The city\'s origins date back to the epoch of prehistory, when man lived in pile dwellings, while, during the Roman period, a people from ancient Gaul settled around Milan, splitting up into numerous villages. The domination of the Lombards or Longobards led to Monza\'s historic importance: in addition to creating the city, these barbaric people led it to a unique splendour, never previously achieved. In the XI century, Monza lost is independence and came under the domination of Milan, where it remained until 1163. After a brief period of independence, in 1185 Federico Federico Barbarossa (red beard) once again submitted the city under Milan. In this period, the Monza municipality was established and found its distinctive symbol in the Arengario, the civic palazzo destined to ideally oppose the Duomo (cathedral), the centre of religious power. The subsequent centuries were characterised by French, Spanish and Austrian dominions, which brought in development and riches, but also wars and plundering. At the end of the XIX century, Monza increasingly took on the appearance of an industrial city, in part due to its closeness to Milan. In the period of the First World War, its history was similar to that of many other Italian cities: the fallen amounted to 600 and were remembered by citizens by means of a grand monument. During the Second World War, some significant events, linked to the Partisan Resistance, took place in Monza and it is province.
The city and its monuments
There are many historic monuments in the city, all testifying the great importance of Monza during the centuries. The city\'s main streets depart from the Arengario in via Roma, the old Town-Hall dating from about the XIII century. It had no towers in the beginning, and was limited to the portico and main floor, where the meeting hall used to be. Via Lambro is considered Monza\'s oldest street, situated in the primitive centre of the medieval city. San Gerardino is a characteristic quarter of the old town and provides an attractive view of the houses which stand along the river. Villa Reale is one of Monza\'s most important monuments, and began as a symbol of the prestige and magnificence of the Hapsburg court. Work began in 1777, under the guidance of Giuseppe Piermarini and finished in 1870. The form and style recall those of the ancient Roman villas: a central body and two wings that depart at a right angle. The villa has many rooms, well lighted corridors, and living rooms decorated with stuccowork and frescos. In 1996, the Villa and the gardens were transferred cost-free to the Municipalities of Monza and Milan, and in early 2000, it rightfully took its place among Lombardy\'s main monuments. The Cathedral has been in the piazza of the same name since the XIV century, erected on the ruins of the Longobard church, and , with its marble façade, it is today an imposing, solemn building.
The geographical area
Brianza is a zone of Lombardy, situated between the Seveso and Adda valleys. The zone rises from the valley to the hills of the morainic amphitheatre, delimited by the two branches of Lake Como. It extends over parts of the provinces of Milan, Monza, Lecco and Como.
There are many large and small towns worthy of a visit. For many years Muggiò remained a simple village surrounded by agricultural fields and farmhouses and grew after the Second World War. In common with many other towns of Brianza, from the XVIII century it became a privileged holiday place for the upper classes of Milan. Villa Casati Stampa of Soncino, situated in the old town, and
Palazzo Isimbardi are typical examples of the noble palazzos. Conversely, Lissone is a valley municipality, and has a built-up area which has grown considerably in the last fifty years, thanks to the presence of many industrial activities. Finally, Seregno has by now become a residential quarter of Milan, in view of the urban strip joining the two cities.