Walking in (and around)… Romano di Lombardia (1), Lombardy, Italy

A small town on the train line between Milan and Verona (sometimes Venice), Romano di Lombardia is a place I called home for six months. Due to its size, I quickly became closely acquainted with the town and all the small streets it has. Located just south of the Alps and near some wonderful landscapes such as the river Serio and the northern lakes of Italy, there is plenty to do and see nearby.

Over the next few weeks I shall be writing about some of my favourite walks in the area. To start with, however, let’s focus on the centre of the town itself.

Walk 1 – The Old Inner Ring

If you have never been to Romano before, or are perhaps exploring some of the beautiful towns on the Milan – Verona train line, it’s always good to start with the old inner ring road.

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Pedestrian friendly, with most of the town’s sights nearby and at just under a mile (1.5km) in length, the old ring is a nice, easy introduction to the town. If you arrive by train, simply head a short distance south from the station. If you see a Lidl, you are on the wrong side of the train line!

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The two minute walk from the station leads you to the top-left ‘corner’ of the ring, opposite the castle (la rocca).

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La Rocca (The Castle), situated on the north-west of the ring.

Head south (with the castle to your left) – there is a tree-lined path heading all the way down. About half way down, you will arrive at the town hall (with a fountain outside!).

Keep following the road down until you get to the roundabout. To your left is the bottom of the main street running through Romano. We will arrive at the other end of this street at the end of the loop.

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Looking up Romano’s central street from the south.

(Optional extra) – Head down Via Marconi until you see a pretty church. It’s very pretty, and there’s a small water feature with some statues behind it!

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Optional Extra: Head down to see the Baroque sanctuary of Madonna della Fontana.

Back to the ring, follow it round until you start heading north again. Walk past the Hotel Mariet (it’s quite exclusive, apparently), keep following the tree-lined pavement until you are about halfway back up. The path and the road split apart and are separated by a building. The road west is a cute street that leads to the centre again, but we will continue north.

Ahead you will now see a small stream to your right and an open square / market place (Piazza Fiume) to your left. If you take this walk on a Thursday morning, you will be able to check out the market. If you are lucky and are walking here in the summer, there may be a special event on as Romano hosts a range of food, music and cultural festivals when the weather gets hotter.

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A food festival taking place at Piazza Fiume, May 2017

To complete the loop, follow the stream north and, eventually, west. We conclude the loop (but not necessarily the walk) at Piazza 4. Novembre, a pretty park bordered by a memorial statue, a shop selling good coffee (Parentesi Caffe) a lovely gelateria (Il Borgo Antico), a cool bar (Vieni Qui) and the castle itself. To see more of Romano, head straight down the main road (Via Rubini) to explore the historical town centre.

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Piazza 4. Novembre.

Inside the Ring:

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Entering Via Rubini from the north.

Romano is a pretty town. It is also very small and can be covered in full on foot pretty quickly, but there are one or two things to take in along the way. The main street (Via Rubini), named after Romano’s proudest export / tenor Giovanni Rubini, goes in a straight line from north to south, and takes us directly into historical centre of the town. Before you get there, you may want to turn right onto Via Comelli Rubini and visit the Rubini Museum and learn more about the famous tenor.

The heart of the town is located at Piazza Roma and is shadowed by the Santa Maria Assunta church. If you particularly enjoy the look of the church, there are some great cafes opposite to grab a drink or perhaps an apperitivo.

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The Santa Maria Assunta church by day.

From this central point, it’s worth getting lost down a couple of the side streets and taking in some of the architecture. Don’t worry about going too far as you will inevitably come to the inner ring road which you have just walked.

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The Santa Maria Assunta church by night.

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South of Piazza Roma.

Don’t forget to:

  • Eat gelato! There are some glorious gelaterias in Romano run by some wonderfully friendly people. Try Manu e Gigi on Piazza Fiume – it’s glorious, glorious stuff.
  • Drink coffee! Shockingly, I am not a coffee drinker, but I did enjoy the lovely company at Cafe Agora. The staff were always super friendly and I met some great people there too.
  • Get out of town! There are some beautiful surroundings to Romano. I will write about some of these walks very soon, so watch this space!

 

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Lovely Romano.
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