Lombardy is one of the twenty administrative regions of Italy, in the northwest of the country, with an area of 23,844 square kilometres. Milan, Lombardys capital, is the second-largest city and the largest metropolitan area in Italy, the word Lombardy comes from Lombard, which in turn is derived from Late Latin Longobardus, derived from the Proto-Germanic elements *langaz + *bardaz, equivalent to long beard. Some sources derive the second element instead from Proto-Germanic *bardǭ, *barduz, Lombardy referred during the early Middle Ages to the entire territory of Italy ruled by the Lombards, a Germanic tribe who conquered much of the Italian peninsula beginning in the 6th century. During the late Middle Ages, the term shifted meaning and was used to identify the whole of Northern Italy, with a surface of 23,861 km2, Lombardy is the 4th largest region of Italy. It is bordered by Switzerland and by the Italian regions of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, three distinct natural zones can be fairly easily distinguished in the Lombardy region, mountains and plains – the latter being divided in Alta and Bassa.
Inconsistent with the three distinctions above made is the subregion of Oltrepò Pavese, formed by the Apennine foothills beyond the Po River. The mighty Po river marks the border of the region for a length of about 210 km. In its progress it receives the waters of the Ticino River, the other streams which contribute to the great river are, the Olona, the Lambro, the Adda, the Oglio and the Mincio. The numerous lakes of Lombardy, all of glacial origin, lie in the northern highlands, from west to east these are Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Como, Lake Iseo, Lake Idro, Lake Garda, the largest in Italy. A minor mountainous area, the Oltrepò Pavese, lies south of the Po, in the plains, intensively cultivated for centuries, little of the original environment remains. The most commons trees are elm, sycamore, willow, in the area of the foothills lakes, grow olive trees and larches, as well as varieties of subtropical flora such as magnolias, acacias. Numerous species of flora in the Prealpine area include some kinds of saxifrage, the Lombard garlic, groundsels bellflowers.
The highlands are characterized by the vegetation of the whole range of the Italian Alps. At a lower levels oak woods or broadleafed trees grow, on the slopes beech trees grow at the lowest limits. Shrubs such as rhododendron, dwarf pine and juniper are native to the summital zone, Lombardy has a wide array of climates, due to local variances in elevation, proximity to inland water basins, and large metropolitan areas. In addition, there is a seasonal temperature variation. A peculiarity of the climate is the thick fog that covers the plains between October and February. In the Alpine foothills, characterised by an Oceanic climate, numerous lakes exercise a mitigating influence, in the hills and mountains, the climate is humid continental
Province of Milan
The Province of Milan was a province in the Lombardy region, Italy. Its capital was the city of Milan, on January 1,2015 it was replaced by the Metropolitan City of Milan. Province of Milan extends over the Po Valley and has River Ticino to the west, the Villoresi is the natural southern border of Brianza, an area in Lombardy noted for its mountains and plains. It contains six regional natural parks, Parco Adda Nord, Parco Agricolo Sud Milano, Parco delle Groane, Parco Nord Milano, Parco della Valle del Lambro, half of the province is agricultural and flood plain, and most of it is protected by reserves
Metropolitan cities of Italy
The metropolitan city is an administrative division of Italy, operative since 2015. In 2009, amendments added Reggio Calabria to the list, the metropolitan areas individuated by the autonomous regions were, Trieste in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Cagliari in Sardinia, Catania and Palermo in Sicily. On 3 April 2014 the Italian Parliament approved a law that establishes 10 metropolitan cities in Italy, the new metropolitan cities have been operative since 1 January 2015. The metropolitan city is composed by the municipalities that before had been members of the same province, each metropolitan city is headed by a metropolitan mayor assisted by a legislative body, the Metropolitan council, and by a non-legislative assembly, the metropolitan conference. Members of the Metropolitan council are elected and chosen by mayors and city councilors of each municipality in the metropolitan city, the metropolitan conference is composed by the mayors of the municipalities closest to the capital. The main functions devolved to the new cities are, local planning and zoning, provision of local police services, transport.
Regions of Italy Provinces of Italy Municipalities of Italy Media related to Metropolitan cities of Italy at Wikimedia Commons
Metropolitan City of Milan
The Metropolitan City of Milan is a metropolitan city in the Lombardy region, Italy. Its capital is the city of Milan and it replaced the Province of Milan and includes the city of Milan and other 133 municipalities or communes. It was first created by the reform of local authorities and established by the Law 56/2014 and it has been operative since January 1,2015. The Metropolitan City of Milan is headed by the Metropolitan Mayor, since June 2016 Giuseppe Sala, as mayor of the capital city, has been the mayor of the Metropolitan City. The spatial spread of the Milan metropolitan area has accelerated over recent decades. A single and increasingly widespread conurbation with the city of Milan at its hub defines the area, however. The Milan metropolitan area contains a population of 8,123,020 in 2013, the Milan metropolitan area is part of the so-called Blue Banana, the area of Europe with the highest population and industrial density. Milan metropolitan area is one of southern Europes key transport nodes and its five major railway stations, among which the Milan Central station, are among Italys busiest.
The Azienda Trasporti Milanesi operates within the area, managing a public transport network consisting of an underground rapid transit network and tram. Overall the network covers nearly 1,400 km reaching 86 municipalities, besides public transport, ATM manages the interchange parking lots and other transportation services including bike sharing and car sharing systems. Milan Metro is the transit system serving the city, with 4 lines. The recently opened M5 line is undergoing expansion and the construction of the M4 line has been approved. The Milan suburban railway service comprises 10 lines and connects the area with the city centre through the Milan Passerby underground railway. Commonly referred to as Il Passante, it has a train running every 6 minutes, the city tram network consists of approximately 160 kilometres of track and 17 lines. Bus lines cover over 1,070 km, Milan has taxi services operated by private companies and licensed by the City council of Milan. The city is a key node for the road network.
Milan metropolitan area is served by two international airports, Malpensa International Airport, the second busiest in Italy, is 45 km from central Milan and connected to the city by the Malpensa Express railway service. Linate Airport, which lies within the city limits, is used for domestic and short-haul international flights
The town dates from Roman times. Abbiategrasso received the title of city with a royal decree of 31 March 1932. The Visconti Castle, built in 1382 by Gian Galeazzo Visconti above a pre-existing 13th-century fortification and it was enlarged and decorated by Filippo Maria Visconti after 1438. It has a plan with angular towers, and the interior has Renaissance frescoes and graffitoes. The central court has a portico, basilica church of Santa Maria Nuova, built in 1388 to celebrate the birth of Gian Galeazzo Viscontis son. It is preceded by a Renaissance portico and as un unfinished façade, whose pronaos is attributed to Donato Bramante