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X - Miscellaneous and not relevant, Milan: 36 reviews and 31 photos
Favorite thing: know a bit of its history: Lombardy, which takes its name from the Lombards, a Germanic people who dominated the region from the sixth to the eighth century A.D., dates back over 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 Lombardy was a crossroads and a meeting point between the cultural areas of the Mediterranean and the continent. During the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. various Celtic tribes migrated into the region in waves. Around 400 B.C. the Insubri people founded Milan after having conquered the Etruscans.
Following the collapse of the Roman Empire, Lombardy fell easy prey to the barbarian hoards invading from northern Europe. In 493 A.D. the whole of the Po River valley came under the rule of Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths. In the second half of the sixth century A.D. the Lombards arrived and established their government at Pavia.
In 774 A.D. Charlemagne?s Franks conquered king Desiderio thus initiating Carolingian rule. In the tenth century, Lombardy was convulsed by a series of struggles between bishops and feudal lords. The era of the communes began with the final defeat of the power of the bishops. In 1176, in the battle of Legnano, the Lombard communes, united under the banner of the League, defeated Frederick I, nicknamed Barbarossa.
The Middle Ages marked a glorious period in Lombard history, with Romanic culture mediating between the classical influence and that of the Christian barbarians. By the end of the twelfth century the administrative framework of the commune had been defined and consolidated. The era of the communes saw the ascendancy of the great dynasties: the Della Torre family, then the Viscontis, who came to power in 1278 when Ottone Visconti was proclaimed lord of Milan, while the Gonzagas, powerful land owners and great builders, conquered Mantua in 1328. The Visconti period was a decisive one in the history of the region due to their expansionist policies, which dotted the Po River valley with castles and huge farmhouses. From 1428 Bergamo, Brescia and subsequently Crema belonged to the Republic of Venice for three hundred years. With the treaty of Lodi in 1454 Francesco Sforza was installed as duke of Milan. The Sforzas brought the formation of a powerful State to completion: this was the golden age of the Renaissance, which began with Leonardo da Vinci's stay in Milan.
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