In his paper Carlo Lacaita points out that the Notizie naturali e civili su la Lombardia reflect Cattaneo’s long-held views on society, history and civilization. He further shows how these ideas are grounded on the principles of empirical historicism and how they underlie each and every part of his rich and varied literary production. Even when debating problems of common utility and welfare, in fact, he never fails to air his opinions on the different processes of change involving culture and society or to relate them to their internal dynamics and to the action of external influences. This is why federalism was in his eyes the political form most conducive to the free and peaceful coexistence of different peoples.
Keywords: Carlo Cattaneo, Notizie naturali e civili su la Lombardia, knowledge, civilisation.