Abroad the name of the region is often linked first of all to fashion. Thanks to Milan, perhaps the only metropolis in the Country that offers a frenetic, busy and modern image of itself, apparently light-years away from the rural world, which seems difficult to imagine a few kilometres from the lights of the great designers' fashion shows.
But the "made in Italy" of top fashion goes hand in hand with the one of high quality cuisine here. And in fact, if the other provinces are perhaps more clearly linked to the values of country life, even amongst the Gothic spires of the Duomo (Cathedral) there beats an agricultural heart. Agriculture still carries out an important role in Lombardy, where it is easy to taste optimal wines, perhaps to accompany strong flavours: those of its cheeses, cold meats and salami of an oenogastronomical production, in short, strongly rooted through the centuries.
And on the other hand it is enough to glance through one of the most important novels of Italian literature, such as the "Promessi Sposi", to frequently encounter the Lombard "cuisine". Ermanno Olmi too, in the famous film "L'albero degli zoccoli", told of the life of a rural community in the Bergamo area in the 1800s. The cuisine and typical produce are finally finding the road to their relaunching and represent an important element of further "appeal" for the region's tourism, already full of attractions. Lombardy can in fact boast respectable figures for its cuisine: the "protected products" are 46, from wine to oil, cold meats and salami to fruit and vegetables. And, even traditionally, Lombardy feels itself the strongest in the cellar: the controlled and guaranteed denomination of origin (Docg) wines are two. Franciacorta and Valtellina Superiore, whilst the controlled denomination of origin (Doc) wines are fourteen, and drawing up the rear are the twelve typical geographic indication wines. In second place, and often side by side with the wines on the table, are the cheeses. There are nine Lombard protected denomination of origins (Dop), and amongst these are two hard cheeses par excellence - Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano - and the more famous soft cheeses: Gorgonzola, Quartirolo lombardo and Taleggio. It is not by chance that these wines are the most imitated by "food forgers", in Italy and abroad. An obligatory mention must be given to the Mantua Pgi pear (which, strangely, goes perfectly well with the cheeses) before passing on to the savoury chapter of cold meats and salami, where Lombardy can boast four Pgis and two Pdos. Amongst the former, the esteemed Bresaola della Valtellina together with three products "in condominium" with other regions (Cotechino, Zampone and Mortadella, originating from Modena and Bologna); the two Pdos are, instead, exclusively Lombard: Salame di Brianza and Salame di Varzi. Finally, to complete the rich Lombard basket of certified products we find two extra virgin Pdo olive oils, Garda and Laghi Lombardi.