This region has rich and varied lands, also in terms of its geography, with large lakes, extensive fertile valleys, gentle hills and rugged mountains. Only the sea is missing to complete the range of one of Italy's largest regions.
The great variety of geographic elements explains why it is not easy to say that one knows Lombardy to the full. A lot of time is required to explore it, and, above all, the effort to escape from the banal viewpoint that sees Lombardy as an area suffocated by cement and industries. Many places have remained intact, only partially compromised by industrialisation, such as the numerous artistic towns and cities and the immense heritage of greenery, with its landscapes of lakes, rivers, canals, immense valleys, and high peaks that mark the border with Switzerland. It is the very water that makes this region one of the most fertile of the whole of Italy, giving agriculture too the possibility to develop and be among the most competitive on the national market. The river Po crosses the entire region from west to east, with its numerous affluents - Ticino, Oglio and the Navigli, true artificial water courses in the middle of towns and cities.
Lombardy is also the region with most lakes, which make it one of the most sought after destinations in the summer season. In fact, Lake Garda on its own, every year records the arrival of several million visitors, who swarm on the beautiful beaches of places like Sirmione or Desenzano, creating stiff competition for the 'historic' holiday and pleasure destinations such as those on the Romagna Riviera.
The mountain chains are numerous and important, enabling the development also of first class winter tourism: the Retiche and Lepontin Alps exhibit a very wide variety of landscapes closely linked to their origin and to the structure of the rocks they consist of.
The region is also characterised by it important role in the past. The Peninsula's most important communication roads met here, creating the ideal conditions for the creation and development of a trading society. The annals and economic power of the leading artistic cities such as Monza, Pavia and Milan itself, lead back to here.
Lombardy, therefore, does not just mean large industrialised cities at the top of the international panorama, but also a land rich in history and a range of elements that are able to satisfy the desires and expectations the most demanding tourist.