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What to see in Brianza: discovering the heart of Lombardy.

If you want to organize one trip out of town or a long one weekend away from the chaos of the city and you are wondering what to see in Brianza know that, among important monuments, splendid parks, ancient villages, magnificent villas, famous homes and breathtaking views overlooking the most important lakes in Lombardy, you are spoiled for choice.

Brianza is a geographical area located north of Milan and south of Lake Como within which it is possible to identify two different areas: one flat, to the south and west, and the other hilly, to the north and east. Furthermore, the numerous bodies of water that characterize the landscape make it the heart of the Italian Lake Region, i.e. Lombardy.

The hypotheses on the origin of the name are different: it is thought that Brianza derives from the Celtic term brig, which means "hill" or "height", but according to other sources the name is closely linked to the history of Brianteo, the general following the troops of the Gallic prince Belloveso who occupied the territory of Insubria, in Northern Italy, and founded ancient Mediolanum (Milan).

A third thesis calls into question the Celtic tribe of Brigands who migrated to Lombardy, in the area called quarrel o Briantia, while a more suggestive theory has it that the name can be linked to the phenomenon of brigandage since outlaws used to hide in the woods and hills of the area and suddenly attack unsuspecting wayfarers by reciting the famous formula: “Either the bursa or life or the canèn from the pipe”.

Brianza was one of the Italian protagonists of the second industrial revolution and among the first to undergo the process of industrialization and the consequent urbanization of the area

have led it to become one of the most densely inhabited regions of the Bel Paese. Furthermore, it is part of the important "Industrial Pentagon" whose summits are the cities of Milan, Paris, London, Hamburg and Munich.

What to see in Brianza: 5 places to see at least once in your life

Let's find out together what to see in Brianza and which are the five places not to be missed.

  1. Monza: the city of the Lombards, today the capital of the province of Monza and Brianza, is famous for the presence of the national Autodromo, one of the most important and prestigious car circuits in the world which every year hosts the Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix and for the splendid Villa Reale also known as the Royal Palace of Monza, one of the most important monuments of the city. The villa, built during the period of Austrian domination of the Duchy of Monza by the will of Empress Maria Teresa of Austria, is composed of a central body and two wings that branch off at right angles. From the splendid gardens that surround it it is possible to reach the Monza Park on foot along Viale Cavriga or the Casina del Sole. The Monza park is one of the largest European historical parks as well as the fourth largest fenced in Europe and the largest surrounded by walls. Located north of the city, it has an area of ​​688 hectares and, together with the Royal Gardens, forms a complex of great landscape, historical and architectural value which is part of the larger Valle del Lambro Regional Park. Monza is a city with a great architectural heritage, full of unique places that tell the story of Lombardy through the centuries.
  2. Leonardo's Adda Ecomuseum: located within the Adda Nord Park, the ecomuseum follows the course of the Adda river and was created with the aim of protecting and enhancing the local naturalistic, engineering, architectural and historical heritage with particular attention to the testimonies that tell of Leonardo's stay da Vinci in Lombardy. Among the 18 stages that make up the ecomuseum route, approximately 21 km long, Leonardo's ferry is worth a visit, a particular type of ferry of which there are two examples still in operation: one connects the docks of Imbersago (Lecco), and of Villa d'Adda (Bergamo), while the other connects the piers on the opposite banks of the Tiber river, within the Nazzano Nature Reserve, in the province of Rome. Today, the drawing of the ferry, dated 1513 and included in the Windsor Codex, is preserved in the royal library of the castle of the same name in England. The vehicle consists of two boats placed side by side, surmounted by a platform with a hexagonal guardhouse, and by a central mast on which a roller is mounted on which a metal rope runs which joins the two banks of the Adda. There are also two rudders, one at the stern and the other at the bow. The ferry, on which it is possible to carry up to 100 people and 5 cars thanks to its 60 mXNUMX surface area, works without the aid of an engine or oars and moves by exploiting the motion of the current, thus allowing the river to be crossed. Furthermore, it is also possible to take bicycles, motorbikes and pets on board the ferry.
  3. Montevecchia: located on the hills that dominate the Meratese area, in north-eastern Brianza, the municipality of Montevecchia is home to the Regional Park of Montevecchia and the Valle de Curone, a protected natural area that extends over an area of ​​approximately 2360 hectares, includes areas uncontaminated forests and is home to animal species such as crayfish, salamander, badger and squirrel. Defined as the "Tuscany of Brianza", Montevecchia is the homeland of Pincianel, the classic red wine from Alta Brianza with the IGT denomination of the Terre Lariane consortium, while the dry white wine produced in the area was even mentioned by the poet Carlo Porta in a writing written for the second marriage of Napoleon Bonaparte. The municipality in the province of Lecco is also known for the production of aromatic herbs, including sage and rosemary recognized as traditional Lombard agri-food products (PAT) and for the famous furmagétt de Muntavégia (or furmagétt de faciröla), typical milk cheeses vaccine included in the PAT list In Montevecchia there are some of the oldest human settlements in Lombardy: inside the park, at the end of the 60.000s, two camps dating back to the era of Neanderthal Man and Homo sapiens were found , dated 32.000 years ago and XNUMX years ago respectively. A particularly interesting monument is the sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of Carmel, of Median originsevathere, located at the top of the Montevecchia hill from which you can enjoy a splendid landscape of Brianza. Villa Albertoni Agnesi is also worth a visit, built in the 18th century, one of the most fascinating historic homes in the Brianza area of ​​Lecco and a perfect example of the Rococo style, better known in Lombardy as Baroque.
  4. seregno: located in lower Brianza, the municipality of Seregno is approximately 26 kilometers from Milan, 12 from Monza and 25 from Como. Regarding the etymology of the name, there are numerous hypotheses but most scholars think that the toponym Seregno derives from Serena, a Roman noblewoman who lived in the XNUMXth century, daughter of Honorius known as of Spain and wife of the general The first document mentioning the municipality dates back to 1087 and is an act with which Pietro da Seregno cedes part of his assets to the rectory of Sant'Ambrogio in Milan in exchange for help and protection, but historians hypothesize the existence of an active village already in Roman times. In the historic center of the city there is the ancient nucleus of Seregno, the heart of the town, made up of a series of alleys belonging to the different villages, while from the historic center to the ring road there are areas dating back to the nineteenth century which in the past hosted artisan activities related to furniture production. Furthermore, in the Puzuràn hamlet, now Largo San Vittore, the oldest well in Seregno is still visible. Among the places not to be missed are the collegiate basilica of San Giuseppe, whose origins date back to the second half of the XNUMXth century, the neo-Gothic style sanctuary of the Madonna of Santa Valeria, the abbey of the Olivetan Monks of San Benedetto and the Torre del Barbarossa, considered the symbol of Seregno, which according to legend was built at the behest of Emperor Frederick I, known as Il Barbarossa.
  5. Palazzo Arese Borromeo: the historic noble palace is located in Cesano Maderno, a city in lower Brianza about 20 kilometers from Milan, and was built in the second half of the seventeenth century by order of Count Bartolomeo III of Arese. In reality, the north wing of the palace had already been built in the sixteenth century by Bartolomeo the Elder who was followed by an expansion of the structure by Giulio Arese I around 1620, but it was Bartolomeo III of Arese, a key figure in Lombard politics as well as president of the Senate of Milan, who deserves credit for having transformed the country villa into one of the most fascinating and sumptuous homes in Brianza. The palace is made up of three main blocks with the central one, larger in size than the other two, characterized by a quadrilateral shaped honor courtyard which has a compact structure and closed by four buildings. The ground floor, occupied by the service rooms, is connected to the main floor by two staircases, while on the east side there are the reception rooms preceded by the Cesari portico. Among the rooms of the palace, the magnificent Salone dei Fasti Romani, the rooms dedicated to culture and science, those preceding the oratory dedicated to Sant'Antonio da Padova and the rooms hosting the artistic and book collections of the Arese-Borromeo family stand out . Also worthy of attention are the splendid Gallery of Liberal Arts, the private chapel of Saint Peter the Martyr, the "women's quarter", with the apartments intended for the countess and her daughters, and the apartment of Count Bartolomeo III Arese, adjacent to the library beyond the where there was the apartment of his son Julius II. The extraordinary frescoes of Palazzo Arese Borromeo are the work of some of the most important artists of Milanese classicism including Ercole Procaccini the Younger, Antonio Busca, Giuseppe Nuvolone, Federico Bianchi. In the eastern area of ​​the building there is a vast and spectacular garden which is home to various botanical species.

What to see in Brianza: electric car sharing E-VAI

Visiting some of the most beautiful places in Brianza is simple and economical thanks to E-VAI, the mobility service that allows you to move throughout the Region without any urban limits.

E-VAI it is the first electric car sharing in Lombardy which combines shared mobility and sustainable mobility in order to optimize travel within the Region between urban areas and extra-urban areas. Indeed, E-VAI it is the only electric car sharing perfectly connected with the three airports of Malpensa, Linate and Orio al Serio and with the main regional railway hubs.

The fleets of E-VAI are made up exclusively of electric and hybrid cars silent, light, easy to drive and above all ecological with harmful emissions reduced to a minimum. Thanks to the limited environmental impact, cars E-VAI they have access to Limited Traffic Zones, Area C, historic centers and can park for free within blue and yellow lines.

Rent a car E-VAI is simple: just connect to the official website of E-VAI or download the App available for iOS and Android. There are no registration fees for the service and once you have registered you simply need to identify theE-VAI Nearest point, book your car and collect it conveniently at the indicated time. The vehicle can then be returned to any of over 140 locations E-VAI Points distributed throughout the regional territory.

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