Region of Luxury – The Places to Visit in Lombardy

If you want to explore this picturesque region on your next Italian vacation, here are the five places to visit.

Piazza Duomo in Milan
Milan Cathedral. Photo: Ouael Ben Salah on Unsplash.

Lombardy is one of Italy’s most picturesque regions located in the north of the country. It sits beside the Emilia-Romagna region and borders Switzerland to the north. While many people associate it with Milan, its capital, Lombardy is full of many other places worth exploring. If you want to explore this region on your next Italian vacation, here are the places to visit in Lombardy.

1. Bellagio

Bellagio, Lombardy
Bellagio. Photo: Elizabeth Cullen on Unsplash.

Sitting on the scenic Lake Como, Bellagio is a charming village offering many fun activities and attractions. It’s the best place to experience an authentic Italian charm and soak up the town’s laid-back vibe. Wandering around its narrow cobblestone streets will delight you with the breathtaking views of Lake Como. When the sun goes down, venture into Salita Serbelloni, a pretty street that shines magically at night with its beautiful streetlights.

Strolling through the gorgeous gardens of Villa Serbelloni is a must for everyone visiting Bellagio. It dates back to the 15th century and now operates as a lavish hotel. Visit the adjacent garden, a fantastic place to relax as you admire the beautiful flowers and plants.

Since Bellagio sits around Lake Como, you should not miss the chance to explore the lake on a boat trip during your visit. Admiring the pretty town from the water is a fantastic experience. The trip will take you to many beautiful places around the lake, such as Menaggio, Varenna, and Como.

Villa Melzi D’Eril is another place you should visit while exploring Bellagio. The historic villa is situated outside the town centre and dates back to the 19th century. Aside from admiring the villa’s neoclassical architecture, venture into the gardens to relax and soak up the views.

2. Monza 

Monza, Lombardy
F1 in Monza. Photo: jacopo marello on Unsplash.

Sitting along the River Lambro, Monza is a small city in Lombardy that has become famous for hosting the Italian Grand Prix. It’s about 15 km from Milan and is the capital of the Monza Province. Visitors can get tickets for the Italian F1, a perfect option for those looking to try something different on their Italian break.

Monza is home to the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, the racing circuit for the Italian Grand Prix. While most visitors would come here for the race, it’s also worth exploring the city, considered one of the largest in Lombardy. Aside from being the capital of the Monza Province, it’s also the administrative and industrial center of the Brianza area, supporting the province with its flourishing textile industry.

Throughout the city’s history, it withstood over thirty sieges, and Porta d’Agrate is the only thing that remained from its original walls and fortifications. Outside the city there is a nunnery called Convento Santa Margherita. Take the time to explore its city center, where you’ll find many significant historical buildings, such as the Santa Maria in Strada and the Romanesque-Gothic style Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista.

3. Sirmione

Sirmione, Lombardy
Sirmione on Lake Garda. Photo: Matthias Schröder on Unsplash.

Nestled at the tip of a long peninsula, the lovely medieval town of Sirmione is a must-see on your visit to the Lombardy region. It’s renowned for its thermal spas, beautiful beaches, and crystal-clear Lake Garda. Wander around its pretty narrow streets, discover fascinating historical sites, and go on a sunset cruise around the lake.

At the centre of Sirmione lies a lovely medieval castle, and likely one of the first things you’ll notice as soon as you get off the ferry. The stunning structure seems like it’s sitting on a lake as it rises beautifully out of the crystal-clear waters. But don’t just admire the castle from the outside. Get inside and climb to the top, where you can marvel at the breathtaking lake views.

Whether you love history or not, Grotte di Catullo is a must-see on your visit to Sirmione. It’s the ruins of a Roman villa lying in the northernmost section of the town. Dating back to the 1st Century BC at the start of the 1st Century AD, the incredible ruins are fun to explore.

4. Milan 

Milan Lombardy
View of Milan. Photo: Matteo Raimondi on Unsplash

As the capital city of Lombardy, you’ll most likely begin your journey in Milan. Even if you’ve already been to the city many times, you should spend a day or two discovering this sophisticated city. For a more enjoyable trip, you can book tours around Italy, with Milan being a highlight for many.

First-time visitors should head straight to the Duomo. The magnificent cathedral is Milan’s most iconic site and a must-see for every visitor to the capital. Get inside the cathedral, and take the stairs or lift to the rooftop to view the city from above. Then wander around the Piazza Duomo, the square across the cathedral, considered the city’s historical and cultural centre.

Milan is a paradise for shoppers. So, if you’ve been to the city several times and want to skip the usual sightseeing tour, you can go shopping instead. Spend the day at the Quadrilatero d’Oro, where you’ll find many shops and boutiques – a true paradise for shopaholics. With over a hundred shops filled with products from international brands and local designers, you will have a blast on your shopping spree!

5. Bergamo

Bergamo
Città alta, Bergamo. Photo: Mattia Bericchia on Unsplash.

Sitting at the foothills of the snow-capped Italian Alps, Bergamo is one of Italy’s most captivating medieval cities. While most visitors would overlook it in favour of the more popular places in the region, Bergamo is an underrated destination offering numerous sights to see and delectable food to indulge in.

At the centre of Bergamo’s old historic district is Piazza Vecchia, a picturesque area home to the city’s top architectural highlights. Alongside these impressive buildings are lovely little terraces, offering the perfect spot to admire the views and soak up the relaxing vibe.

Visit the Basilica of St. Mary Major, an intricately built church between Bergamo’s cathedral and the Cappella Colleoni. Check out this latter, a beautiful mausoleum featuring some of the best examples of Renaissance architecture. Admire its red and white embellishment on the front, offering the perfect backdrop for a stunning photo op.

Read more articles about Lombardy on Italics Magazine