Recognized as a "city" only in 1840 by Napoleon, thus freeing it from the dependence of the nearby and more important Milan, this Lombard city
- the third in the region in terms of population after Milan
- is still an unspoiled oasis and rich in natural and artistic beauties: its enclosed Park, with over 700 hectares of meadows and woods, lakes and avenues, with its 14 km long walls, is the largest in Europe, even larger than Versailles; and its Royal Palace
, known as 'Villa Reale
', which hosted the Habsburgs and the Savoys in its rooms, is a splendid example of neoclassical architecture, designed by Giuseppe Piermarini
, the most popular Italian architect of Lombard's 18th century, who also designed the La Scala theater in Milan.
Walking along the bridges that cross the Lambro river, which made the surrounding countryside fertile with its waters, is a glimpse of much of the serene Brianza - one of the most industrious areas of northern Italy - of which Monza is the recognized center.
The Cathedral of Monza
The Cathedral of Monza. Photo: © Sisterscom.com, Shutterstock
In the heart of the city stands the beautiful Cathedral, a masterpiece inspired by Gothic lines with an elegant alternation of white and green stripes, which has inside the extraordinary chapel of Teodolinda, Lombard queen, where the famous Iron Crown is kept together with precious works of goldsmithing of the period, one of the most important treasures in the world, crown that also appears in the city's coat of arms and with which kings and emperors were crowned, including Charlemagne and Napoleon.
The Arengario of Monza
The Arengario of Monza. Photo: © Sisterscom.com, Shutterstock
The majestic ancient Town Hall, explains the era in which the city flourished for its artisanal activities, especially in the field of weaving and commerce: under the wide arcade with arches that still constitutes the heart of city life today, the Monzese people love to meet and stop for pleasant breaks.
Instead, lovers of international-level sports competitions meet at the Autodromo, famous all over the world, located within the large Park, where for almost a century the most exciting races on two and four wheels have been held, including the prestigious Formula 1.
The memories of the Nun of Monza, known to all for having been immortalized for her sad story by Manzoni in the pages of "The Betrothed", can be found in the Church of San Maurizio and Santa Margherita, because in the nearby convent the young daughter of the Counts De Leyda was confined.
Recently reopened to the public, the Civic Museums, housed in the majestic medieval complex known as 'La Casa degli Umiliati', offer a rich and fascinating overview of painting and sculpture: in the twelve exhibition sections there are archaeological finds, including an interesting stone where the Monzese are mentioned as 'modiciates', from the ancient name Modicia of the city, but there are also medieval works and objects that tell about the reality and habits of the Monzese people in the Middle Ages, as well as a vast series of Romantic paintings.
The culinary specialties of Monza