Milan: the perfect venue to take the original Italian aperitivo

Lombardy is known first of all for its fashion capital, Milan, with its awe-inspiring Duomo, excellent restaurants, unique city districts, and a lively club and bar scene. Here is where the Italian aperitivo culture began, in fact—that glass of wine or a cocktail before dinner with a plate of cheeses and salumi.

This metropolitan city is also well-serviced in international flights, rails, and internal transportation. In short, Milan has plenty of sightseeing options and the city is definitely a must-see; but so is the rest of this large Italian region that borders on Switzerland.

Lombardy is a mix of dense cities and natural landscapes. It begins in the Alps and UNESCO-named Dolomites and encompasses the rolling hills of Metodo classico Franciacorta, sometimes called Italy’s answer to Champagne, made with pinot nero, pinot bianco, and chardonnay.

The region is also home to Italy’s celebrity-favorite Lakes District, with the jewels of Garda, Sirmione, Maggiore, and Como all lined with picturesque towns along blue waters. Here along Lake Garda is the Lugana wine zone that makes the white wine of the same name.

Notable reds come from the steep terraced hills of the Valtellina, where nebbiolo is called chiavennasca. And the Oltrepò Pavese is home to a lesser-known sparkling rosé called Cruase, and has great soil for barbera and pinot nero among other grape varieties. It is most notably an area for sparkling wine. Indeed, a wine tasting in Lombardy will surely offer a selection of bubbles.