Lombardy


Lombardy region of north central Italy with the Capital Milan. The region is known particularly for its sparkling wines made in the Franciacorta and Oltrep˛ Pavese. Lombardia also produces still red, white and rosÚ wines made from a variety of local and international grapes including Nebbiolo wines in the Valtellina region, Trebbiano di Lugana white wines produced with the Chiaretto style rosÚ along the shores of Lake Garda. The main cities of the region are Milan, Bergamo and Brescia. The winemaking tradition of Lombardy dates back to its settlement by Greek colonist from Athens along the Po river. Archaeological evidence suggest that these settlers traded wine with the Etruscans in nearby Tuscany.
The climate is varied due to the diverse terrain of the region but is generally considered a "cool" continental climate. The region is influenced by several geographic features that controls the climate and terroir of the land. These include the Alps located in the northern parts of the region near the wine producing area of Valtellina and the Po River which runs along the Oltrep˛ Pavese name means "Pavia across the Po") and forms most of the region's southern border with Emilia-Romagna. Many wine areas are located near some of Lombardy's major lakes including Franciacorta near Lake Iseo as well as the Garda Bresciano and Garda Mantovano regions near Lake Garda. To the west of Lombardy is the Piedmont wine region, to the south is Emilia-Romagna and to the east are the Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto wine regions.

The region vineyards cover is 27 000 ha; annual wine production is 1,4 million hectoliters; 38 % white, 62 % red; 47 % is DOC and DOCG wines. It produces 4 DOCG wines;
Franciacorta as Spumante, Oltrepo Pavese Metodo Classico, Sforzato di Valtellina or Sfurzat di Valtellina, Valtellina Superiore, and 15 DOC wines.

The grapes of this region are of both red and white variety. Among the major brands is Chiavennasca in Valtellina better known as Nebbiolo and Chardonnay, Trebbiano and Pinot Bianco in the Franciacorta area. Other grapes are Barbera, Bonarda Pavese and Pinot Nero in Oltrepo' Pavese.

The main wineareas are:
  • Franciacorta in the province of Brescia near Lago Iseo.
  • Valtellina near the Alps surrounded by the province of Sondrio.
  • Oltrepo' Pavese south from Pavia, between the towns of Voghera and Stradella
  • Lugana south of the Lake Garda.

The wine regions along Lake Garda are known for their Chiaretto style rosÚ made from a blend of Barbera, Gropello, Marzemino and Sangiovese. This dry wine is deeper in color than most rosÚs and typically have good acidity with very low alcohol levels. The Rosso (red) style wines are made with the same blend of grapes but in a darker, more full bodied style. The Lugana white wines are made from the Trebbiano grape and are known for their fruitiness and medium body. White wines from the San Martino della Battaglia are made from the Tocai Friuliano grape best known for the wines from the nearby Veneto region. The Garda Mantovano produces white wines based on Trebbiano and Garganega and red wines from Merlot and Molinara.

THE PLACES OF INTEREST
Lombardy is one of the most wealthy region of Italy: one-sixth of Italy's population lives here and about one fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in this region. It hosts the beautiful destinations such as the Lakes: Garda, Como, Iseo and Maggiore, and also the capital city Milan and some important cities as Mantua and Bergamo are worth to visit.

The area was settled at least since 2000 BC. Important settlements were made by Etruscan tribes, who founded the city of Mantua and spread the use of writing. In 194 BC the entire area became a Roman province with the name of Gallia Cisalpina, and it became one of the most developed and rich areas of Italy with the construction of a wide array of roads and the development of agriculture and trade. The strategic role of Lombardy was emphasized by the temporary moving of the capital of the Western Empire to Milan. Here, in 313 AD, emperor Constantine issued the famous edict that gave freedom of all religions. The area suffered heavily from destruction by a series of barbaric invasion. The most effective was that of the Lombards, or Longobardi, who came around 570 and whose long-lasting reign, capital was set in Pavia, gave the current name to the region. The end of Lombard rule came in 774, when the Frankish king Charlemagne conquered Pavia included it to his empire. This marked a significant boom in the region's economy, due to improved trading and, mostly, agricultural conditions.
From the 14th century onwards, the instability in Europe created by the unceasing internal and external struggles ended in the creation of noble signories, the most significant of which were those of the Viscontis later Sforzas in Milan and of the Gonzagas in Mantua. These independent cities became two centres of the Renaissance whose culture, with men like Leonardo da Vinci and Mantegna. This richness attracted the now more organized armies of national powers like France and Austria: after the decisive Battle of Pavia, the Duchy of Milan became an Austrian possession. The new rulers settled taxes needed to support their unending series of European wars. The eastern part of modern Lombardy, with cities like Bergamo and Brescia, was under the Republic of Venice. The area was smashed in the late 18th century by the French armies, however, and with the formation of the Napoleonic Empire, Lombardy became one of the semi-independent province of Napoleonic France and became one of the intellectual centres leading to Italian unification. Lombardy was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy 1859 as a result of the Second Italian Independence War. Starting from the late 19th century, and with a boom after World War II, Lombardy confirmed its status as the most economically developed area of Italy.

MILAN
  • It is the second largest city of Italy, the centre has a population of 1.3 million. It is renowned as one of the world capitals of design and fashion and it is famous for its fashion houses and shops such as along via Montenapoleone and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in the Piazza Duomo. Around 400 BC, the Celts inhabited Milan and the surrounding region, and after that it has had a great importance of region Due to long and important history, Milan has a vast amount of places to visit.
  • The Duomo, the world's largest collection of marble statues with the widely visible golden Madonna statue on top of the spire, the symbol of Milan.
  • Teatro alla Scala, opera house.
  • The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a large, covered arcade linking the Duomo's piazza with the Teatro alla Scala.
  • The Castello Sforzesco and the Parco Sempione.
  • The Biblioteca Ambrosiana, containing drawings and notebooks by Leonardo da Vinci among its vast holdings of books, manuscripts, and drawings, and is one of the main repositories of European culture.
  • The church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, which houses one of the most famous paintings of Leonardo da Vinci, L'ultima cena or Il cenacolo.
  • The Pinacoteca di Brera, Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Poldi Pezzoli, the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum and the Musei del Castello galleries, which host a great number of pictorial masterpieces.

BERGAMO
Bergamo is situated on the foothills of the Alps on 40 km from Milan to northeast. It's having 117 000 inhabitants and it's home of airport of Orio al Serio. It's divided into the old medieval town 'Citta Alta', which are situated up in the hill and the new part of 'Citta Bassa'. The two parts of the town are connected by funicular/cable car, roads, and foot-paths. The town has been founded by Celts 400 BC and it became important military centre during Roman period. The most important period was the rule of Milan, when the town flourished in economics. Bergamo has a prominent place in music history. The large Romanesque church of Santa Maria Maggiore, begun in 1137, had a continuous and well-documented tradition of music teaching and singing for more than eight hundred years - one of the most famous is Gaetano Donizetti.

  • Cittadella (Citadel) was built by the Visconti in the mid 14th century.
  • Piazza Vecchia (old square)
  • Palazzo della Ragione. This was the seat of the administration of the city in the age of the communes. Currently it houses a selection of paintings from the Accademia Carrara. The fašade has the lion of St. Mark over a mullioned window, testifying to the long period of Venetian dominance.
  • Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore It was built from. The dome has frescoes by Giovanbattista Tiepolo. Noteworthy are the great Crucifix and the tomb of Gaetano Donizetti.
  • Battistero (Baptistry) This an elegant octagonal building dating from 1340.
  • Duomo or Cathedral of Bergamo This was built in the late XVII century with later modifications.
  • Rocca (Castle). This was begun in 1331 on the hill of Sant'Eufemia
  • Line of walls (Mura Veneziane) 6,200 metres long.
  • Orto Botanico di Bergamo "Lorenzo Rota" (botanical garden).

LAKE AREAS:
Lake Como:
Bellagio, Como, Ceenobbio

Lake Garda:
Sirmione, Desenzano del Garda

Golf:
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