Lombardy


Lombardy

Infobox Region of Italy
language = Italian, Lombard language
name = Lombardy
fullname = Regione Lombardia
isocode =
capital = Milan
status = Region
governor = Roberto Formigoni
("Forza Italia"-"House of Freedoms") | zone = CNorthern Italy
province = 12
municipality = 1546
arearank = 4th
area = 23,861
areapercent = 7.9
population_as_of = 2007 est.
populationrank = 1st
population = 9,642,406
populationpercent = 16.2
populationdensity = 404.1




Lombardy ( _it. Lombardia, Latin: "Langobardia", Western Lombard: "Lumbardìa", Eastern Lombard: "Lombardia") is one of the 20 regions of Italy. The capital is Milan. One-sixth of Italy's population lives in Lombardy and about one fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in this region. The languages are Italian, Western Lombard and Eastern Lombard. The primary religion is Catholic, of Ambrosian rite or Roman rite.

Geography

The region is divided into 12 provinces:

*Bergamo
*Brescia
*Como
*Cremona
*Lecco
*Lodi
*Mantua
*Milan
*Monza and Brianza
*Pavia
*Sondrio
*Varese

History

The area of current Lombardy was settled at least since the 2nd millennium BC, as shown by the archaeological findings of ceramics, arrows, axes and carved stones. In the following centuries it was inhabited first by some Etruscan tribes, who founded the city of Mantua and spread the use of writing; later, starting from the 5th century BC, the area was invaded by the Celt (Gaul) tribes. This people founded several cities (including Milan) and extended their rule to the Adriatic Sea. Their development was halted by the Roman expansion in the Padan Plain from the 3rd century BC onwards: after centuries of struggle, in 194 BC the entire area of what is now Lombardy became a Roman province with the name of Gallia Cisalpina ("Gaul on the nearer side of the Alps"). The Roman culture and language overwhelmed the former civilization in the following years, and Lombardy became one of the most developed and rich areas of Italy with the construction of a wide array of roads and the development of agriculture and trade. Important figures like Pliny the Elder (in Como) and Virgil (in Mantua) were born here. In late antiquity the strategic role of Lombardy was emphasized by the temporary moving of the capital of the Western Empire to Milan. Here, in 313 AD, emperor Constantine issued the famous edict that gave freedom of confession to all religions within the Empire.

During and after the fall of the Western Empire, Lombardy suffered heavily from destruction brought about by a series of barbaric invasions. The last and most effective was that of the Lombards, or Longobardi, who came around 570s.cite web | title=Iron Age Braumeisters of the Teutonic Forests | work=BeerAdvocate | url=http://beeradvocate.com/news/stories_read/668 | accessdate=2006-06-02] and whose long-lasting reign (whose capital was set in Pavia) gave the current name to the region. There was a close relationship between the Frankish, Bavarian and Lombard nobility for many centuries.

After the initial struggles, relationships between the Lombard people and the Latin-speaking people improved. In the end, the Lombard language and culture assimilated with the Latin culture, leaving evidence in many names, the legal code and laws among other things. The end of Lombard rule came in 774, when the Frankish king Charlemagne conquered Pavia and annexed the Kingdom of Italy (mostly northern and central Italy) to his empire. The former Lombard dukes and nobles were replaced by other German vassals, prince-bishops or marquises. However, to this day the population is still largely descending from the Lombards{fact}.

The 11th century marked a significant boom in the region's economy, due to improved trading and, mostly, agricultural conditions. In a similar way to other areas of Italy, this led to a growing self-acknowledgement of the cities, whose increasing richness made them able to defy the traditional feudal supreme power, represented by the German emperors and their local legates. This process reached its apex in the 12th and 13th century, when different Lombard Leagues formed by allied cities of Lombardy, usually led by Milan, managed to defeat the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick I, at Legnano, and his grandson Frederick II, at Parma. This did not prevent other important Lombard centres, like Cremona (then rivalling Milan for size and wealth) and others, from supporting the imperial power if this could grant them an immediate advantage. Taking advantage of the flourishing agriculture, the area around the Po River, together with Venice and Tuscany, continued to expand its industry and commerce until it became the economic centre of the whole of Europe. The enterprising class of the communes extended its trade and banking activities well into northern Europe: "Lombard" designated the merchant or banker coming from northern Italy (see, for instance, Lombard Street in London). The name "Lombardy" came to designate the whole of Northern Italy until the 15th century and sometimes later.

From the 14th century onwards, the instability created by the unceasing internal and external struggles ended in the creation of noble seignories, the most significant of which were those of the Viscontis (later Sforzas) in Milan and of the Gonzagas in Mantua. In the 15th century the Duchy of Milan was a major political, economical and military force at the European level. Milan and Mantua became two centres of the Renaissance whose culture, with men like Leonardo da Vinci and Mantegna, and pieces of art were highly regarded (for example, da Vinci's "Last Supper"). This richness, however, attracted the now more organized armies of national powers like France and Austria, which waged a lengthy battle for Lombardy in the late 15th-early 16th century. After the decisive Battle of Pavia, the Duchy of Milan became an Austrian possession, which was passed on to the royal Austrian Habsbourgs of Spain: the new rulers did little to improve the economy of Lombardy, instead imposing a growing series of taxes needed to support their unending series of European wars. The eastern part of modern Lombardy, with cities like Bergamo and Brescia, was under the Republic of Venice, which had begun to extend its influence in the area from the 14th century onwards ("see also Italian Wars").

Pestilences (like that of 1648, described by Alessandro Manzoni in his "I Promessi Sposi") and the generally declining conditions of Italy's economy in the 17th and 18th centuries halted the further development of Lombardy. In 1706 the Austrians came to power and introduced some economical and social measures which granted a certain recovery. Their rule was smashed in the late 18th century by the French armies, however, and with the formation of the Napoleonic Empire, Lombardy became one of the semi-independent province of Napoleonic France.

The restoration of Austrian rule in 1815, in the form of the puppet state called Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, had however to contend with new social ideals introduced by the Napoleonic era. Lombardy became one of the intellectual centres leading to Italian unification. The popular republic of 1848 was short-lived, and Lombardy was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy 1859 as a result of the Second Italian Independence War. Starting from the late 19th century, and with a boom after World War II, Lombardy confirmed its status as the most economically developed area of Italy.

When annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1859 Lombardy achieved his actual territorial shape by adding the Oltrepo pavese (formerly southern part of Novara's Province) to the province of Pavia. In January 1 1927 due to a general setup ordered by the Mussolinian Government, Varese became independent by subtracting to Como some 40 towns up to the Lake Maggiore and to Milan the Busto Arsizio's and Gallarate's cities. Two other provinces had been constituted in March 6 1992. Lodi's province was formed cutting out of Milan's southern territories up to Po river. Just one town (San Colombano al Lambro) didn't agree to the new settlement and, even if 40 km far away from the Provincial capital, is still depending from Milan. Lecco split away from of Como's Province by cutting out Lake of Como's eastern territories. A new province constitution had been programmed since June 11 2004, the Brianza's, having Monza as administrative center, but actuation has still to come.

Economy

Lombardy is one of the engines of the global economy, with a GDP of € 245 Billion and a Per capita GDP of € 35.500. [ [http://www.regins.org/en/content/lombardy_region.pdf L'IDROGENO - RISORSA DEL 21. SECOLO ] ] The Lombardy economy contributes 20% to the total Italian GDP [http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/conferences/od2006/doc/presentations/a/standecker_10a04.pdf] and 3.2% to the total EU GDP. [ [http://www.s3-interreg.net/allegati/regions/Finlombarda.pdf Basic regional socio economic data (MAX 1 PAGE): ] ] Many foreign and national companies have their headquarters and factories in Milan and its province. Manufactures include Machinery, Metallurgy, Textiles, Wood, Rubber, Plastics & other Products, Coke & Petrochemical Production. [ [http://lsa-st52.sachsen-anhalt.de/regions/lom.php European Chemical Regions Network ] ] The province of Brescia is well-known for the production of weapons, and the province of Como for silk and lace. The productivity of agriculture is enhanced by a well-developed use of fertilizers and the traditional abundance of water, boosted since the Middle Ages by the construction (partly designed by Leonardo da Vinci) of a wide net of irrigation systems. Lower plains are characterized by fodder crops, which are mowed up to eight times a years, cereals (rice, wheat and maize) and sugarbeet. Productions of the higher plains include cereals, vegetables, fruit trees and mulberries. The higher areas, up to the Prealps and Alps sectors of the north, produce fruit and vines. Cattle (with the highest density in Italy), pigs and sheep are raised.

Politics

The Christian-centre party of Democrazia Cristiana (DC) maintained a majority of the votes and rule of the most important cities and provinces until the late 1980s; support for the other traditional major force of Italian politics, the Italian Communist Party (PCI), was increasingly eroded by the Partito Socialista Italiano (PSI) until, in the early 1990s, the "Mani Pulite" corruption scandal which spread from Milan to the whole of Italy wiped away the old political class almost entirely. This, together with problems caused by immigration and the general disaffection towards Rome's government (considered too oriented to the less developed regions of southern Italy in economical matters), led to the sudden growth of the separatist party of Lega Lombarda (later Lega Nord), with somewhat plebiscitary consensus especially in agricultural areas and minor cities of the region. Today Lombardy is a stronghold of the House of Freedoms coalition, and gave about 57% of its votes to Silvio Berlusconi at the April 2006 elections.

Demographics

One sixth of the Italian population or about 10 million people live in Lombardy. The regional population Increased in the '50s and '60s because of the immigration from Southern and North-East Italy. In '80s and '90s the population growth was guaranteed by foreign immigrants, so today more than a quarter of all foreign immigrants in Italy lives in Lombardy. As of 2006, the Italian national institute of statistics ISTAT estimated that 665,884 foreign-born immigrants live in Lombardy, equal to 7.0% of the total regional population.

Towns of Lombardy with a population of 50,000 or more:

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

*Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci
*Crespi d'Adda
*Rock Drawings in Valcamonica
*Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy
*Mantua and Sabbioneta

National monuments

Province of Bergamo
*Bergamo
**Casa natale di Gaetano Donizetti (r.d. n. 338 del 28/01/1926)
*Capriate San Gervasio
**Cimitero di Crespi d'Adda
*Credaro
**Chiesetta di San Fermo di Valcalepio
*Pontida
**Abbazia di Pontida (d.p.r. n. 1488 del 24/12/1954)
*Tavernola Bergamasca
**Chiesetta di San Michele a Cambianica
*Trescore Balneario
**Torre del castello Suardi al Niardo
*Viadanica
**Chiesetta, canonica e cimitero di Sant'Alessandro in Canzanica

Province of Brescia
*Breno
**chiesa di Sant'Antonio
*Carpenedolo
**Torre Vecchia (1917)
*Darfo Boario Terme
**Ponte di Montecchio,
**Chiesa dell'Oratorio di Montecchio
*Gardone Riviera
**Vittoriale degli Italiani (r.d. n. 1050 del 28/05/1925

Province of Como
*Cantù
**Basilica di San Vincenzo di Galliano e battistero di San Giovanni
*Como
**Camnago Volta, Casa natale di Alessandro Volta (r.d. n. 1089 del 17/08/1942)
**Camnago Volta, Tomba di Alessandro Volta (r.d. n. 262 del 22/02/1925)
**Collegio Gallio
*Gravedona
**Palazzo Gallio, chiesa di Santa Maria del Tiglio , chiesa dei Santi Gusmeo e Matteo
*Meride
**Chiesa di San Silvestro

Province of Lecco
*Barzio
**Villa del Caleotto (r.d. n. 1354 del 29/02/1940)
*Lecco
**Pescarenico, Convento dei Cappuccini (r.d. n. 1354 del 29/02/1940)

Province of Milan
*Castellazzo di Bollate
**Villa Arconati
*Cormano, fraz. Brusuglio
**Casa di Alessandro Manzoni (r.d. n. 909 del 24/04/1921)
*Lentate sul Seveso
**Oratorio di Santo Stefano
*Milano
**Casa natale di Alessandro Manzoni (r.d. n. 909 del 24/04/1921, r.d. n. 1354 del 29/02/1940)
**Scuderia De Montel a San Siro
**Cascina Linterno a Quarto Cagnino
**Teatro Gerolamo
*Senago
**Villa Borromeo

Province of Monza and Brianza
*Monza
**Duomo di Monza (r.d. n. 6675 del 27/02/1890)

Province of Pavia
*Certosa di Pavia
**Certosa di Pavia (legge n. 3096 del 07/07/1866)
*Gropello Cairoli
**Sepolcreto dei fratelli Cairoli (legge n. 6696 del 20/03/1890)
*Voghera: Castello

Province of Sondrio
*Teglio, palazzo Besta

Province of Varese
*Comerio: chiesa di San Celso
*Gavirate: convento benedettino a Voltorre
*Gemonio chiesa di San Pietro
*Samarate: villa Montecchio
*Varese: palazzo Estense, battistero di San Giovanni

Image gallery

References

ee also

*Lombardia (wine)

External links

General information

* [http://www.regione.lombardia.it Regione Lombardia] – Official website
* [http://www.italy-weather-and-maps.com/maps/italy/lombardy.gifMap of Lombardy]

Provinces

* [http://www.provincia.bergamo.it/ Provincia di Bergamo]
* [http://www.provincia.brescia.it/ Provincia di Brescia]
* [http://www.provincia.como.it/ Provincia di Como]
* [http://www.provincia.cremona.it// Provincia di Cremona]
* [http://www.provincia.lecco.it/ Provincia di Lecco]
* [http://www.provincia.lodi.it/ Provincia di Lodi]
* [http://www.provincia.mantova.it/ Provincia di Mantova]
* [http://www.provincia.milano.it/ Provincia di Milano]
* [http://www.provincia.pv.it// Provincia di Pavia]
* [http://www.provincia.varese.it/ Provincia di Varese]
* [http://www.provincia.sondrio.it// Provincia di Sondrio]

Universities

* [http://www.unimi.it/ Università degli Studi di Milano]
* [http://www.unimib.it/ Università degli Studi Milano Bicocca] (Milan-Monza)
* [http://www.polimi.it/ Milan's Politecnic]
* [http://www.unibocconi.it/ Università Bocconi] (Milan)
* [http://www.unicatt.it/ Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore] (Milan)
* [http://www.unibg.it/ Università degli Studi di Bergamo]
* [http://www.unibs.it/ Università degli Studi di Brescia]
* [http://www.unimn.it/ Università degli Studi di Mantova]
* [http://www.unipv.it/ Università degli Studi di Pavia]
* [http://www.liuc.it/ Università Carlo Cattaneo LIUC] (Castellanza)
* [http://www.uninsubria.it/ Università degli Studi dell'Insubria] (Varese-Como)


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