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The ultimate Italian getaway

Article - November 4, 2016

Italy’s northern Lombardy region has culture, charisma and culinary delights at every turn. 


Sharing a border with Switzerland to the north, the Lombardy region encompasses a geographic diversity that ranges from snow-capped Alps to flat plains and paddy fields in its Po Valley lowlands, and its villages, town and cities teem with stimulants for all five senses. Here’s a guide to the top 10 hits for visitors to the fourth largest region in Italy.


1) Lake Como and Villa Balbianello

Known for its star-studded shores and extravagant villas, Lake Como is the perfect escape at just under an hour from Milan. Here you’ll discover stunning views and a laid-back atmosphere. With plenty of small villages surrounding the lake, get a feel for the area as you head out for a stroll in the narrow alleyways of Varenna, Nesso, or Bellagio. Don’t forget to stop by Villa Balbianello, just one of the many exclusive estates that lend an air of elegance to the area. At the entrance you’ll find the engraving, Fay ce que voudras (“Do what you want”)... Welcome to paradise.


2) Milan Design Week

Whether you’re a total design buff or just fascinated by creativity and innovation, Milan is the place to be in April. During the Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone, together known as Design Week, Milan steps into the international spotlight. See new up-and-coming artists and designers and witness the tradition that has solidified Milan as the capital of design while exploring the city.


3) Spa Day

There’s nothing better than a relaxing day at the spa. With numerous locations throughout the region of Lombardy, you can soak in the traditional baths in Bormio, pamper yourself in the cool spa of Bergamo, or sweat it out in the one of a kind sauna within a tram in Milan. Take a look at the top 8 spas.


4) Bergamo and Città Alta

Divided between Upper Bergamo and Lower Bergamo (Città Alta/Città Bassa), this city boasts two souls that are absolutely worth exploring. Get a taste of the casoncelli, local ravioli that is to die for, before grabbing a cone of stracciatella (they invented the flavor here). Charming streets and what Le Corbusier once named the most beautiful square in Europe make for the perfect backdrop in this fairytale destination.


5) A Weekend in the Alps

There’s a reason you’ve always heard about “weekending in the Alps” – the panoramas here are unrivaled and with countless ski resorts from Bergamo to Valtellina, there’s no better way to enjoy the fresh powder. After a long day on the slopes, indulge in some of the typical dishes here in Lombardy, paired with an excellent glass of wine of course. 


6) Da Vinci’s The Last Supper

It’s the painting that has inspired countless legends, world renowned artists, books, films and more. Reserve a visit to Santa Maria delle Grazie in the heart of Milan, where the one of a kind masterpiece by the maestro himself can be viewed in small groups. Be sure to plan ahead, as visits are booked in advance.


7) Franciacorta

Red, white, sparkling, or still. Sprawling across the Franciacorta territory, just south of Lake Iseo, world-renowned vineyards extend in every direction. Here you’ll find some of the finest wines and cellars in Lombardy. Take a tour through one of the many wineries here and enjoy the enchanting landscapes, glass in hand.


8) Mantua

The charming rustic town of Mantua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with Sabbioneta, is a testament to Italian history and culture. Named the 2016 Italian Capital of Culture, it’s a Renaissance jewel whose slow-paced atmosphere and gastronomic heritage make it a must-see. Be sure to taste the pumpkin tortelli and stop into the Basilica of Sant’Andrea, which is said to hold the blood of Christ.


9) Lake Garda

Straddling the regions of Lombardy and Veneto, this stunning body of water is surrounded by fairytale villages like Tremosine and Limone sul Garda with narrow cobblestone alleys and jaw-dropping panoramas. Stop by Sirmione to see Scaliger Castle, a unique 13th century fortress on the lake just next to the Grotte di Catullo, ruins dating back to the 1st century AD.


10) Cremona and the Violin Museum

Music is in the air here in the hometown of Stradivarius (yes, that Stradivarius). Boasting hundreds of luthiers in the small town, Cremona is a phenomenal destination for any music lover. The local Violin Museum is home to countless priceless instruments and fascinating multimedia stations that both inform and wonder, not to mention the drop dead gorgeous auditorium where you can catch a concert by special guests using the instruments on site.


Ready to plan your vacation #inLombardia? Head over to to get started.