Image via WikipediaA country of pasta and wine, sunshine and snow, renaissance palaces and roman ruins, Italy is as beautiful as it is complex, making this region of Italy so popular for people to come and have a self catering holiday here in a rental villa or a rustic rural house. Lombardy is an Italian region which occupies a major part of Po Valley.
Orobic Alps, Rhaetian and Lepontine form its northern borders and it has a hilly district having major Italian lakes from lakes of Iseo, Como and Varese to Easter slopes of the Lago Maggiore. This area is rich in water mainly because of Po and the affluents. The capital of the region is Milan and the major cities are Brescia, Bergamo, Varese, Mantua, Pavia, Cremona, Sondrio and Como.
The first thing you can do in Lombardy is to view its Romanesque architecture. Each major city of Lombardy has beautiful examples of this type of architecture and the most stunning monument from the Gothic period remains the Cathedral of Milan.
The period of Renaissance has left some sumptuous churches and splendid palaces in Lombardy that are worth seeing if you have visited the place. The Lombard paintings received their greatest splendor in the 15th century.
There are several art museums in Lombardy which include several sections dedicated to applied arts, sculpture and painting. The Brera Gallery exhibits some of the all-time painting masterpieces and the Poldi Pezzoli museum has a rich collection of paintings from great masters, art objects, fittings and jewelry. Painting masterpieces can also be seen in the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana.
The second thing that you will not resist from doing in Lombardy is participating in activities such as skiing and snowboarding. Being a region of snow, these activities are an all time favorites for the visitors of Lombardy.
There are even institutes that provide instant training to people who do not know how to ski or snowboard. Other activities that you will love to do include cycling, hiking, trekking, camping and wildlife viewing.Rental accommodation can be found in the towns or a chalet in one of the sky resorts.
Shopping is the third thing you will love to do in Lombardy as a visitor. Apart from Milan, there are other places also that provide great shopping facilities for the shopper's minds. Bergamo has the biggest shopping center of Italy named as Oriocenter and it offers everything that you can shop for including foot stuff, jewelry, clothes and Italian leather goods.
Bellagio also has several stores in its central district where you can buy some expensive leather and fashion goods. Visit the Strada Nuova area of Pavia which is a major pedestrian and shopping area of the town.
Some of the major Italian lakes include Lake Garda, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore. The fourth thing you can do here is to be on a steamer that cruises between stately gardens and resort towns. Also visiting the famous gardens of Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Borromean Islands is worth it.
The fifth thing you must do in Italian Lakes is to become a part of the film and music festivals, sporting competitions and local events that are held in the area all year through.
There are also several villas, villages and historic towns that are able to satisfy you if you are interested in exploring the culture of the area. The diversity of this region make it so accessible and easy for families to have a self catering holiday here.