The Culinary History of Italy's Lombardy Region - 92Y, New York

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Undiscovered Italy: Lombardy

Food historian Francine Segan reveals the culinary and artistic delights of Northern Italy's Lombardy region.

From Milan and its stunning Duomo to Lake Como, northern Italy’s Lombardy region has it all for travelers. Join food historian Francine Segan as she highlights the area’s cultural and artistic treasures and cuisine. Lombardy is rightly famous for its food and wine, with favorites like saffron-infused risotto alla Milanese and Italy's champagne equivalent: Franciacorta sparkling wine.

The event includes tastings of classic Lombardy food including Calvisius caviar and Grana Padano the world's most popular DOP cheese, which is naturally lactose-free, paired with mostarda — candied whole fruit in mustard oil — a wonderfully sweet and spicy Lombardy specialty first created in Cremona. This treat is popular year-round, and is never missing from weddings and special occasions.

Glorious art abounds throughout Lombardy, including Da Vinci’s fresco of the Last Supper in the Milan’s Santa Maria delle Grazie monastery and Mantova's ducal palace with its famed cycle of frescoes by Mantegna. Architectural highlights of the region include one of the oldest medieval castles in Europe and Milan’s Gothic Duomo. Cremona is the birthplace of Stradivarius and home to a fabulous violin museum. Montova is called “Sleeping Beauty” because the city hasn’t changed since Middle Ages; founded by Etruscans in the 10th century, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shakespeare’s Romeo heard of Juliet’s death in Mantua, which is also the setting for Verdi’s tragic 19th opera Rigoletto. With its dramatic skyline of ancient towers, turrets, cupolas & domes, Italians voted Mantua the “most livable city in Italy.” Pavia’s annual Palio del Ticino is a lavish Renaissance festival, with a gondola race — in honor of the city’s 15th-century naval victory over the Venetian fleet.

Instructor

Francine Segan

Francine Segan is the author of six books including Shakespeare’s Kitchen and Dolci: Italy’s Sweets. Her most recent book is Pasta Modern.