Located at the heart of northern Italy, Lombardy is entirely landlocked, bordered by Piemonte to the west, Emilia-Romagna to the south and Veneto to the west. To the north are the mighty Central Alps, and the Swiss region of Ticino. Within its large territory, the landscape comes in infinite variations: the Lombardy region ranges from the Alps to the countryside, from art cities to small hamlets rich in history, in what is Italy’s big lake district (there are more than fifteen lakes).
Famous for its capital city, Milan, Italy’s financial hub and world’s fashion capital, Lombardy as a region boasts of many beautiful and diverse places to visit. If world heritage is in your mind, Bergamo is the place to go to with its charming medieval historic centre that is protected by walls of the XVI and XVII century. If romance is the driving force, you can head to Lake Como, Italy’s third-biggest lake, thanks to its alluring landscape, it has attracted artists, poets and celebrities for centuries and has recently become one of the most desirable and romantic wedding destinations. If spumante is the kind of wine you prefer, then Franciacorta, in a hilly area between Brescia and Lake Iseo, is a wine region that links its history to the production of a praised DOCG sparkling wine.
In Lombardy, there are almost 500 museums and more than one million cultural heritages: among them, the famous Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, the medieval Torrazzo in Cremona, that with its 11 meters is the tallest historic bell tower in Italy, and La Scala Theatre, in Milan, opened in 1778 and among the world’s most famous for opera. In addition, Lombardy is the Italian region with the highest number of Unesco’s world heritage sites.
A large and geographically complex region, it has large expanses of the unspoilt countryside – home to many small-scale wineries which make a significant proportion of the region's annual 1.5 million hL wine output. Two wine styles of particular note from Lombardy are red Valtellina and sparkling Franciacorta. As Italy’s big lake district, Lombardy is dominated by lakes Como, Iseo, Maggiore and Garda in its northern half. These help to temper the climates of their respective vineyard zones.
Vines have been cultivated around the shores of Lake Garda for centuries. The climate-moderating effect of each of these lakes is particularly valuable in the cooler, more elevated areas. Valtellina, framed dramatically by the Central Alps, is a good example of this, as is Franciacorta, whose vines grow in the hills just south of Lake Iseo.
The Lombardy wine region currently has 5 DOCGs, 21 DOCs and 15 IGP wine designations. The wine area in 2016 produced approximately 16 million cases of wine, which makes it one of the largest wine-producing regions in northern Italy. The Lombardy region consists of 13 wine-producing areas - from north-south include:
2: Garda Bresciano
7: Capriano del Colle
8: San Martino della Battaglia
10: Garda Mantovano
11: San Colombano al Lambro
12: Lambrusco Mantovano
13: Oltrepò Pavese