Upon arriving in Italy, the Lombards (also known as Langobards or Longobards) came into contact with the culture of a land that had become a strategic meeting point between the East and West, once the heart of the Roman Empire and now the seat of Christianity. Settling in Italian territory entailed interacting with the local population, resulting in a slow process of integration that gave rise to a new culture, a combination of Germanic customs with Classical and Roman-Christian tradition.
The Longobard elites took advantage of this connection with antiquity that developed so as to legitimize their growing power.
Today, the Longobards are considered to have played a major role in the transition from the Classical world to the Middle Ages. They contributed to the growth and dissemination of cultural, artistic, political and religious innovations that from Italy spread throughout Europe, thus anticipating the movement of renewal (renovatio) traditionally attributed to the Carolingian period and inspired by conversion to Christianity, which in the late 7th and 8th centuries led to an artistic flowering that involved all of Italy.