Italy
Lombardy

Here you’ll find travel reports about Lombardy. Discover travel destinations in Italy of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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  • Day79

    Lemoncello delight

    September 4, 2017 in Italy

    Lemone Sul Gard. Headed for the top of Lake Garda and around the bend to the other side to the village where they grow lemons and make Lemoncello ( may have sampled a couple of glasses tonight after dinner!). In the afternoon we (as in Al driving, Betty & I navigating with the GPS & and the difficult task of taking all the photos) part way down the far side of the lake- some very windy steep mountain roads & tunnels but quite amazing.Read more

  • Day10

    Lezzeno - Lake Como

    September 8 in Italy

    Our home for the next three nights is a traditional Italian holiday home on the shores of Lake Como, in a small town called Lezzeno, 2km from the well known Bellagio. Far enough away to not be too touristy but close enough to visit for the day.
    The bus ride here was quite perilous but the views and atmosphere are worth the scary ride.
    A beautiful place to unwind and relax for a few days.

  • Day7

    Hotel Da Vinci - Milan

    September 5 in Italy

    We have arrived in Milan after almost missing our flight. Thanks to the fabulous Alitalia staff member who checked us in and remembered who we were and came to find us and get us on the flight. Oops we were last on board.
    I must say the Hotel Da Vinci is very different to the Villa Pantheon in Paris. Huge room and very modern, with a touch of quirky, compared to the very traditional hotel we just came from.
    Both have their charms.
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  • Day8

    Castello Sforzesco

    September 6 in Italy

    After getting lost on the way to the Metro we finally made our way into Milan central and the view of the Duomo as we climbed the steps of the Metro was breathtaking.
    Seeing it in photos does not fully display the sheer size of the Cathedral. However this was not our first stop for the day.
    We made our way to Castello Sforzesco, the core of which was built between 1358 and 1368. Originally built as a fortress, it was enlarged in the 14th and 15th centuries and was rebuilt after it was destroyed in 1447. It was rebuilt as a castle by Francesco Sforza who made himself Duke of Milan in 1450.
    While not as elaborate as some of the other sites we have visited it certainly made up for that in the size of the site. It was a pleasant start to our day.
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  • Day8

    L.O.V.E.

    September 6 in Italy

    We joined a Walking Art Tour through the streets of Milan and first stop was Piazza Affari. Here stands a very unexpected statue in this cultured city, a marble statue of a hand with the middle finger extended. The statue has the title of L.O.V.E. which stands for Liberta, Odin, Vendetta, Eternita - Freedom, Hate, Vengeance, Eternity. It was created in 2010 by Maurizio Cattelan as a temporary work of art but the city government decided to keep it there indefinitely due to the fact it draws people to the area.
    The fact that it stands in front of the Italian Stock Exchange it is often taken as a F#*$ You to the world of bankers and CEOS.
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  • Day8

    Next stop on our Art Tour was the beautiful San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore and it was simply amazing. Very plain on the outside, the inside was a sight to behold. Every surface is covered with beautiful and interesting frescoes.
    Originally attached to the most important female convent of the Benedictines in the city, it is now a museum and sometimes used as a concert hall.
    Construction commenced in 1503 and it took 15 years to complete. It was originally divided into two parts, one for the faithful and one for the nuns. Up until 1794 it was completely forbidden for the nuns to cross the dividing wall.
    Today we got to enter the nuns’ section and it was just as stunning as the outer area, if not more so. Sitting in the seats the nuns once sat was pretty surreal. The organ was amazing and is still used to this day, and the frescoes depict so many well known religious stories. I could have spent hours here admiring the artwork. Although I must admit there were a couple of strange images in amongst the beautiful frescoes.
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  • Day8

    The last stop on our tour was the famous Last Supper painted by Leonardo da Vinci from 1495 to 1497.
    The painting is in the former Dominican convent’s refectory and over time has suffered various degrees of damage. Even though the painting is now not in the greatest condition it is still one of the most iconic images in art and all steps are being taken to preserve the image.
    It was very interesting learning about the history of the painting and the restoration processes that have taken place over the years.
    It was also interesting seeing the fresco, The Crucifixion, painted on the opposite wall to the Last Supper. Due to the different painting methods this 1495 fresco has not deteriorated over time and the colours are still vivid today.
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  • Day10

    Como - Lake Como

    September 8 in Italy

    Well we mastered two trains to make it to Como. I think we are starting to get a hang of the transport system here.
    From here we are catching a bus to Lezzeno, our location for the next three nights, but thought we would store our luggage and check out Como on our way.
    It is nice location on the end of Lake Como with a relaxing atmosphere and huge cathedral. I loved the colours of the Como Cathedral with the use of orange and black stone it was different to the other churches we had seen along the way. It was an impressive structure against the vivid blue sky.
    There was a service going on so we decided to enjoy a light and very delicious lunch under the shadow of the cathedral itself. While having lunch the service ended and we watched a procession of clergymen as they left the church. Not sure if they were from the local monastery but it was impressive to see.
    Como was a pleasant place to visit and one we could have spent more time in. Maybe next time.
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  • Day9

    Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

    September 7 in Italy

    Just to the left of the Milan Cathedral is the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It is Italy's oldest active shopping mall and a major landmark of Milan. Housed within a four-story double arcade in the center of town, the Galleria is named after Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. It was designed in 1861 and built by architect Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1867.
    While there is no chance I could afford to shop in the many exclusive shops there, I loved the structure of the roof and the geometric patterns of it against the elegance of the old buildings. So many interesting angles from which to photograph it.
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  • Day9

    Basilica di Sant’Eustorgio

    September 7 in Italy

    Today was a bit of a church going day. I didn’t think I was into churches as such, but have discovered they hold so many great works of art, so much history and so many stories. And the Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio has many stories.
    The Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio is one of the oldest churches in Milan and it is believed it was founded in the 4th century. In 1764, when an ancient pillar was removed, a Christian burial was discovered, housing coins of emperor Constans, the son of Constantine the Great who ruled from 306 to 337 AD.
    It was for many years an important stop for pilgrims on their journey to Rome or to the Holy Land, because it was said to contain the tomb of the Three Magi or Three Kings. In the 12th century, when Milan was sacked by Frederick Barbarossa, the relics of the Magi were appropriated and subsequently taken to Cologne. It was only in 1903/4 that fragments of the bones and garments were sent back to Sant'Eustorgio's. Nowadays they are in the Three Kings altar nearby the empty Three Kings sarcophagus.
    Also located inside the Basilica is the Portinari Chapel replete with a handsome dome, an ornate marble sepulcher adorned in bas-relief, and rich frescoes that include… a depiction of Mary and Jesus with devil horns! But just like the story that inspired the fresco, this image is not quite what it seems.
    Portinari Chapel was built from 1462 to 1468 and was consecrated to St. Peter of Verona, whose head rests in the elaborate marble shrine that serves as the chapel’s focal point. Also known as St. Peter Martyr, Peter of Verona was a Dominican friar who spearheaded the Inquisition in northern Italy in the early 13th century, at the height of the Catholic Church’s persecution of Cathars. He was famous for his persuasive sermons.
    One such story involved St. Peter of Verona seeking to “win back” an eminent man who had converted to Catharism after seeing the Madonna at a Cathar meeting. Determined to get to the bottom of this, St. Peter attended a meeting of the same group and saw the holy mother and child but—thanks to his unerring faith—saw also that they bore horns, revealing that this was actually the devil in disguise. Thus, he offered the false apparition a piece of sacramental bread, saying, “If you are the Mother of God, adore your Son!” The devil fled and as a result, all the Cathars present returned to Catholicism.
    The frescoes of this and the other events of the life of St. Peter of Verona were painted by Vincenzo Foppa. After years of neglect, they were rediscovered in the late 19th century, and restored in the early 20th century.
    While this isn’t one of the biggest, brightest or “best” basilicas we have visited so far, it has amazing stories. I loved seeing the horned Madonna and child painting and the crypt beneath the church, but the most eye-catching was the multicoloured scalloped dome in the chapel. Brad even lay on the floor to try and get the best photo.
    This was definitely worth the visit.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Lombardia, Lombardei, Lombardy, Llombardia, Lombardía, Lombardie, 롬바르디아 주, Lombardije, Lombardiet

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