The Lombard plain is the most populous region in Europe… Our rural areas have more schools, the poor have more doctors, and there are many trained engineers to help the country.  Landownership is common amongst all the classes of people.  All things considered this is the country with the largest number of educated families in proportion with the illiterate poor… no nation can compare with us for hardworking people.

Carlo Cattaneo, 1840s

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