|Commerce& Industry in Each Region|
|Commerce, Industry, Lazio|
|Commerce, Industry, Basilicata|
|Commerce, Industry of Valle d'Aosta|
|Commerce, Industry of Umbria|
|Commerce, Industry of Trento Alto Adige|
|Commerce, Industry of Tuscany|
|Commerce, Industry of Sicily|
|Commerce, Industry of Sardegna|
|Commerce, Industry, Puglia|
|Commerce, Industry of Piemonte|
|Commerce, Industry of Molise|
|Commerce, Industry, Fruili Venezia Giulia|
|Commerce, Industry, Liguria|
|Commerce, Industry of Lombardia|
|Commerce, Industry of Marche|
|Commerce, Industry, Emila Romagna|
|Commerce, Industry, Campania|
|Commerce, Industry, Calabria|
|Commerce, Industry, Abruzzo|
|Commerce, Industry of Veneto|
|Trade Fairs in Italy|
|REGIONS OF ITALY|
|PEOPLE AND CULTURE|
|FOOD & WINE|
|HISTORY OF ITALY|
|TRAVELLING IN ITALY|
|MUSIC IN ITALY|
|VILLAS & GARDENS|
Commerce, Industry, Lazio
In the region of Lombardia, Italy, with regards to the economy, agriculture has declined in importance in recent decades, after giving rise to the accumulation of capital later invested in industry. Job rationalization and mechanization have, however, kept agriculture alive, guaranteeing large high quality production.
Rice growing (Province of Pavia), fodder (`lower' Milanese area) and sugar beet (Province of Cremona) are particularly important on the lower plain. In the hills and on the upper plain, corn, wheat, potatoes, other vegetables and fruit trees are cultivated. In some areas (Valtellina, Oltrep? Pavese) vines and wine production are important. The livestock sector is well-developed and technologically advanced (especially on the lower plain): Lombardy has the highest number of cattle and pigs in Italy.
One million, six hundred and forty-five thousand people are employed by industry, a much higher number than in any other Italian region. The development of the industrial sector (even before the unification of Italy) has always been linked to the flourishing agriculture which provided the capital required for investment and to the ideal geographical position, at the junction of the main lines of communication between the Mediterranean and Central Europe.
The availability of water resources also favoured industry, and all sectors are well represented in Lombardy. Mechanical and electromechanical engineering (Milan, Provinces of Varese and Brescia), chemicals (Milan) and textiles (cotton mills, silk spinning and weaving around Varese, Brianza and Como) are especially important. Other major industries are food (sausages and salami, cakes, dairy products) concentrated round Milan and Cremona; footwear (Varese, Vigevano), steel (Dalmine, Lovere), furniture (Brianza) and publishing (Milan). Mineral deposits are small and mining (Prealps near Bergamo and Brescia) is of little importance. Natural gas is extracted in the Provinces of Milan, Pavia and Cremona.
The growth of industry has greatly influenced the development of the service sector over the last few decades. This is mainly concentrated in Milan, one of the liveliest business centres in Europe, with a busy stock exchange, head offices of the most important banks, insurance and finance companies and the head-quarters of the major Italian firms. One third of Italy's trade with foreign countries passes through Milan.
The communications network is one of the best in Italy with roads, motorways and national and international railway lines all radiating from Milan; this expansion has also been facilitated by the relative proximity of the main Alpine passes and tunnels (others, such as the Spluga tunnel, are planned). Major exploitation of waterways has been under consideration for some time. At present these are little used and a navigable canal running into the Po River may be built from Milan to Cremona. Lombardy is served by Malpensa and Linate international airports and Orio al Serio domestic airport.
There are vast numbers of commuters in the metropolitan area: most of the office staff, factory workers and students living in the vast suburbs, travel daily to work or study in Milan, by public transport.