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Lombardy is a region that has plenty to offer visitors and has been popular with tourists for hundreds of years. Located in the north of Italy, its capital, Milan, is known as the country’s fashion hub, but it also boasts a rich history and is a great starting point for trips to the Lombardy’s picturesque lakes.
North of the city you’ll find Lake Como, the most glamorous of Italy’s lakes, whose charming shores have attracted the rich and famous for centuries. As one of Italy’s largest regions, Lake Garda’s western towns can also be found in Lombardy, including mountainous Limone and the beautiful Gardone Riviera. Those wanting a quieter escape will find what they’re looking for in Lake Maggiore, or head away from the tourist crowds completely in Lake Iseo, where you’ll find yourself in peaceful surroundings in the heart of the Franciacorta region – a place known for its excellent sparkling wine of the same name.
For Milan, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, we would recommend flying to Milan Malpensa (MXP). Direct flights to Milan are available from Birmingham, Edinburgh, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton, London Stansted and Manchester and take approximately 2 hours. Direct flights to Milan Bergamo (BGY) are available from London Stansted, Bristol, Manchester, East Midlands and Belfast and take approximately 2 hours. For Lake Iseo and Lake Garda, Verona (VRN) is the best option. Direct flights to Verona are available from Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Glasgow, London Gatwick, London Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle and Southampton and also take approximately 2 hours.
Polenta and rice are very popular in this part of Italy. They're often cooked with butter, cheese and meat or vegetables, and are a filling alternative to pasta. Those that want their Italian pasta fix can find some varieties unique to the region; tortelli de zucca is filled with squash, almond and cheese, while casônsei is a ravioli filled with cheese, sausage and bread, and simply served with butter and grated Grana Padano. Visitors with a sweet tooth are also well catered for. A particularly famous creation of the Lombardy region is mascarpone – this cheese made from fresh cream is commonly used in desserts, perhaps the most renowned being the classically Italian tiramisu.
The area also has a developing wine industry, with varieties not as established as other regions. Franciacorta DOCG, produced with grapes grown around Lake Iseo, is the most celebrated of the sparkling wines on offer and well worth a try.