Lombardy is one of the largest regions in Italy and is located in the glorious north of the country. Bordering Switzerland, Lombardy takes in the Alps and stretches down to the low-lying areas of the Po Valley. The diversity of landscapes includes the stunning Valtellina, Valchiavenna and Camonica Valleys. Winter time sees tourists flock to the region to enjoy the ski resorts of Tonale, Bormio and Livigno while during summer people visit the famous lakes of Garda, Como and Maggiore, the vineyards of Franciacorta, and the fabulous architecture and cultural monuments of Milan. The flats of the Po Valley around Lomellina are well known for their rice paddies and indeed this part of the region is famous for its risotto rice.
Lombardy has numerous other attractions and whether you are a lover of nature, history, art or culture, there is something for everyone here.
Where to Go in Lombardy
The capital of Lombardy, Milan, is the gateway to the region and most people often only spend a day or two here on either side of their holiday. For those who take the time to explore further, however, there is much to be discovered. Home to Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’, Milan is a haven for culture buffs. You can also visit La Scala Opera House and one of Italy’s most stunning cathedrals, the Duomo di Milano. This, the largest Gothic cathedral, is also the second largest Catholic cathedral in the world. Wonderful museums, a buzzing café culture and fabulous food make Milan a place worthy of more than 24 hours.
This pretty city in the east of the region is a haven for those who love art and architecture. Overlooking the southern plains, Bergamo is well known for its medieval Renaissance and baroque buildings. The city is actually split into two with the ancient Upper Town remaining a maze of winding medieval streets and surrounded by a defensive wall, and the Lower Town offering the more modern alternative. Both are connected by a funicular.
This city is one of the smaller ones in the region but its size belies its wealth of excellent museums, interesting churches and elaborate palaces. With strong ties to both opera and art, Mantua is a city that has much to shout about. If you only visit one of its attractions, make sure it is the Palace Te, the 16th century hideaway for Duke Federico and his mistress. Every feature on this incredible building, designed by Giulio Romano, is the work of an artisan and its frescos are among the most vivid in Italy.
Cremona, another small city, is famous for producing high quality violins and is in fact home to the Stradivari and Guarini families, who make the most well known, top quality instruments in the world. The city has a pretty centre with most of the main attractions located close to the Piazza del Comune, the main square.
The Italian Lakes
Some of the most famous natural landmarks in Italy, the Lakes of Maggiore, Como and Garda, are all situated in Lombardy. The Italian Lakes provide the holidaymaker with a little taste of everything. Charming little villages are dotted along the edge of the lakes or nestled into the backdrop of stunning mountains, while grand villas and manicured gardens, made famous by the celebrities of times gone by are big attractions in the area. Beautiful scenery and fabulous food top off the reasons to visit the lakes in Lombardy.
How to Get There: Lombardy
Milan Malpensa is the main airport in Lombardy and with flights coming in from many of Europe’s main cities, including Paris, London, Barcelona, Berlin and Vienna, it is a popular gateway to the region. For Milan airport transfers, book with us at Shuttle Direct and we will see you to your final destination in comfort. Offering reliable and direct Milan airport transfers, we want to provide our clients with a warm welcome to this beautiful part of Italy.
Where to Stay
Hotel Agnello D’Oro – This is definitely an excellent budget accommodation choice in Lombardy. Set in the town of Bergamo, close to the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica, the rooms at the Hotel Agnello D’Oro are simple but comfortable. There is Wi-Fi throughout and satellite TV. All rooms have en suite facilities and some have balconies. A restaurant on site serves an Italian breakfast and typical home cooked dinners. A great choice for travellers not wanting to go all out on their accommodation.
Ariston Hotel – For those that really want to be right in the heart of Milan, the middle of the range Ariston Hotel is a good choice. Close to La Scala Theatre, the hotel has been renovated with sensitivity to sustainable building principles and has been furnished with non-toxic mattresses, fibres, fittings and even paint. A good buffet is served daily for breakfast and there is free bike rental offered too. Rooms have air conditioning, satellite TV and minibars.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo – The Grand Hotel Tremezzo is a five star accommodation choice, offering fabulous lake views. Complete with wellness centre, sauna, gym, tennis courts, several restaurants, three swimming pools and Wi-Fi, the hotel is definitely the luxury option. When you enter you are bound to be struck by the stunning original frescos and the delightful antique furniture. The Art Nouveau design combines a touch of the old and harmonises it with a modern flair making this hotel aesthetically elegant and rather unique. Close to Cadenabbia where you can get a ferry trip across the lake and the Menaggio and Cadenabbia Golf Clubs, the hotel also offers discounted rates.