of Italy ruled by the Lombards, a Germanic tribe who conquered much of the Italian Peninsula beginning in the sixth century.
What to see & do
Milan Cathedral – The Milan Cathedral is a majestic church dedicated to St. Mary of the Nativity. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan, and is regarded as the fifth largest church in the world and the largest in Italy. The massive space can handle 40,000 people at once, and its art and the architecture is described as “from every style in the world, and every style spoiled.” The outside is Gothic in design, while inside, various pieces, including the famous “Madonnina” (seen atop the main spire of the cathedral), the “Saint Bartholomew Flayed” (1562, Marco d'Agrate), the sarcophagi of the archbishops, the three magnificent altars, the Visit of St. Peter to St. Agatha jailed, the Medeghino, and the five-manual, 225-rank pipe-organ, built jointly by the Tamburini and Mascioni Italian organ-building firms on Mussolini's command (this is the largest organ in all of Italy) can be seen. Several corpses and mummified bodies of saints are also on exhibit here.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the world's oldest shopping malls. It is housed within a four-story double arcade in central Milan, capped with a huge dome that is a spectacle on its own. The structure features two glass-vaulted arcades intersecting in an octagon covering the street which connects the Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Scala. The street is covered by an arching glass and cast iron roof, a popular design for 19th century arcade. On the ground of the central octagonal, four mosaics portraying the Coat of Arms of the three Capitals of the Kingdom of Italy (Turin, Florence, and Rome) plus Milan's coat of arms can be found. Tradition says that if a person spins around with a heel on the testicles of the bull from the Turin coat of arms will bring good luck, although the practise caused damage to that certain area. The Galleria is often nicknamed as Milan's drawing room, due to its numerous shops and importance as a common Milanese meeting and dining place.
Teatro Alla Scala – Simply called La Scalla, this opera house is a world renowned structure at the heart of the capital. It was inaugurated on August of 1778, and was originally known as the New Royal-Ducal Theatre alla Scalla. Most of Italy's greatest operatic artists and many of the finest singers from around the world have appeared here during the past 200 years. Today, the theatre is still recognised as one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world. There is also a museum here.
How to get around Lombardy
Lombardy is best travelled by train or by rental cars. On the city centres, such as Milan, walking is a practise.
How to get there
The Linate and Malpensa Airports both serve main Milan and Lombardy, although smaller airports are also present in Brescia and Bergamo.