The town of Lodi in the northern Italian region of Lombardy is within an easy reach from Milan. The prosperous attractive town has many well-preserved medieval buildings, beautiful squares and tons of character.
Once a small Celtic village, Lodi had a turbulent past and saw destructions, wars and a succession powerful rulers. Today the town has many historic sites and pretty corners that keep day trippers amused.
|Piazza della Vittoria|
Considered one of the most beautiful squares in Italy, the central Piazza della Vittoria is dominated by the statue of young Napoleon who erected it to celebrate his first victorious battle here against the Austrians. Relax in one of the cafes here sipping a coffee and admiring the elegant medieval building with porticoes that surround the piazza, the old Town Hall and the Cathedral.
There are many beautiful churches in Lodi that are worth a visit: Duomo di Lodi with its 15th-century frescoes, the opulent Renaissance Tempio Civico della Beata Vergine Incoronata with important artworks of the 15th-19th centuries, Sant’Agnese and many others.
|Decor of Tempio Civico della Beata Vergine Incoronata|
The romantic ruins of the 14th century Visconti Castle remind of the days when the powerful noble family ruled Lodi. The town also has many noble palaces such as the 18th-century Palace Modignani where Napoleon once stayed, the Renaissance Palazzo Mozzanica, and the elegant Palazzo Vistarini.
Lodi is famous for its ceramics tradition that dates back to the 16th century. You can see old ceramics workshops in the town centre where artisans still use centuries-old techniques to make beautiful white vases, plates and figurines decorated with colourful floral motifs.
No visit to the town would be complete without sampling excellent local cheeses such as mascarpone, Pannerone, Lodi Granone and Raspadura. Try hearty local dishes boiled tripe with beans and chestnuts, pulenta pastissada (polenta made with ground beef, butter and flakes of grana cheese), wild hare stew, frogs cooked in a tomato sauce and the famous almond cake, tortionata.
Photos by: Francesco Gazzola/Flickr, Giuseppe Diotti/Wikimedia Commons.