Soncino is quite a small town in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, and to the north-west of Cremona (also east of Milan) that is visited for its important 15th century castle.
The town of Soncino is also officially listed among the 'most beautiful villages in Italy'.
It is true to say that Soncino is not a major destination for those visiting Lombardy, but if you find yourself nearby (for example when travelling between Milan and Lake Garda) there are several places of interest in the town.
Principal among these is the castle, known as the Rocca Sforzesca and dating from the second half of the 15th century. The castle is strongly fortified with battlements on the walls and a bridge across a moat (now empty), and four sturdy towers - three of them are square while the rear right tower is round.
The castle is generally considered to be one of the most architecturally interesting in this part of Italy.
Another notable sight in Soncino is the Church of San Giacomo, attached to a dominican convent with pretty cloisters surrounded by an arcaded walkway. The inside of the church is coverd almost completely in beautiful frescoes.
Other historic monuments include the Church of Santa Marie delle Grazie; the historic town hall and tower; and the 12th century Church of Santa Maria Assunta.
You might have come across the name Soncino in a different context: it is said that it was here in around 1483 that the first complete Hebrew Bible was printed, in the house called 'Casa degli Stampatori' (trans: 'House of the Printers'), and even today the name of Soncino is still associated with the printing of Hebrew books.
As we mentioned, most visitors to Soncino will be on their way to somewhere else - typically one of the famous Lombardy lakes to the north of here - but if you are exploring here in southern Lombardy other places that you will find interesting include Crema and Lodi, both to the south-west of Soncino.
Map of Soncino and places to visit
Soncino places to visit
See more places nearby in the Lombardy guide