La Lombardy it is an administrative region with the ordinary statutes of north-western Italy, established in 1948.
It counts more than ten million inhabitants in its 12 provinces: Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Lecco, Lodi, Mantova, Milan, Monza and Brianza, Pavia, Sondrio, Varese.
It has its capital in the city of Milan and borders: to the north with Switzerland (Canton Ticino and Graubünden / Graubünden), to the west with Piedmont, to the east with Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige / Südtirol, while to the south it borders with Emilia-Romagna.
It is a region rich in water thanks to the pre-alpine lakes and the large tributaries of the Po that cross it: to the west, along the Piedmontese border, the Ticino, then theAdda, Seriously, L 'Oglio, Mella, Churches and, at the eastern end of the region, the Mincio.
In geographic terms, the Lombardy can not be considered a unitary territory, meaning the area bounded by precise physical configurations, both for the variety of landscapes that cross it without enclosing it, or because the administrative borders, very often, are the result of complex historical events.
However, it is possible to outline in broad terms its territory through administrative relief, lakes and rivers.
To delimit the Lombardy to the north, the Alpine divide can be used between the Valtellina and the valleys of the Reno and the Inn even if, sometimes, the border crosses the Valtellina side.
In the east are the Garda Lake and the river Mincio to separate Lombardy from other Italian regions; as well as south Po (except for Oltrepò Pavese e Oltrepò Mantovano which extend further south), and to the west the Lake Maggiore and the Ticino (with the exception of the Lomellina that verges towards Piedmont) can serve to distinguish them from other regions of Lombardy.
These boundaries enclose an area of just under 24.000 ² km, making it the fourth region for surface extension.
On a journey through the region, from north to south, the Alpine ridges meet first along the path, a little further south the Pre-Alps followed by rolling hills that smooth the transition from the mountain to the Po Valley.
Peaks that often exceed the 3.000 meters (the massif of Adamello rises above the 3.500), then valleys, large lakes, hills and finally the plain divided between "high", close to the hills and formed by coarse debris, and "low" (the dividing line is about the height of Milan), consisting of more impermeable earth and fine debris.
Lombardy has a varied territory that includes notable differences in culture and habits.
Lombardy is, together with Bavaria, the most industrialized region in Europe.
Despite the undoubted concentration of industries, from large companies to small businesses, Lombardy manages to surprise the visitor with fascinating art City, as Bergamo e Mantova with the neighbor Sabbioneta, important religious monuments, like the Certosa di Pavia and Abbey of Clairvaux, as well as places where nature still has the upper hand: the Alpine chain, which covers well 41% of the territory, offers incomparable scenarios; the Stelvio National Park (134 thousand hectares), together with the extensive and neighboring protected areas of Switzerland and Trentino, is one of the largest protected areas in Europe; the fluvial areas are fascinating natural habitats, often immersed in the peasant landscapes of the Po Valley.
But we must not forget the pre-alpine lakes - the main source of tourism in the region - formed thanks to the action of the great glaciers that pushed to the plains in the Pleistocene.
Each of them retains its ancient name:
- the "Verbano" is the Lake Maggiore
- the "Ceresio" is the Lake of Lugano
- the "Lario" is the Lake Como (the deepest, with its 410 meters)
- il Lake Iseo it is called "Sebino"
- finally the Garda Lake , the largest in Italy (369 sq. km), known since Roman times as "Benaco"
The name, symbol and territory of the Lombardy they hide an ancient and tormented history, made of invasions and devastations, divisions and struggles but also of collaboration, cohabitation and development.
A land on which have passed and you are allocated, over the millennia, many peoples who, with their customs and their culture, have given rise to the current Lombardy.
The toponym (probably deriving from the Germanic-Longobard word, "Langbardland" or "Langbardaland" which through the subsequent translations, Latinizations, and Italianizations has first been transformed into "Langbard", then into "Longobardia" or "Langobardia" up to current Lombardia) means "Land of the Lombards", or the land of that population of Germanic origin that invaded Italy in 568 AD and made Pavia the capital of its kingdom, and that originally indicated a territory larger than the current one, while the current symbol of the Lombardy RegionIn "pink camuna"- a sort of white four-leaf clover in a green field, inspired by a rock carving of the civilization of the Camuni.
Lombardy is often associated with fog, very dense in the plains, but the region also offers sunny days.
The climate is still continental: the winters are cold while in summer the temperatures rise above the 30 degrees, accompanied, in the lowlands, by a strong humidity.
The alpine areas are affected by a harsh climate, but the lakes have the so-called insubric climate, known for its mildness.
On the shores of the lakes, at one of the northernmost latitudes of Europe, olive and lemon trees grow.
In a small area south Oltrepò stand hills and mountains of the northern Apennines.