Guida dello studente: International Program A.Y. 2006/07


Lombardy represents about 16% of the entire population of the country. It is the most densely populated region in Italy, and the metropolitan area of Milan used to concentrate 50% of  the population.  However, in recent years, people prefer to living in Milan’s suburbs because of the high cost of city homes and life in general.
Lombardy takes its name from the Lombards, a Germanic people who dominated the region from the 6th to the 8th centuries A.D.
The history of the region dates back 9,000 years to the Camuni civilisation, traces of which remain in some 300,000 rock carvings dotted over 24,000 rocks in Valcamonica, a world heritage archaeological site.
Thanks to its geographical position, as far back as the first Iron Age the region was a crossroads and a meeting point between the cultural areas of the Mediterranean and the continent.
Lombardy has nine provinces (Milano, Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Lecco, Lodi, Mantua, Pavia, Sondrio, Varese) with a  territory divided into three large belts: the Alpine area, which closes the region's territory to the north,  the pre-Alpine area, with the Great Lakes (Lake Como, Lake Maggiore and Lake Garda, whivh is the largest lake in Italy) and the Po River Valley to the south.
Due to its geographic position, Lombardy has developed an excellent communication network, making Milan the most important road, railway and airway junction in Italy. Milan opened the world’s first motorway (Castellanza has an exit on this motorway) in 1925  which went from the city to the lakes. This led to further economic development of the region.
Nowadays, 25% of the Italian population employed in the industry sector is located in Lombardy.
In the area North of the University, there is   production of textiles and furniture, while the towns around Castellanza (Legnano, Busto Arsizio, Gallarate and Saronno) are important commercial centres and seats of
textile and mechanics industries.
Its modern industry as well as its large-scale agriculture and strong commercial power, has made Lombardy the financial heart of Italy.

Numbers and facts:
GDP: 1.37 trillion Euro
GDP per head: 24,128 Euro
Annual growth: 1.5%
Inflaction: 2.2.%
Major industries: tourism, engineering, textiles, chemicals, food processing, motor vehicles, clothing & footwear
Major trading partners: EU (esp. Germany, France, UK, Spain, Netherlands), USA
Member of EU: yes
Euro zone participant: yes
Lombardy has a huge wealth of museums, galleries and frescoes that are well distributed throughout the region, but undoubtedly the most famous work of art is Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” in the Santa Maria delle Grazie Church in Milan.
Folk traditions
Folk traditions, often linked to the religious calendar, are kept alive throughout the Region: all towns and villages celebrate their patron saints, and great importance is placed on historical commemorations and "Palios", (processions in period costumes) etc.

Public  Holidays 2005/2006
 01  Nov               All Saints' Day
 03  Nov               First World War Anniversary Day       
 08  Dec              Immaculate Conception
 25  Dec              Christmas Day
 26  Dec              Boxing Day or St. Stephen's Day       
 01  Jan               New Year's Day
 06  Jan               Epiphany                  
 16  April              Easter Sunday
 17  April              Easter Monday
 25  April              Liberation Day           
 01  May              Workers' Day
 02  June             Anniversary of the Republic                
 15  Aug              Assumption of the Virgin

Italy’s climate is predominantly Mediterranean, but, although the Alps shield the city from the worst weather in Northern Europe, Lombardy’s
winters can be cold. Summers, instead,  are hot as temperatures rise above 30°C and in the towns it can become very muggy.
Minimum and maximum average temperatures in Milan are shown below.