How a Different Pandemic Completely Reshaped Northern Italy

Mar 31, 2021 297

BY: Ronan O'Connell

Embellished by crystalline lakes, snowy mountains, and graceful, historic cities, the picturesque Lombardy region of northern Italy is one of Europe’s most popular tourist areas. Lombardy was also ground zero in the country’s severe coronavirus outbreak. It was here that Europe’s COVID-19 crisis exploded in February of last year, and since then almost a third of Italy’s 93,000 coronavirus deaths have occurred in the region, of which Milan is the capital.

What few tourists to Lombardy would know is that the people who gave this region its name conquered it during an even deadlier pandemic, nearly 1,500 years ago. A tribe that originated in Scandinavia, the Lombards exploited the carnage created by the Justinian Plague.

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