The place-name Brianza, which initially referred to a habited area that is now part of the Comune of Colle Brianza, seems to derive from the Celtic brig and signifies "hill" or "mount". The name, therefore, indicates the typical form of this extensive area, located between the provinces of Como and Lecco. Brianza is a sort of throughway between the plain and the hills and has a strong "relief" landscape characterized by rises, small hollows and lakes that are often of morainic origin. The original aspect of the terrain has been considerably altered by economic development that, beginning after World War II, has been a fundamental part of the economic success of Lombardy. Until then, Brianza was a land for relaxation and recreation for aristocrats and the rich. It is enough to observe the crowds in the parks, gardens and aristocratic villas in a town like Merate to become aware of this. Those desiring to enjoy the natural beauties of the area can visit the Buco del Piombo in Erba, an imposing cave carved in the rock of the Turati Alps, or else gaze from the monastic complex of San Genesio, in the Arlate area, upon a vast, marvellous panorama with infinite variations.