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Flag of the Lombardy Region

Coat of arms of the Lombardy region
Sardinien Autonome Region Sizilien Kalabrien Kampanien Basilikata Molise Apulien Abruzzen Latium Marken Umbrien Toskana Ligurien Aostatal Piemont Lombardei Venetien Emilia-Romagna Trentino-Südtirol Friaul-Julisch Venetien San Marino Vatikanstadt Algerien Tunesien Malta Montenegro Bosnien und Herzegowina Kroatien Slowenien Ungarn Schweiz Österreich Schweiz Monaco Frankreich Frankreich FrankreichMap of Italy, Lombardy highlighted
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Basic data
Capital Milan
Provinces 12 including metropolitan city of Milan
surface 23,862.85 km² ( 4. )
Residents 10,103,969 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density 423 inhabitants / km²
Website www.regione.lombardia.it
ISO 3166-2 IT-25
president Attilio Fontana ( LN )

Relief map of the Lombardy region

The Lombardy ( Italian Regione Lombardia , Lombard Regiun Lumbardia ) is a North Italian region km² with an area of 23,863 and 10,103,969 inhabitants (December 31, 2019). It is divided into the eleven provinces of Bergamo , Brescia , Como , Cremona , Lecco , Lodi , Mantua , Monza and Brianza , Pavia , Sondrio , Varese and the metropolitan city of Milan . It is located between Lake Maggiore , the Po and Lake Garda . The capital and largest city of the region is Milan (Italian: Milano ). The second largest city is Brescia .

The Lombard language is a group of related language varieties spoken in Lombardy, the Piedmontese provinces of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and Novara , Trentino , Ticino and the southern valleys of Graubünden . It is one of the Romance languages .

In the Middle Ages , “Lombardy” was understood to mean not only the current region of Lombardia, but also the entire north-west of Italy, especially including Piedmont and Genoa and what is now Switzerland's Ticino . In German sagas such as B. that of Wolfdietrich , the name Lampartenland is used for this area .

coat of arms

Description : A silver cloud cross in green, not completely laid as a St. Andrew's cross .


Lombardy borders in the north on the Swiss cantons of Ticino and Graubünden , in the east on the Italian regions of Trentino-South Tyrol and Veneto , in the south on Emilia-Romagna and in the west on Piedmont .

Lombardy is part of the great northern Italian lakes: Lake Maggiore (which forms the border with Piedmont and Ticino), Lake Lugano (border with Ticino), Lake Como and Lake Iseo (both completely Lombard) and Lake Garda (border with Trentino- South Tyrol and Veneto).

The shape of the landscape is very different: in the north the alpine regions such as the Valtellina , in the south the Po Valley . The entire territory drains over the Po, which flows on the southern border in a west-east direction, whose main tributaries in Lombardy are the Ticino , the Adda , the Oglio and the Mincio .

Monte San Giorgio (right) on Lake Lugano

The highest peak is the Piz Zupò (Italian: Pizzo Zupò ) at 3996  m above sea level. M. , the highest point, however, the Punta Perrucchetti with 4020  m slm , which is not considered an independent peak. Both points are in the Bernina range , and the border to Graubünden also runs over both peaks. The lowest point is the Po with approx. 13  m slm at Sermide when it leaves Lombardy.

Administrative division

The provinces and the metropolitan city of Lombardy

Lombardy consists of the following eleven provinces and one metropolitan city :

Province or metropolitan city Capital ISO Communities Population
(December 31, 2019)
Area (km²) Population
density (inh / km²)
Bergamo Bergamo IT-BG 244 1,116,384 2,722.86 410
Brescia Brescia IT-BS 206 1,268,455 4,784.36 265
Como Como IT-CO 148 603,828 1,288.07 469
Cremona Cremona IT-CR 113 358,347 1,770.57 202
Lecco Lecco IT-LC 89 337.087 816.17 413
Lodi Lodi IT-LO 61 230.607 782.25 295
Milan Milan IT-MI 134 3,279,944 1,575.65 2081
Mantua Mantua IT-MN 62 411,062 2,338.84 176
Monza and Brianza Monza IT-MB 55 878.267 405.49 2169
Pavia Pavia IT PV 186 546.515 2,968.64 184
Sondrio Sondrio IT-SO 78 180.941 3,195.76 57
Varese Varese IT-VA 141 892.532 1,198.71 744
Lombardy Milan IT-25 1,517 10,103,969 23,862.85 423


Milan , capital of the Lombardy region

Lombardy is Italy's leading economic region, with the agglomeration around the capital Milan playing the most important role. Milan's economic structure is predominantly shaped by trade, banks and Italy's most important stock exchange . But the greater Milan area is also dominant in the manufacturing sector ; The industrial metropolis of Brescia is also important.

Within the EU , the GDP per inhabitant of Lombardy, expressed in purchasing power standards, reached an index value of 127 (EU28: 100) (2015), the second highest value for an Italian region after Trentino-Alto Adige (or the second highest value for an Italian NUTS 2 region to South Tyrol ). The labor productivity of Lombardy was the highest among Italian regions. In 2006, the GDP in Lombardy was generated by 4,417,000 people in employment . In 2017, the unemployment rate was 6.4%, which is below the national average.

The fertile plains in the south play an important role in agriculture.

There are three commercial airports in Lombardy: the largest is the Aeroporto internazionale Milano-Malpensa (MXP) in the province of Varese, the next is the Aeroporto Enrico Forlanini , better known as Milano-Linate (LIN) near Milan and the Aeroporto internazionale Orio al Serio (BGY) near Bergamo , which is mainly used by cargo and low-cost airlines .



Valcamonica rock carvings

At the time of the Roman Empire , the area of ​​Lombardy was part of Gallia Transpadana and was originally not populated by Italian peoples , but by Celts from the 4th and 3rd centuries BC . Together with the other regions north of the Po (Veneto and Piedmont) it received 89 BC. BC only the Latin civil rights, not the full civil rights. It received full civil rights in 49 BC. Together with Piedmont it formed the 11th region in Augustus ' administrative structure.

Towards the end of the 4th century, the area belonged to the province of Liguria, the capital of which was Mediolanum (Milan). Bishop Ambrose of Milan worked here . During the Migration Period, the later Lombardy was first conquered by the Visigoths (401–412). In 452, the Huns passed through northern Italy. From 493 to 540 and 544 to 549, Northern Italy was Ostrogothic . By the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian it fell back to (Eastern) Rome.

middle Ages

The Iron Crown of the Longobard Kings

In 568 the Po Valley was conquered by the Longobards under King Alboin . They established a Lombard kingdom with the capital Pavia , which encompassed almost all of Italy around the year 670, and reached its greatest spatial extent under Grimoald (662-671) and Liutprand (712-744). The heartland of the Lombard Empire has been called Langobardia or Lombardia ever since .

In 754, the Franks under Pippin intervened in the war between Pope Stephen II and the Longobards. They defeated the Lombards, separated the land between the lower Po and the Apennines from Lombardy and gave it to the Pope ( donation from the Pippin ). The area around Bologna and Ravenna thus fell to the Papal States . From 773 to 774 the Franks conquered the Lombard kingdom under Charlemagne . In the course of the Carolingian divisions, Lombardy became the center of the Carolingian, later Ottonian, Kingdom of Italy . The German kings were at the same time bearers of the Lombard crown (Imperial Italy). In the east and south-east of the Imperial-Longobard Empire, two margraviates grew stronger, that of Verona and that of Tuscia . Against this, Emperor Heinrich III strengthened . the cities of Lombardy with privileges. Henry IV appeared in 1077 at the castle of Canossa , the ancestral seat of the Margravine of Tuscia, Mathilde , who had sided with the Pope against him.

The Lombard cities enjoyed a strong economic boom - also due to the Crusades - and were benefited by the otherwise interested emperors Lothar von Supplinburg and Konrad III. - politically independent. Often they made alliances with the Pope against the Emperor. With their independence, they also claimed the exercise of royal rights ( regalia ) in their area.

In 1158, during the Reichstag on the Ronkalische Fields (southeast of Milan), Emperor Friedrich I (Barbarossa) demanded the return of the regalia to the crown. The refusal of the Lombard cities led to war and the formation of the Lombard League of Cities against the Emperor (1167). In 1176 Frederick I was defeated by the Lombard cities in the Battle of Legnano (northwest of Milan). In the Peace of Constance in 1183 he recognized the Lombard League of Cities and left the regalia located within the city walls to the cities. Immediately thereafter, Milan allied itself with the emperor and allowed the coronation of Frederick's son, Henry VI, there. , to the King of Italy. Thereupon the Pope allied himself with the Guelphs , and two political parties arose everywhere in Lombardy, the Ghibellines ( Waiblinger , Staufer ) and the Guelphs (Welfen).

In 1232 Frederick II faced an opposition from his son Henry VII and the Lombard cities, which jointly opposed the Statutum in favorem principum confirmed by Frederick . After defeating Heinrich, five years later, in 1237, Frederick also defeated the Lombard cities in the battle of Cortenuova between Bergamo and Brescia.

Even after the end of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, parties loyal to the Pope and loyal to the emperor continued to face each other in the Lombard cities. In the larger cities, patrician dynasties emerged who divided power in the city-states among themselves. The Visconti, appointed by Henry VII , had ruled in Milan since 1311 . Under Gian Galeazzo Visconti (1385–1402) Milan conquered large parts of Lombardy, in particular the neighboring cities of Pavia, Piacenza , Parma and Cremona , as well as Bergamo, Brescia, Verona, Como and Valtellina. Genoa, Mantua and Modena remained independent. Turin and Piedmont remained with the Duchy of Savoy . In 1395 Milan became a duchy within the Holy Roman Empire . The Duchy of Milan became the forerunner of what is now Lombardia, and the history of Lombardy became increasingly the history of Milan .

In the subsequent conflict with the Republic of Venice , Milan lost the northeast of the Po Valley again. In 1406 Verona fell to Venice, in 1428 also Bergamo and Brescia.

Renaissance and modern times

In 1450 Francesco Sforza seized power in Milan. Towards the end of the 15th century, Lombardy came into the focus of the new great powers France , Habsburg Monarchy and Switzerland and became their theater of war for about half a century. First, Milan allied itself with France under Ludovico Sforza in order to conquer Naples . Then France fought alongside Switzerland against Milan and occupied it in 1500. Switzerland received Bellinzona in 1503 . Parma and Piacenza became papal . After Naples became Spanish in 1504 and Spain was bound to Habsburg by marriage, France and Habsburg fought together with the Pope against Venice, which Bergamo and Brescia temporarily lost again (1509). The Pope then allied himself with Habsburg and England against France, which Milan had to vacate again in 1512. The Valtellina was occupied by the Graubünden in 1512 ; the Pope lost Parma and Piacenza. In 1515 France won back under Francis I with its victory over the Swiss at Marignano Milan. In 1516 Spain recognized French rule over Milan; the new (Habsburg) King Karl I (Emperor Karl V ) did not feel bound by it after his accession to the throne in the same year. In 1525 Karl defeated Franz at Pavia, whereupon Milan and Genoa became (formally) independent again in the Peace of Madrid in 1526. In 1535 Milan finally fell to the Habsburgs, and with the division of the inheritance in 1556 it became Spanish. Parma and Piacenza became the Duchy of Parma in 1545 ; Modena and Mantua remained independent duchies, while Brescia and Bergamo remained Venetian.

With the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, Lombardy formally withdrew from the association of the Holy Roman Empire, to which it had only loosely belonged since the end of the Staufer. The Peace of Westphalia did not change the territorial allocation.

As a result of the War of the Spanish Succession , Mantua became Austrian in 1708, Milan in 1714 and Parma in 1735 . The west of the duchy from Valle Antigorio down to Piacenza fell to the House of Savoy in 1713/1748 and became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont .

French Revolution and Napoleonic Period

On January 26, 1802, Napoléon proclaimed the Cisalpine Republic .

In his Italian campaign from March 1796, Napoleon was able to quickly conquer large parts of northern Italy - Lombardy as well as parts of the Papal States and Sardinia-Piedmont. He was supported in this by the widespread dislike of the Italians against Austrian rule. They spoke out for democracy and against feudalism and clericalism. Although the Directory actually had other plans, Napoleon worked towards the establishment of an independent republic in northern Italy.

Napoleon eliminated Austrian rule in Milan and Mantua as well as the independence of Venice. In October 1796 the Cispadan Republic was founded south of the Po , on July 9, 1797 north of the Po the Transpadan Republic , which essentially comprised the territory of Lombardy. In the course of the year, the republic was renamed the Cisalpine Republic , and the Cispadan Republic, parts of Veneto that had been annexed during the winter campaign against Austria, and the then Swiss Valtellina were annexed to it. The areas west of Milan came under French military administration with Piedmont. The Duchy of Parma was initially retained.

This phase ended with the Second Coalition War in April 1799, and the republics in Italy established by the French collapsed under the advance of General Suvorov's Russian armies . After his coup on November 9th, Napoleon crossed the Alps again and was able to push back the Austro-Russian army. After the Battle of Marengo , the Cisalpine Republic was rebuilt.

After the peace treaties of Lunéville and Amiens, Napoleon converted the Cisalpine Republic into an Italian republic by means of a constituent assembly in Lyon . At its head, Napoleon himself was elected for ten years under French pressure. The vice-president Francesco Melzi d'Eril , a Lombard nobleman , was largely limited to representative functions . There was a constitution and a legislative assembly, but in practice the state structure was largely controlled from France.

After the establishment of the French Empire in 1804, the Italian states were officially converted into monarchies. Napoleon himself was crowned with the old Lombard Iron Crown on May 26, 1805 , after his brother Joseph had refused the royal dignity. His stepson Eugène de Beauharnais became viceroy. Parma was incorporated into the French Empire.


Le cinque giornate di Milano ( The five days of Milan )

After the fall of Napoleon in 1814, Eugène handed Milan over to the Austrian Empire without resistance . In addition to Milan, the Congress of Vienna also gave Habsburg Veneto - including the previously Venetian parts of Lombardy - and largely restored the pre-Napoleonic conditions in the rest of Italy. Lombardy and Veneto were combined to form the Kingdom of Lombardy-Veneto , whose kings were the Austrian emperors , even if the administration was separate from Austria.

The strong dependence on the Viennese government, the police methods and the bureaucracy dominated by German speakers soon became a nuisance for the Italians. The ideas of the Carbonari spilled over from southern Italy to Lombardy. The political goal - a unification of northern Italy under the Sardinian-Piedmontese King Karl Albert , a confederation of Italian states or an Italian republic - was still controversial. All these directions had in common that the Austrians were to be expelled from northern Italy.

When the revolutions of 1848/1849 broke out in several European regions, the Cinque Giornate uprisings broke out in Milan (March 18-22) and the Austrian troops had to withdraw from the city. A Provisional Government was formed for Lombardy, which was active until August 6 and also minted coins with the inscriptions ITALIA LIBERA / DIO LO VUOLE (Italy free, God wants it) and GOVERNO PROVVISORIO DI LOMBARDIA (Provisional Government of Lombardy) and circulated. A few weeks later, Piedmont declared war on Austria and invaded Lombardy. Just as the revolution collapsed elsewhere in Europe, the old conditions were also restored in Lombardy.

Subsequently, Cavour tried from Piedmont with French support to solve Lombardy from Austria. In 1859 Austria declared the Sardinian War . After defeats at Magenta (between Milan and Novara) and Solferino (south of Lake Garda), Austria ceded Lombardy, including the formerly Venetian areas around Bergamo and Brescia, to France. In 1860, under the Treaty of Turin , France ceded Lombardy to Sardinia-Piedmont in exchange for Savoy and the county of Nice . Parma and Modena remained independent. In March 1861 the Piedmontese king made himself king of Italy. Lombardy has been an Italian province ever since.

Second World War

After his liberation by the Germans, Mussolini founded his Italian Social Republic on the Gran Sasso d'Italia, which was completely dependent on Germany and occupied by German troops since September 1943 . Lombardy, along with Piedmont and Veneto, were only liberated in the last days of the war after the Allies broke through to the north near Bologna on April 19, 1945.


Lombardy has been one of the economically strongest regions in Italy since the Second World War . In 2015, the region generated the second highest per capita gross national product (35,885 euros) of all regions in Italy and was thus about a third above the Italian average (27,044 euros) and 118% above the value of the poorest Italian region Calabria (16,468 euros) . The economic imbalance within Italy and the fact that much of Lombardy's tax revenue has to be transferred to the central government in Rome has led to regionalist and secessionist tendencies. On March 10, 1982, officially on April 12, 1984, Umberto Bossi founded a Lega Autonomista Lombarda , which became the nucleus of the later political party Lega Nord .

On October 22, 2017, a consultative referendum took place on the increased local autonomy of Lombardy.

As of June 15, 2020 (91,917 infected, 16,457 dead), Lombardy is the region most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe . Almost half of all Italian Covid-19 victims died in Lombardy.


  • Lydia L. Dewiel: Lombardy and Northern Italian Lakes. Art and landscape between the Alps and the Po Valley. 5th edition. DuMont, Cologne 1999, ISBN 3-7701-4396-5 .
  • Heinz Schomann: Lombardy - art monuments and museums. Reclam, Stuttgart 1981, ISBN 3-15-010305-3 .

Web links

Commons : Lombardy  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Lombardy  - Travel Guide
Wiktionary: Lombardy  - explanations of meanings, origin of words, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Statistiche demografiche ISTAT. Monthly population statistics of the Istituto Nazionale di Statistica , as of December 31 of 2019.
  2. Eurostat. Retrieved April 15, 2018 .
  3. Unemployment rate, by NUTS 2 regions. Retrieved November 5, 2018 .
  4. GDP per inhabitant, at market prices. (No longer available online.) 2015, archived from the original on October 24, 2017 ; accessed on October 24, 2017 (English). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.asr-lombardia.it
  5. Alessandria Corica: Referendum autonomia, l'annuncio di Maroni: "Il 22 ottobre in Lombardia e Veneto". Sala e Pd: "Spesa inutile". La Repubblica, April 21, 2017, accessed October 23, 2017 (Italian).
  6. Number of dead and infected in Lombardy is increasing rapidly orf.at, March 14, 2020.
  7. merkur.de: Corona crisis in Italy: Strict curfew extended until May - Trump announces help (April 12, 2020)
  8. FAZ.net June 1, 2020: Everything, just no mass grave

Coordinates: 45 ° 39 '  N , 9 ° 57'  E