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In BIG Pictures: exploring the beautiful Lombardy region of Italy

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A few weeks ago our writer Scott Balaam attended the ‪#‎InLombardia‬ blog trip in partnership with iambassador and Explora Tourism. Lombardy is a beautiful, diverse and affluent northern region of Italy. Here is photographic journey through the region in BIG Pictures…

Nestled in the affluent North, Lombardy is Italy’s richest region which seems to have a much closer affinity with its northern European neighbours than with the rest of the country. Ruled for almost two centuries by the French and Austrians, it’s named after northern Lombards who ousted the Romans before them. Its strategic position on the border means the region has always had to protect itself from invasion but it means it’s also profited in wealth by being a commercial crossroads. The region has been the site of many battles over the years which means Lombardy has inherited an impressive of well preserved historic landmarks. An incredibly beautiful and diverse region, it encompasses a story book pretty Alpine region, lush valley lowlands, a breathtaking mountain chain, a vast expanse of rolling hills, pretty vineyards and the charm of the much-loved great lakes (Garda, Como and Maggiore) which are flanked by historic castles, stately homes and picturesque small towns.

The first stop on our trip was Lonato del Garda c/o Fondazione Ugo da Como and the Rocca Viscounteo Veneta, a delightful place with narrow cobbled streets and lovely panoramic views. When we got to the main castle it was in a wonderful setting overlooking water – somewhere that would be perfect for weddings. As we headed away from the castle we visited the the museum which is home of the world’s smallest book as well as many other antiques.

In the evening we went to Salo, another beautiful and relaxing location with gorgeous sunsets. There was an balance of boats moored ahead of the evening, the birds chirping and even some people rowing on the lake. Then we visited Desenzano del Garda where we toured the historical centre (the views from the town castle were simply stunning), stopped for lunch at Selva Capuzza, which had its own vineyard and then explored dreamy Sirmione and it gorgeous historical architecture and impressive spas.

On the last day we took a trip to the city of Brescia, a true hidden gem of a place full of immaculate historic architecture, culture, history, some excellent restaurants and cafe-lined squares, oh and two cathedrals – an old one and a new one which sit right next to each other. The squares make ideal places to sit back enjoy a coffee or a glass of white wine and soak up the lovely atmosphere and the city itself makes a beautiful under-the-radar travel destination.

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All words and images by regular contributor Scott Balaam. This post was brought to you as a result of the #inLombardia365 project, which was created and managed by iambassador in partnership with Explora Tourism. Global Grasshopper maintains full editorial control of the content published on this site.

Scott started his travelling life back in 1999, when he headed off on a solo jaunt to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia with just a backpack, a camera and a spirit for adventure. After that, the travel bug bit hard and now he is always seeking to head off somewhere new. Over the years he has lived in Italy, Qatar, Ireland and the UK but his spiritual home will always be Rome as this is the city which most satisfies his unrelenting craving for culture, good food and football. Scott loves nothing better than to be behind the camera and has also just started his own blog called Bars and Spas. As well as Rome he also counts Melbourne and Tel Aviv among his favourite places and now permanently resides in Dublin. Follow Scott on Google+ and Twitter

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