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Designer boutiques, Gothic cathedrals and mediaeval fortresses: Milan has culture and tissue-paper-lined carrier bags in abundance. By night, performers in the Teatro alla Scala belt out arias and pirouette past lavish sets; by day, take a scented stroll through the bloom-packed botanical gardens, and window-gaze at the well-heeled shops of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. Lake Como lies just outside the city; have lunch at a waterside café and try to (slyly) spot celebs roaming their villas on the banks. Swish down the slopes in charming Livigno, or visit the region’s charming, lesser-known towns dotted with honey-hued basilicas and cobbled squares. The region has a romantic literary legacy too – Shakespeare put the ‘bard’ in Lombardy (well, sort of) when he set scenes from Romeo and Juliet in Mantua’s Unesco-recognised old town.
And, if it's in-depth exploring you're after: See our Italian itineraries
Destinations in Lombardy
From the shores of Lake Garda to the foot of the Alps, the province of Brescia’s packed with world-renowned wineries, mediaeval castles, Roman archaeological digs and luxury lake-shore leisure.
Winding between snow-kissed mountains, flourishing forests and hill-perched villages, the deep-blue waters of Lake Como attract nature-lovers, history-buffs and glamour-pusses alike.