Brianza is a district with a favourable geographical position. It can be reached with just a short trip from Milan, and it offers excellent conditions in terms of climate, the natural setting, and the many opportunities linked to the attractions provided by the area. The hills begin just a few kilometres north of Monza, and they continue further north, gradually reaching greater heights. Some locations have been classic destinations for trips outside the city for a long time. Today they are made even more popular by the organization of excursions, cycle trips and culinary excursions, in attractive hilltop towns such as Montevecchia and Monticello Brianza. The lakes area is also very beautiful. It includes Lake Annone and Lake Pusiano, also known as Eupilio, famous for the descriptions by poet Parini who was born there. The area offers many historical and art treasures. These include the lovely Basilica of San Vincenzo, not far from Cantù, in a splendid position on the Galliano hill.
Monza deserves a special mention. This town is internationally famous partly for the racing circuit, a favourite for all those keen on Formula 1 racing, because the Italian Grand Prix is held there every September. Monza has a fine heritage of art and history, including the so-called “Corona ferrea” or Iron Crown, which has been conserved in a chapel in Monza cathedral since the days of Longobard queen Teodolinda. Tradition has it that the crown includes a nail from the Crucifixion of Christ. This is why the crown was used over the centuries for the coronation of kings of Italy, including the most important European sovereigns such as Charlemagne in 775, Ottone I in 952, Berengario in 888, Federico I Barbarossa in 1158, Napoleon Bonaparte in 1805, right through to Ferdinand I of Austria in 1838.
Don’t miss the superb Villa Reale, residence for the Hapsburg court, built between 1777 and 1870 with design by architect Giuseppe Piermarini. The gardens of the villa are also exceptional, as they were the first in Italy to be laid out in the landscaped garden style. Lastly, the Cathedral of Monza, dedicated to St. John, is at the city centre.