Lombardia - or Lombardy - was named for the Longobard tribes that swept down from the North during the declining days of the Roman Empire.
Lombardia is the northern most region of central Italy, lying between the Swiss Alps and the River Po. It is flanked on its east side by the Regions of Trentino and Veneto, and on its west by Piemonte. To its south is the Region of Emilia Romagno.
The region, a rich prize in its own right, but also on the route to Tuscany, Umbria and other territories which were the subject of imperial ambitions, has been invaded and fought over from every direction from time immemorial, and it is not surprising therefore that it is a Region, that boasts one of the most complicated histories and cultural backgrounds in all of Italy, indeed in the whole of Europe.
The landscape of Lombardia, which the traveler will delight in, and sometimes marvel at, varies from the mountainous alpine regions on its northern frontier, to the exceptionally fertile plain in its central area.
There are numerous lakes and rivers, marshes, swamps, forests, rolling hills, and a plenitude of inhabited places, from the smallest villages, to Italy's largest city, Milano, or Milan as it is known to English speakers.
With over 9 million people (6.5 million of whom live in metropolitan Milano), Lombardia has the largest population of all Italy's regions, and the greatest population density.
The traveler should not make the mistake of thinking that a visit to Milano is a visit to Lombardia. There is much - much - to see and do outside the metropolis, particularly for those who are weary of city noises and city air.
Lombardia, taken as a whole, is exceptionally rich pickings in every way: historically, culturally, socially, spiritually, artistically, politically educationally, architecturally, anthropologically, recreationally, and gastronomically. It is a feast to the mind and senses.
Come with mind open, and a readiness to absorb.