Lodi is a substantial town, situated in the Lombardy region about 35 kilometres south-east of Milan that originally developed as an important station on the Roman transport routes in the region.
The centre of Lodi, and the starting place for a visit, is the large Victory Square (Piazza della Vittoria). On this square you can see the 12th century cathedral and a good number of other interesting historical buildings, many having arcades at street level.
In the surrounding streets Lodi has a very pretty medieval old town, with attractive well-loved gardens and pastel coloured houses, and is well worth a visit.
Lodi cathedral: built between 1158 and 1284 the church spans vrious architectural styles, with a roman style facade, a gothic style porch and a renaissance period rose window. The belltower was added later, in the 16th century.
Particularly noteworthy inside the cathedral are the 15th century sculpture depicting 'Lamentation for the Dead Christ' and the altarpiece.
The building to the left of the cathedral is called the Palazzo Broletto. It has stood here since the 13th century, although substantial modifications have been carried out in recent centuries. See also the small pedestrianised Piazza Broletto here with its marble fountain.
In fact you will come across various interesting 'palaces' in Lodi, such as the Palazzo Mozzanica (15th century), the 18th century Palace Modignani where napoleon once stayed; and the 14th century palace Vistarini with its arcaded brick facade.
Another important religious monument in Lodi (just off the main square) is the Temple of the Incoronata, a renaissance period building that is above all visited for its opulently decorated interior - don't miss the very beautiful paintings in the church dome.
There are several other churches of note that you will discover as you explore Lodi, including:
- the (unfinished) 13th century Church of Saint Francis, in red-brick and on Piazza Hospitale;
- the rococo style Church of San Filippo Neri;
- the baroque style Church of Saint Mary Magdalene.
- the Chuch of San Lorenzo, overlooking a picturesque little piazza.
Historical note: it was at Lodi that Napoleon won his first major battle - not surprising called the battle of Lodi!