Land of mountains, lakes and fine gastronomy, Lombardy (Lombardia in Italian) was named after the Lombards, a Germanic tribe that settled in North Italy in the 6th century and rule Italy for the next 200 years.
Lombardy is the most populous of the 20 Italian regions, with nearly 10 million inhabitants, a sixth of the Italian population (approximately as much as Sweden, Portugal or the Czech Republic). If it was an independent country, Lombardy would be the most densely populated in Europe (420 inhabitants per km², slightly more than the Netherlands).
Lombardy's largest city, Milano is the country's financial and fashion capital, two sectors that have contributed in making it the wealthiest Italian region in terms of GDP per capita, and one of the richest in Europe.
Approximately 36% of the population speaks the local Lombard language (a Romance language unrelated to the ancient Germanic tribe of the same name), including 9% who do not speak any other language.
Famous people from Lombardy include (chronologically): the Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder, the painter Caravaggio, the luthier Antonio Stradivari, the physicist Alessandro Volta (inventor of the battery), the novelist Alessandro Manzoni, the playwright Dario Fo (Nobel Prize), the conductor Claudio Abbado, the media tycoon and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the fashion designer Gianfranco Ferré, the fashion designer Mario Prada, and the Prime Minister Mario Monti.
Lombardy is one of Italy's culinary hub, famous for its risotto, osso bucco, polenta, scaloppina milanese and minestrone. The Gorgonzola cheese also comes from the region, as does the panettone, a sweet bread loaf eaten around Christmas and New Year.
Milan is the city that boasts the highest number of Michelin stars in Italy (along with Rome) and the 9th highest of any European city. Bergamo and the Lago di Garda area also rank among the best places to wine and dine in Italy.
San Pellegrino, Italy's most famous brand of sparkling water, is bottled in the Alps of Lombardy.
Attractions are listed geographically, from west to east (left to right) and north to south (top to bottom).