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The busiest region in Italy; it occupies the green Po Plain between the Ticino and the Mincio Rivers, which with the Adda supply Lakes Maggiore, Como and Garda. To the north the great lake valleys give access to the Alpine passes.

Lombardy, with the mulberry bushes of the Brianza district, takes first place in the production of silk. The permanent grazing and grasslands are used by a modern dairying industry. In the Lornellina district, extensive areas are given over to rice growing.

The many towns, scattered over the countryside, were important banking and trading centres in medieval and Renaissance times and spread the name of Lombards all over Europe. Today Como is the centre of the silk industry, Brescia steel, chemical and engineering industries, Bergamo textile and engineering works, Mantua petrochemicals and plastics, Cremona agriculture and Pavia the seat of an important university.

It is Milan, the economic capital of Italy, that has the highest density of population and businesses. This town with its modern architecture and numerous commercial enterprises and cultural institutions has an outer ring of industrial suburbs which are the home base of textile, oil, chemical, steel and food industries.

Milan, where cooking is done with butter, gives its name to several dishes:
minestrone alla milanese, a soup of green vegetables, rice and bacon; risotto alla milanese, rice cooked with saffron; costoletta alla milanese, a fillet of veal fried in egg and bread-crumbs with cheese; osso buco, a knuckle of veal with the marrow-bone; panettone, a large fruit cake containing raisins and candied lemon peel. Here the commonest cheese is again the excellent Gorgonzola. Few wines are produced, apart from those of Valtellina or the Pavia district.

From the 'Michelin Guide to Italy'


Pavese Soup - Zuppa Pavese
Vegetable Soup - Minestrone - Milan Style
VEGETABLE SOUP WITH RICE - Minestrone di riso
Spinach and Ricotta Dumplings - Malfatti
RICE MILAN STYLE - Risotto alla Milanese
Cheese and Green Cabbage

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