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Milan is the second-largest municipality in Italy and the capital of Lombardy as well as of the province of Milan. The basic administrative division proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area is the 5th largest in EU and the largest in Italy with an estimated population of approximately 5.2 millionSony PCG-71313M battery. The growth of many suburbs and satellite settlements around the city proper, following the Italian economic miracle of 1950s–60s and massive commuting flows, suggest that socioeconomic linkages have expanded well beyond the boundaries of its administrative limits and its agglomeration, creating a region of approximately 9.3 million peopleSony PCG-71212M battery. It has been suggested that the Milan metropolitan area is part of the so-called Blue Banana, the area of Europe with the highest population and industrial density. Its health care and education system is considered one of the best of Europe.

Milan was founded by the Insubres, a Celtic people. The city was later captured by the Romans in 222 BC, and later was the capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 until 402 AD. Milan became one of the most prosperous Italian cities during the High Middle AgesSony PCG-71311M battery, playing a primary role in the Lombard League. Later Milan became the capital of the Duchy of Milan, being ruled by the Visconti, the Sforza, the Spanish and the Austrians. In 1796, Milan was conquered by the French troops of Napoleon, only to be given again to the Austrian Empire at the Congress of Vienna of 1815. In 1859 the city was eventually annexed to the House of SavoySony PCG-71213M battery, and soon started to lead the industrialization process of the new Kingdom of Italy. During World War II, the city was badly affected by Allied bombings, and after German occupation in 1943, Milan became the main centre of the Italian resistance movement. In post-war years, Milan enjoyed a prolonged economic boom, attracting large flows of immigrants from Southern Italy. During the past three decadesSony PCG-61211M battery, the city has seen a dramatic rise in the number of international migrants, and today 15.2% of Milan's population is foreign born.

Milan is the main industrial, commercial and financial centre of Italy. Its business district hosts the Italian Stock Exchange and the headquarters of the largest national banks and multinational companies. The city is recognized as a major world fashion and design capitalSONY PCG-8113M battery, and it has thus been ranked by GaWC as an Alpha world city in 2010, as well as the 42nd most important global city. Thanks to its important museums, theatres and landmarks (including the Milan Cathedral, the fourth largest cathedral in the world, and Santa Maria delle Grazie, decorated with Leonardo da Vinci paintings, a UNESCO World Heritage Site) Milan attracts two million annual visitorsSONY PCG-8112M battery. It hosts numerous cultural institutions and universities, including Bocconi University, which ranks fifth among European Business Schools. The city is also well known for several international events and fairs, including Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair, the largest of its kind in the world,[14] and will host the 2015 Universal Exposition. The city is also home to two renowned football teams, A.C. Milan and F.C. Internazionale MilanoSONY PCG-7134M battery.


See also: List of rulers of Milan, List of Governors of the Duchy of Milan, and Timeline of Milan history

The English name Milan derives from the Lombard and the Italian form is Milano, which stems from the Latin Mediolanum, the ancient city founded by the Celtic tribe of the Insubres, who were in possession of the city until the Roman conquest in the third century BC. The Mediolanum name is borne by a number of Gallo-Roman sites in FranceSONY PCG-7131M battery, such as Mediolanum Santonum (Saintes) and Mediolanum Aulercorum (Évreux) and agreed to be of (Continental) Celtic, specifically Gaulish origin, a compound whose first element corresponds to Latin medius "middle". The traditional etymology considers the second element cognate with Latin planum "plain" (with the characteristic Celtic loss of p) SONY PCG-7122M battery , and holds that the original meaning is "mid-plain", "situated in the middle of the plain". By other scholars, however, the second element has been identified with the Celtic element -lan, signifying an enclosure or demarcated territory (source of the Welsh word 'llan', meaning a sanctuary or church). Hence, Mediolanum could signify the central town or sanctuary of a particular Celtic tribe. SONY PCG-7121M battery

The origin of the name and of a boar (the scrofa semilanuta) as a symbol of the city are fancifully accounted for in Andrea Alciato's Emblemata (1584), beneath a woodcut of the first raising of the city walls, where a boar is seen lifted from the excavation, and the etymology of Mediolanum given as "half-wool",[16] explained in Latin and in FrenchSONY PCG-7113M battery. The foundation of Milan is credited to two Celtic peoples, the Bituriges and the Aedui, having as their emblems a ram and a boar;[17] therefore "The city's symbol is a wool-bearing boar, an animal of double form, here with sharp bristles, there with sleek wool."[18] Alciato credits Ambrose for his accountSONY PCG-7112M battery .

Celtic and Roman times

Main article: Mediolanum

Ruins of the Emperor's palace in Milan. Here Constantine I and Licinius issued the Edict of Milan.

Around 400 BC, the Celtic Insubres settled Milan and the surrounding region. In 222 BC, the Romans conquered this settlement, which was then renamed Mediolanum. After several centuries of Roman control, Milan was declared the capital of the Western Roman Empire by Emperor Diocletian in 293 ADSONY PCG-8Z3M battery. Diocletian chose to stay in the Eastern Roman Empire (capital Nicomedia) and his colleague Maximianus ruled the Western one. Immediately Maximian built several gigantic monuments, like a large circus 470 m × 85 m (1,540 ft × 279 ft), the Thermae Herculeae, a large complex of imperial palaces and several other services and buildingsSONY PCG-8Z2M battery.

With the Edict of Milan of 313, Emperor Constantine I guaranteed freedom of religion for Christians.[20] The city was besieged by the Visigoths in 402, so the imperial residence was moved to Ravenna. In 452, the Huns overran the city. In 539, the Ostrogoths conquered and destroyed Milan in the course of the so-called Gothic War against Byzantine Emperor Justinian ISONY PCG-8Z1M battery. In the summer of 569, the Longobards (from which the name of the Italian region Lombardy derives), a Teutonic tribe conquered Milan, overpowering the small Byzantine army left for its defence. Some Roman structures remained in use in Milan under Lombard rule.[21] Milan surrendered to the Franks in 774 when Charlemagne, in an utterly novel decisionSONY PCG-8Y3M battery, took the title "King of the Lombards" as well (before then the Germanic kingdoms had frequently conquered each other, but none had adopted the title of King of another people). The Iron Crown of Lombardy dates from this period. Subsequently Milan become part of the Holy Roman Empire.

Milan as it appeared in 1493, woodcut from the Nuremberg ChronicleSONY PCG-8Y2M battery .

During the Middle Ages, Milan prospered as a centre of trade due to its command of the rich plain of the Po and routes from Italy across the Alps. The war of conquest by Frederick I Barbarossa against the Lombard cities brought the destruction of much of Milan in 1162. After the founding of the Lombard League in 1167SONY PCG-7Z1M battery, Milan took the leading role in this alliance. As a result of the independence that the Lombard cities gained in the Peace of Constance in 1183, Milan became a duchy. In 1208 Rambertino Buvalelli served a term as podestà of the city, in 1242 Luca Grimaldi, and in 1282 Luchetto Gattilusio. The position could be fraught with personal dangers in the violent political life of the medieval communeSONY PCG-6W2M battery : in 1252 Milanese heretics assassinated the Church's Inquisitor, later known as Saint Peter Martyr, at a ford in the nearby contado; the killers bribed their way to freedom, and in the ensuing riot the podestà was very nearly lynched. In 1256 the archbishop and leading nobles were expelled from the city. In 1259 Martino della Torre was elected Capitano del Popolo by members of the guildsSONY PCG-5J5M battery ; he took the city by force, expelled his enemies, and ruled by dictatorial powers, paving streets, digging canals, successfully taxing the countryside. His policy, however, brought the Milanese treasury to collapse; the use of often reckless mercenary units further angered the population, granting an increasing support for the Della Torre's traditional enemies, the ViscontiSONY PCG-5K2M battery . It is worthy of note that the most important industries throughout the period were major armaments and wool production, a whole catalogue of activities and trades is given in Bonvesin della Riva's "de Magnalibus Urbis Mediolani".

The Biscione: the coat of arms of the House of Visconti, from the Archbishops' palace in Piazza DuomoSONY PCG-5K1M battery .

On 22 July 1262 Ottone Visconti was created archbishop of Milan by Pope Urban IV, against the Della Torre candidate, Raimondo della Torre, Bishop of Como. The latter thus started to publicize allegations of the Visconti's closeness to the heretic Cathars and charged them of high treason: the Visconti, who accused the Della Torre of the same crimes, were then banned from Milan and their properties confiscatedSONY PCG-5J4M battery. The ensuing civil war caused more damage to Milan's population and economy, lasting for more than a decade. Ottone Visconti unsuccessfully led a group of exiles against the city in 1263, but after years of escalating violence on all sides, finally, after the victory in the Battle of Desio (1277), he won the city for his family. The Visconti succeeded in ousting the della Torre forever, ruling the city and its possession until the 15th centurySONY PCG-5J1M battery.

Much of the prior history of Milan was the tale of the struggle between two political factions—the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. Most of the time the Guelphs were successful in the city of Milan. However, the Visconti family were able to seize power (signoria) in Milan, based on their "Ghibelline" friendship with the German Emperors.[22] In 1395, one of these emperors, Wenceslas (1378–1400), raised the Milanese to the dignity of a duchy. SONY PCG-5G2M batteryAlso in 1395, Gian Galeazzo Visconti became duke of Milan. The Ghibelline Visconti family was to retain power in Milan for a century and a half from the early 14th century until the middle of the 15th century.

In 1447 Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan, died without a male heir; following the end of the Visconti line, the Ambrosian Republic was enacted. The Ambrosian Republic took its name from St. AmbroseSony VAIO PCG-8131M battery, popular patron saint of the city of Milan.[25] Both the Guelph and the Ghibelline factions worked together to bring about the Ambrosian Republic in Milan. However, the Republic collapsed when in 1450, Milan was conquered by Francesco Sforza, of the House of Sforza, which made Milan one of the leading cities of the Italian RenaissanceSony VAIO PCG-8152M battery.

Early modern

The late 16th-century city encircled by the Spanish walls.

The French king Louis XII first laid claim to the duchy in 1492. At that time, Milan was defended by Swiss mercenaries. After the victory of Louis's successor Francis I over the Swiss at the Battle of Marignano, the duchy was promised to the French king Francis I. When the Habsburg Charles V defeated Francis I at the Battle of Pavia in 1525, northern Italy, including Milan, passed to the House of Habsburg. Sony VAIO PCG-31311M battery

In 1556, Charles V abdicated in favour of his son Philip II and his brother Ferdinand I. Charles's Italian possessions, including Milan, passed to Philip II and the Spanish line of Habsburgs, while Ferdinand's Austrian line of Habsburgs ruled the Holy Roman Empire. The Great Plague of Milan in 1629–31 killed an estimated 60,000 people out of a population of 130,000Sony VAIO PCG-31111M battery. This episode is considered one of the last outbreaks of the centuries-long pandemic of plague that began with the Black Death.[28]

In 1700 the Spanish line of Habsburgs was extinguished with the death of Charles II. After his death, the War of the Spanish Succession began in 1701 with the occupation of all Spanish possessions by French troops backing the claim of the French Philippe of Anjou to the Spanish throneSony VAIO PCG-8112M battery. In 1706, the French were defeated in Ramillies and Turin and were forced to yield northern Italy to the Austrian Habsburgs. In 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht formally confirmed Austrian sovereignty over most of Spain's Italian possessions including Lombardy and its capital, Milan.

Milanese patriots fight Austrian troops during the Five Days

Napoleon invaded Italy in 1796, and Milan was declared capital of the Cisalpine Republic. Later, he declared Milan capital of the Kingdom of Italy and was crowned in the DuomoSony VAIO PCG-7186M battery. Once Napoleon's occupation ended, the Congress of Vienna returned Lombardy, and Milan, along with Veneto, to Austrian control in 1815.[29] During this period, Milan became a centre of lyric opera. Here in the 1770s Mozart had premiered three operas at the Teatro Regio Ducal. Later La Scala became the reference theatre in the world, with its premières of Bellini, DonizettiSony VAIO PCG-7171M battery, Rossini and Verdi. Verdi himself is interred in the Casa di Riposo per Musicisti, his present to Milan. In the 19th century other important theatres were La Cannobiana and the Teatro Carcano.

On 18 March 1848, the Milanese rebelled against Austrian rule, during the so-called "Five Days" (Italian: Le Cinque Giornate), and Field Marshal Radetzky was forced to withdraw from the city temporarily. However, after defeating Italian forces at Custoza on 24 JulySony VAIO PCG-9Z1M battery, Radetzky was able to reassert Austrian control over Milan and northern Italy. However, Italian nationalists, championed by the Kingdom of Sardinia, called for the removal of Austria in the interest of Italian unification. Sardinia and France formed an alliance and defeated Austria at the Battle of Solferino in 1859.[30] Following this battle, Milan and the rest of Lombardy were incorporated into the Kingdom of SardiniaSony VAIO PCG-5S1M battery, which soon gained control of most of Italy and in 1861 was rechristened as the Kingdom of Italy. The political unification of Italy cemented Milan's commercial dominance over northern Italy. It also led to a flurry of railway construction that had started under Austrian partronage (Venice–Milan; Milan–Monza) that made Milan the rail hub of northern ItalySony VAIO PCG-5P1M battery. Thereafter with the opening of the Gotthard (1881) and Simplon (1906) railway tunnels, Milan became the major South European rail focus for business and passenger movements e.g. the Simplon Orient Express. Rapid industrialization and market expansion put Milan at the centre of Italy's leading industrial regionSony VAIO PCG-5N2M battery, though in the 1890s Milan was shaken by the Bava-Beccaris massacre, a riot related to a high inflation rate. Meanwhile, as Milanese banks dominated Italy's financial sphere, the city became the country's leading financial centre. Milan's economic growth brought a rapid expansion in the city's area and population during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Sony VAIO PCG-3C2M battery

Late modern and contemporary

View of Piazza del Duomo, Milan in the early 20th century.

In 1918, the Great War ended with Italy among the winning powers, but the heavy toll of the conflict manifested itself in terms of food shortage, high unemployment and hyperinflation that quickly led to social unrest. Exploiting these favorable circumstances, Benito Mussolini organized his Fascist Blackshirts, that rallied for the first time in Piazza San SepolcroSony VAIO PCG-8161M battery, a small square near Milan Cathedral. Subsequently, Mussolini led his March on Rome starting from Milan. During the Second World War Milan suffered severe damage from British and American bombings. When Italy quit the war in 1943, German forces occupied most of Northern Italy until 1945. As a result, antifascist resistance groups formed and started guerilla operations against Nazi and Italian Social Republic's troopsSony VAIO PCG-8141M battery. As the war came to an end, the American 1st Armored Division advanced on Milan as part of the Po Valley Campaign. But before they arrived, members of the Italian resistance movement took control of the city and executed Mussolini along with several members of his collaborationist government. On 29 April 1945, the corpses of Mussolini, his mistress Clara Petacci and other Fascist leaders were infamously hanged in Piazzale Loreto, where a year before fifteen antifascists had been executedSony VAIO PCG-3J1M battery.

After the war, the city was the site of a refugee camp for Jews fleeing from Austria. During the economic miracle of the 1950s and 1960s, a large wave of internal migration, especially peasants from rural areas of Southern Italy, moved to the city. During this period, Milan saw a quick reconstruction of most of its destroyed houses and factories, with the building of several innovative and modernist skyscrapersSony VAIO PCG-3H1M battery, such as the Torre Velasca and the Pirelli Tower. The economic boom was however overshadowed in the late 1960s and early 1970s during the so-called Years of Lead, when Milan witnessed an unprecedented wave of street violence, labour strikes and political terrorism. The apex of this period of turmoil occurred on 12 December 1969, when a bomb exploded at the National Agrarian Bank in Piazza Fontana, killing seventeen people and injuring eighty-eightSony VAIO PCG-3F1M battery.

In the 1980s, as several fashion firms based in the city became internationally successful (such as Armani, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana), Milan started to be recognized as one of the world's fashion capitals. The traditionally affordable and practical, yet stylish and chic attire produced by the city's stylists made it a serious global competitorSony VAIO PCG-3C1M battery, threatening Paris' century-long status as the world capital of haute couture. The city saw also a rise in international tourism, notably from America and Japan. This period of prosperity and the new international image of the city led many journalists to call the metropolis "Milano da bere", literally "Milan to drink".[31] However, in the 1990s, Milan was badly affected by Tangentopoli, a major political scandal centered on public works bribesSony VAIO PCG-9Z2L battery, in which several local and national politicians and businessmen were tried for alleged corruption. The city was also affected by a severe financial crisis and a steady decline in textiles, automobile and steel production, that led to a deep reorganization of its economy.

In the early 21st century, Milan underwent a series of massive redevelopments, with the moving of its exhibition center to a much larger site in the satellite town of Rho, Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1L battery and the construction of a new financial district in Porta Nuova. The 2008 announcement of the city hosting the Expo 2015[33] has brightened prospects for the city's future, with several new plans of regeneration and the planned construction of numerous avant-garde structures. Despite the decline in Milan's manufacturing production,[34] the city has found alternative and successful sources of revenueSony VAIO PCG-9131L battery, including publishing, finance, banking, food processing, information technology, logistics, transport and tourism.[34] In addition, Milan's population seems to have stabilized in recent years, with signs of recovery as it grew by five percent since 2001.

Municipal administration

See also: Milan municipal election, 2011 and List of mayors of Milan

Palazzo Marino, Milan City Hall

Giuliano Pisapia, mayor since 2011

The city's nine boroughs

In its postwar political history, Milan has been governed for more than thirty years by a center-left coalition including the Italian Socialist Party and the Christian Democrats, while in the 1980s the political balance shifted further left with coalitions between the SocialistsSony VAIO PCG-8161L battery, the Communists and the newborn Greens. However, after a sensational uncovering of massive bribes scandals in the early 1990s, the city had become a stronghold of the conservative coalition led by Milanese media-magnate Silvio Berlusconi combined with the secessionist far-right movement Northern League, a trend that seems to have been reversed only by the 2011 municipal electionsSony VAIO PCG-8152L battery, in which a progressive candidate successfully contested the mayoral seat, thus ending almost 20 years of conservative administrations.

The legislative body of the municipality (commune) is the City Council (Consiglio Comunale), which is composed by 48 members elected every five years. Milan's executive body is the City Committee (Giunta Comunale), composed by 16 assessors and presieded over by the mayor. The current mayor of Milan is Giuliano PisapiaSony VAIO PCG-8141L battery, expression of a progressive alliance composed by the Democratic Party of Italy, Left Ecology Freedom, the Greens and the Communist Refoundation Party.

Main article: Boroughs of Milan

The municipality of Milan is further subdivided into nine devolution boroughs (zone), down from the former twenty boroughs before the 1999 administrative reform. The boroughs are governed by a president and a borough council, elected contextually to the city mayor. Since the 2011 mayoral electionsSony VAIO PCG-8131L battery, all the administrative boroughs are governed by center-left representatives.[36] Boroughs have the power to advise the mayor with nonbinding opinions on a large spectrum of topics (environment, construction, public health, local markets); in addition they are supplied with an autonomous founding in order to finance local activitiesSony VAIO PCG-81312L battery.

Milan is located in the north-western section of the great Po Valley, between the rivers Ticino and Adda, among the river Po and the first reliefs of the Alps. The municipal territory is entirely flat, the highest point being at 122 m (400.26 ft) above sea level. The administrative commune covers, behind its borders, a total surface area of about 181 km2 (70 sq mi) Sony VAIO PCG-81214L battery. However, the continuously built-up area trespass by far the city limits and forms a vast urban agglomeration with the large residential suburs of Assago, Opera, San Donato Milanese, San Giuliano Milanese, Cologno Monzese and Segrate to the south and east, the industrial towns of Sesto San Giovanni, Cinisello Balsamo, Paderno Dugnano, Rho, Legnano and Busto Arsizio to the north and west, up to including Monza and many other lesser settlementsSony VAIO PCG-81115L battery.


According to the Köppen climate classification, Milan has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa); the Mediterranean Sea is too far to exert any influence, so Milan's climate is similar to much of northern Italy's inland plains, where sultry summers and cold, wet winters prevail. The Alps and Appennines form a natural barrier that protects the city from the major circulations coming from northern Europe and the sea. Sony VAIO PCG-81114L battery

During winter, average temperatures in the city center fall below freezing levels (−2 °C/28 °F) and significant accumulations of snow can occur: the historic average of Milan's area is 21 centimetres (8 in) during the period between 1950 and 2007, with a record of 90 centimetres (35 in) during the snowfall of January 1985. In the stereotypical image, the city is often shrouded in the heavy fog characteristic of cold seasons in the Po BasinSony VAIO PCG-81113L battery, although the removal of rice paddies from the southern neighborhoods and the urban heat island effect have reduced this occurrence in recent years, at least in the city center. Occasionally, bursts of Foehn winds cause the temperatures to rise unexcpectedly: on January 22, 2012 the daily high reached 16 °C (61 °F) while on February 22, 2012 it reached 21 °C (70 °F) Sony VAIO PCG-7142L battery. The city receives on average seven days of snow per year. Pollution levels rise significantly in winter when cold air clings to the soil; researchers at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute assessed Milan's metropolitan area to be one of Europe’s most polluted.


Summer can be quite oppressive, when humidity levels are high and peak temperatures can reach 34 °C (93 °F) Sony VAIO PCG-7141L battery. Usually this season enjoys clearer skies and more than 13 hours of daylight on average; when precipitations occur though, there is a higher likelihood of them being thunderstorms and hailstorms .

Spring and Autumn

Spring and Autumn are well marked and generally pleasant, with temperatures ranging between 10 °C (50 °F) and 20 °C (68 °F) ; these seasons are characterised by higher precipitation averages, especially in April and MaySony VAIO PCG-71111L battery.

Humidity and winds

Relative humidity typically ranges between 45% (comfortable) and 95% (very humid) throughout the year, rarely dropping below 27% (dry) and reaching as high as 100%.[45] Wind is generally absent: over the course of the year typical wind speeds vary from 0 mph to 9 mph (calm to gentle breeze), rarely exceeding 18 mph (fresh breeze) Sony VAIO PCG-61411L battery, except during summer thunderstorms when winds blow strong. In spring, gale-force windstorms may happen, generated either by Tramontana blowing from the Alps or by Bora-like winds from the north.


See also: List of buildings in Milan, Villas and palaces in Milan, and Neoclassical architecture in MilanSony VAIO PCG-61112L battery

The Gothic façade of Milan Cathedral

There are few remains of the ancient Roman colony that later became a capital of the Western Roman Empire. During the second half of the fourth century, Saint Ambrose, as bishop of Milan, had a strong influence on the layout of the city, redesigning the centre (although the cathedral and baptistery built at this time are now lost) and building the great basilicas at the city gatesSony VAIO PCG-61111L battery: Sant'Ambrogio, San Nazaro in Brolo, San Simpliciano and Sant'Eustorgio, which still stand, refurbished over the centuries, as some of the finest and most important churches in Milan. The largest and most important example of Gothic architecture in Italy, Milan's Cathedral, is the fourth largest in the world[48] after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Cathedral of Seville and a new cathedral in Côte d'Ivoire.Sony VAIO PCG-5T4L battery Built between 1386 and 1577, it hosts the world's largest collection of marble statues and has a widely visible golden Madonna statue on top of the spire, nicknamed by the people of Milan as Madunina (the little Madonna), that became one of the symbols of the city.

The Castello Sforzesco, ancient residence of the House of Sforza

In the second half of the fifteenth century, when the Sforza ruled the city, the old Visconti fortress was enlarged and embellished to became the Castello SforzescoSony VAIO PCG-5T3L battery: the seat of an elegant Renaissance court surrounded by a walled hunting park stocked with game captured around the Seprio and Lake Como. Notable architects involved in the project included the Florentine Filarete, who was commissioned to build the high central entrance tower, and the military specialist Bartolomeo Gadio.[49] The political alliance between Francesco Sforza and the Florence of Cosimo de' Medici bore architectural fruitSony VAIO PCG-5T2L battery, as Milanese building came under the influence of Brunelleschian models of Renaissance architecture. The first notable buildings to show this Tuscan influence were a palazzo built to house the Medici Bank (of which only the main entrance survives) and the centrally planned Portinari Chapel, attached to Sant’Eustorgio and built for the first manager of the bank's Milan branchSony VAIO PCG-5S3L battery. Filarete, while in Milan, was responsible for the great public hospital known as the Ospedale Maggiore, and also for an influential Treatise on Architecture, which included a plan for a star-shaped ideal city called Sforzinda in honour of Francesco Sforza and passionately argued for the centrally planned form.

Basilica of San Lorenzo, Milan near the colonne di san lorenzoSony VAIO PCG-5S2L battery.

Leonardo da Vinci, who was in Milan from around 1482 until the fall of the city to the French in 1499, was commissioned in 1487 to design a tiburio, or crossing tower for the cathedral, although he was not chosen to build it.[50][51] However, the enthusiasm he shared with Filarete for the centrally-planned building gave rise in this period to numerous architectural drawings Sony VAIO PCG-5S1L battery, which were influential in the work of Donato Bramante and others. Bramante's work in the city, which included Santa Maria presso San Satiro (a reconstruction of a small 9th-century church), the beautiful luminous tribune of Santa Maria delle Grazie and three cloisters for Sant'Ambrogio, drew also on his studies of the Early Christian architecture of Milan such as the Basilica of San Lorenzo. Sony VAIO PCG-5R2L battery

The Counter-Reformation was also the period of Spanish domination and was marked by two powerful figures: Saint Charles Borromeo and his cousin, Cardinal Federico Borromeo. Not only did they impose themselves as moral guides to the people of Milan, but they also gave a great impulse to culture, with the creation of the Biblioteca AmbrosianaSony VAIO PCG-5R1L battery, in a building designed by Francesco Maria Ricchino, and the nearby Pinacoteca Ambrosiana. Many notable churches and Baroque mansions were built in the city during this period by the architects, Pellegrino Tibaldi, Galeazzo Alessi and Ricchino himself.[53]

The Chiaravalle Abbey, founded in 1135

Empress Maria Theresa of Austria was responsible for the significant renovations carried out in Milan during the 18th centurySony VAIO PCG-5P4L battery. She instigated profound social and civil reforms, as well as the construction of many of the buildings that still today constitute the pride of the city, like the Teatro alla Scala, inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and today one of the world's most famous opera houses. The annexed Museo Teatrale alla Scala contains a collection of paintings, drafts, statues, costumesSony VAIO PCG-5P2L battery, and other documents regarding opera and La Scala's history. La Scala also hosts the Ballet School of the Teatro alla Scala. The Austrian sovereign also promoted culture in Milan through projects such as converting the ancient Jesuit College, in the district of Brera, into a scientific and cultural centre with a Library, an astronomic observatory and the botanical gardensSony VAIO PCG-5N4L battery, in which the Art Gallery and the Academy of Fine Arts are today placed side by side. Milan was also widely affected by the Neoclassical movement in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, transforming its architectural style.

The Arch of Peace, erected in 1807 by Napoleon in Neoclassical style

French Imperial rule of the city in the early 19th century produced several fine Neoclassical structures and mansions, Many of these are located in the Corso Venezia district, Sony VAIO PCG-5N2L battery including Villa Reale or Villa del Belgiojoso, built by Leopoldo Pollack in 1790.[55] It housed the Bonaparte family, mainly Josephine Bonaparte, but also several others key political figures of 1800, such as Count Joseph Radetzky von Radetz and Eugène de Beauharnais.[55] It is often regarded as one of the best types of Neoclassical architecture in Milan and Lombardy, surrounded by an English landscape gardenSony VAIO PCG-51513L battery. Today, it hosts a Gallery Contemporary Art in a fine context of classical columns, vast halls, marble statues and crystal chandeliers.[55]

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: interior view.

Addictional, major examples of Neoclassical architecture in the city includes Palazzo Belgiojoso, former grand Napoleonic residence, and Palazzo Tarsis, built by Luigi Clerichetti for Count Paolo Tarsis in 1834, famous for its ornate façade. Sony VAIO PCG-51511L batteryThe massive Arch of Peace,[54] also known as Porta Sempione (Sempione Gate), is situated in Piazza Sempione right at the end of the omonimous park. It is often compared to a miniature version of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The works began in 1806 by order of Napoleone Bonaparte, under superivison of architect Luigi Cagnola. Just like with the Arc de TriompheSony VAIO PCG-51412L battery, Napoleon's 1815 defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, halted the construction of the monumental arch, but Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria ordered it to be completed as a celebration of the Vienna Congress and the peace treaties of 1815. It was completed by Francesco Peverelli on 10 September 1838.[55] Another noted Neoclassical building in the city is the Palazzo del GovernoSony VAIO PCG-51411L battery, constructed in 1817 by Piero Gilardoni.[55]

The gates of Cimitero Monumentale

In the second half of the 19th century, Milan quicklt became the main industrial center in Italy, drewing inspiration from the great European capitals that were hubs of the technological innovations of the second industrial revolution and, consequently, of the deep social change that had been put in motion. The great Galleria Vittorio Emanuele IISony VAIO PCG-51312L battery, a covered passage that connects Piazza del Duomo, Milan to the square opposite of La Scala opera house, was built by architect Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877 to celebrate Vittorio Emanuele II, first king of reunited Italy. The galleria is covered by an arching glass and cast iron roof, a popular design for 19th-century arcades, such as the Burlington Arcade in London, which was the prototype for larger glazed shopping arcadesSony VAIO PCG-51311L battery, beginning with the Saint-Hubert Gallery in Brussels and the Passazh in St Petersburg. Another late 19th century eclectic monument in the city is Cimitero Monumentale, built in a Neo-Romanesque style by several architects between 1863 and 1866.

Milano Centrale railway station

The tumultuous period of early 20th century brought several, radical innovations in Milanese architecture. Art Nouveau, also known as Liberty in Italy, started to develop in the city during the years before the Great War;[56] alongside other major Italian citiesSony VAIO PCG-51211L battery, most notably Palermo and Turin, this particular style became highly popular, producing several notable buildings in the city,[56] developing its own, individual style known as "Liberty Milanese" (Milanese Art Nouveau), which, in many aspects, shares many traits with Vienna Secession.[57] Possibly one of the most notable Art Nouveau edfices in Milan is Palazzo Castiglioni in Corso VeneziaSony VAIO PCG-41112L battery, built by architect Giuseppe Sommaruga between 1901 and 1904.[56] Other remarkable examples include Hotel Corso[56] and Berri-Meregalli house, the latter built in a traditional Milanese Art Nouveau style combined with elements of neo-Romanesque and Gothic revial architecture, regarded as one of the last such types of architecture in the city.[58] In 1906, with the Universal ExpositionSony VAIO PCG-3A4L battery, the city was able to exhibit its Art Nouveau works, that was thus considered the official style of the exposition.

The iconic Velasca Tower, built in 1958.

Nonetheless, as the century progressed, other styles started to be explored, including neo-Romanesque, eclectic and Gothic revival architecture, so Art Nouveau started falling out of fashion by c. 1913, when the official season was closed by Sommaruga.[59] A new, more eclectic form of architecture can be seen in buildings such as Castello CovaSony VAIO PCG-3A3L battery, built the 1910s in a distinctly neo-medieval style, evoking the architectural trends of the past.[60] A late Example of Art Deco, which blended such styles with Fascist architecture, is the massive Milano Centrale railway station by Ulisse Stacchini, inaugurated in 1931.

The post–World War II period saw rapid reconstruction and fast economic growth, accompanied by a nearly twofold increase in populationSony VAIO PCG-3A2L battery. A strong demand for new residential and commercial areas drove to extreme urban expansion and architectural renewal, that has produced some of the major milestones in the city's architectural history, including Gio Ponti's Pirelli Tower (1956–60), Velasca Tower (1956–58), and the creation of brand new residential satellite towns, as well as huge amounts of low quality public housingsSony VAIO PCG-3A1L battery.

In recent years, deindustrialization, urban decay and gentrification led to a massive urban renewal of former industrial areas, that have been transformed into modern residential and financial districts, notably Porta Nuova and FieraMilano in the suburb of Rho. The old Fiera area is being completely rebuilt thanks to the project Citylife and will feature, amongst residencesSony VAIO PCG-394L battery, museums and a large park, three skyscraper designed by famous international architects, from whom they will take the names: Isozaki Tower, Hadid Tower and Libeskind Tower. They will all have remarkable shapes: the Hadid Tower[61] is twisted, the Libeskind Tower[62] and the Isozaki Tower,[63] although being perfectly straight, will reach 200m becoming the tallest building in ItalySony VAIO PCG-393L battery.

Parks and gardens

Milan boasts a wide variety of parks and gardens. The first public parks were established 1857 and 1862, and were designed by Giuseppe Balzaretto. They were situated in a "green park district", found in the areas of Piazzale Oberdan (Porta Venezia), Corso Venezia, Via Palestro and Via Manin.[64] Most of them were landscaped in a Neoclassical style and represented traditional English gardens, often full of botanic richness. Sony VAIO PCG-391L batterySince 1990 Milan is surrounded by the regional Parco Agricolo Sud Milano that wraps the southern half of the city, connecting Ticino Park in the west and Adda Park in the east. The Park was instituted in order to safeguard and enhance the old agricultural landscape and activities, woodlands and natural reserves, with an overall size of 47,000 hectaresSony VAIO PCG-384L battery.

Parco Sempione, established in 1888, has an overall area of 386,000 m².[65]

The most important parks in Milan are the set of adjacent parks in the western area of the city, forming Parco Agricolo Sud Milano (Parco delle Cave, 131 hectares; Boscoincittà, 110 hectares; and Trenno Park, 59 hectares, whose total area amounts to about 300 hectares), Sempione Park, Parco Forlanini, Giardini Pubblici, Giardino della Villa Comunale, Giardini della Guastalla and Lambro Park. Sempione Park is a large public parkSony VAIO PCG-383L battery, situated between the Castello Sforzesco and the Peace Arch, near Piazza Sempione. It was built by Emilio Alemagna, and contains a Napoleonic Arena, the Milan City Aquarium, a tower, an art exhibition centre, some ponds and a library.[64] Then there is Parco Forlani, which, with a size of 235 hectares is the largest park in Milan,[64] and contains a hill and a pond. Giardini Pubblici is among Milan's oldest remaining public parks, founded on 29 November 1783Sony VAIO PCG-382L battery, and completed around 1790.[66] It is landscaped in English style, containing a pond, a Natural History Museum of Milan and the Neoclassical Villa Reale. Giardini della Guastalla is also one of the oldest gardens in Milan, and consists mainly of a decorated fish pond.

Milan also hosts three important botanical gardens: the Milan University Experimental Botanical Garden (a small botanical garden operated by the Istituto di Scienze Botaniche) Sony VAIO PCG-381L battery, the Brera Botanical Garden (another botanical garden, founded in 1774 by Fulgenzio Witman, an abbot under the orders of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, and restored in 1998 after several years of abandonment) and the Cascina Rosa Botanical Garden. On 23 January 2003, a Garden of the Righteous was established in Monte Stella to commemorate those who opposed genocides and crimes against humankindSony VAIO PCG-7185L battery. It hosts trees dedicated to Moshe Bejski, Andrei Sakharov, the founders of the Gardens of the Righteous in Yerevan and Pietro Kuciukian, and others. The decision to commemorate a "Righteous" person in this Garden is made every year by a commission of high-profile characters.


The city proper has a population of 1,324,110 inhabitants as of December 2010. The population of Milan peaked at 1.7 million in 1973Sony VAIO PCG-7184L battery. Thereafter, during the following 30 years, almost one third of the population moved to the outer belt of new suburbs and satellite settlements that grew around the city proper.[35] At the same time, the city attracted increasing flows of foreign immigrants. The population of Milan, like many western cities, is characterized by low fertility rates, low crude birth rates and rapid ageing: in 2009, only 12.6% of the resident population was under 14, while 30.1% was over 60Sony VAIO PCG-7183L battery.


After the Second World War, Milan experienced two main waves of mass immigration: the first, dating from the 1950s to the 1970s, was formed by immigrantion from poorer and rural areas of Italy; the second, starting from the 1980s and ongoing, is mainly composed of foreign immigrants, especially from Eastern Europe, North Africa, Latin America and the Far EastSony VAIO PCG-7182L battery.

The first migration wave coincided with the so-called Italian economic miracle of the 1950s and 1960s, a period of extraordinary growth based on rapid industrial expansion and massive public works, that brought to the city an immense flow of over 400,000 people, mainly from rural and overpopulated Southern Italy.[69] The second immigration wave, that started in the 1980s and grew stronger after the fall of the Berlin WallSony VAIO PCG-7181L battery, is mainly composed of foreign-born immigrants from North Africa (especially Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt) and from the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe (notably Albania, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Poland), in addition to a soaring number of Asians (in particular Chinese, Sri Lankans and Filipinos) and Latin Americans (Ecuadorians and Peruvians) Sony VAIO PCG-7174L battery. At the beginning of the 1990s, Milan already hosted a population of foreign-born immigrants of 58,000 (or 4% of the then population), that eventually rose to over 117,000 by the end of the decade (about 9% of the hen population).[70] As of 2011, the Italian national institute of statistics ISTAT estimated that about 236,000 foreign-born immigrants lived in Milan, representing almost 20% of the total resident populationSony VAIO PCG-7173L battery, a rapid increase from recent years levels. The top ten countries of origin of the foreign born residents were the Philippines, Egypt, China, Peru, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, Romania, Morocco, Ukraine and Albania.[73]

Decades of mass immigration have made the city one of the most cosmopolitan and multi-cultural in Italy. Milan notably hosts the oldest and largest Chinese community in Italy, with almost 19,000 people in 2010. Sony VAIO PCG-7172L battery Situated in the 9th district, and centered on Via Paolo Sarpi, an important commercial avenue, the Milanese Chinatown was originally established in the 1920s by immigrants from Wencheng County, in the Zhejiang province, and used to operate small textile and leather workshops.[75] Today, the area is famous for its hairdressing salons, oriental fashion boutiques, silk and leather stores, wholesales, and Chinese restaurantsSony VAIO PCG-7171L battery. Its multi-ethnical heritage makes the street one of Milan's most cosmopolitan and colourful, notably during the celebrations of Chinese New Year. There is also a substantial anglophone community living in Milan, and several English language publications to cater for them, such as Hello Milano, Where Milano and Easy Milano.

Main article: Economy of MilanSony VAIO PCG-7162L battery

High rise buildings under construction in Porta Nuova business district.

While Rome is Italy's political capital, Milan is the country's economic and financial heart. With a 2008 GDP estimated at €136 billion,[76] the urban region of Milan contributes almost 9 percent of the national GDP and is home to over 45 percent of businesses in the Lombard region and more than 8 percent of all businesses in ItalySony VAIO PCG-7161L battery. Milan is home to most international banks and the country's principal stock exchange. It has also seen a rapid increase in internet companies with both domestic and international companies such as Altavista, Google, Lycos, Virgilio and Yahoo! establishing their Italian operations in Milan. The city is, of course, famous for its fashion houses, with names such as ArmaniSony VAIO PCG-7154L battery, Versace and Valentino, and these have attracted numerous media and advertising agencies. Milan is also home to a large number of telecommunication companies including both the state owned television companies and private media companies like Mediaset and Sky Italia. Milan also an important manufacturing center, especially for the automotive industry, with companies such as Alfa Romeo and Pirelli having a significant presence in the citySony VAIO PCG-7153L battery. Other important products made in Milan include chemicals, machinery, pharmaceuticals and plastics. The city was included in a list of ten "Alpha world cities" by Peter J. Taylor and Robert E. Lang of the Brookings Institution.

As early as the late 12th century, the arts flourished and the making of armours was the most important industry in Milan. This period saw the beginning of those irrigation works that still render the Lombard plain a fertile gardenSony VAIO PCG-7152L battery. The development of the wool trade in 13th–14th century, subsequently gave the first impetus to the production of silk starting in the 15th century.[77] As in Venice and Florence, the making of luxury goods was an industry of such importance that in the 16th century the city gave its name to the English word “milaner” or “millaner”, meaning fine wares like jewellery, clothSony VAIO PCG-7151L battery, hats and luxury apparel. By the 19th century, a later variant, “millinery”, had come to mean one who made or sold hats. The industrial revolution in Northern Europe gave a new prominence to the north area of Milan. It sat on the trade route for goods coming over the Alps, and built mills powered by water from the many rivers and streams. In the mid-19th century cheaper silk began to be imported from Asia and the pest phylloxera damaged silk and wine productionSony VAIO PCG-7148L battery. More land was subsequently given over to industrialisation. Textile production was followed by metal and mechanical and furniture manufacture.

Today Milan is a European and world fashion centre, where the sector can count on 12,000 companies, 800 show rooms, and 6,000 sales outlets, while four weeks are dedicated to top shows and other events. (SONY Vaio VGN-NS38M Battery) Publishing and media are represented by 700 book publishers, national newspapers and magazines and the recording studios of the national broadcaster RAI and the largest private TV company Mediaset.

Milan Stock Exchange, Italy's main.

Other key sectors in the city's economy are advanced research in health and biotechnologies, chemicals and engineering, banking and finance.[78] Milan is the home to Italy's main banking groups (198 companies) and over forty foreign banks(SONY Vaio VGN-NS31S Battery). The Associazione Bancaria Italiana representing the Italian banking system and Milan Stock Exchange (225 companies listed on the stock exchange) are both located in the city.[78] The city can boast one of Europe's largest trade fair systems of over 1,600,000 sq.m. About 4.5 million visitors flock to the around 75 major events every year from all over the world as well as to the high-tech conference centres. (SONY Vaio VGN-NS31M Battery) It is also a leader in the third sector of non-profit organisations with 6,000 bodies in the greater Milan area.

Tourism is also an important part of the city's industry. While Euromonitor International have estimated that there were 1.894 million international arrivals in 2009, the Milan Chamber of Commerce estimates that there were over 5.5 million tourist arrivals in the same year, of which over 2.9 million were Italian, otherwise national, arrivals while over 2.6 million were international(SONY Vaio VGN-NS31Z Battery).

Milan is presently undergoing a massive urban renewal. FieraMilano, the historical city trade fair operator, owned a fair ground known as "FieraMilanoCity", which was dismantled to be house for a major urban development, CityLife district. The new trade exhibition center, built in the north-western suburb of Rho and inaugurated in April 2005(SONY Vaio VGN-NS21Z Battery), makes FieraMilano one of the largest expo areas in the world.[80] Along with CityLife, many other constructio

n projects are under way to rehabilitate disused industrial areas. Several famous architects take part in the projects, such as Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid,[81] Massimiliano Fuksas[82] and Daniel Libeskind.[81] Many of these projects are in preparation contextually to the Milan 2015 Expo(SONY Vaio VGN-NS21M Battery).

La Scala opera house.

Milan is a major nation-wide and international centre of the performing arts, most notably opera. Milan hosts La Scala operahouse, considered one of the most prestigious operahouses in the world,[83] and throughout history has hosted the premieres of numerous operas, such as Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi in 1842, La Gioconda by Amilcare Ponchielli, Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini in 1904, Turandot by Giacomo Puccini in 1926(SONY Vaio VGN-NS21S Battery), and more recently Teneke, by Fabio Vacchi in 2007. Other major theatres in Milan include the Teatro degli Arcimboldi, Teatro Dal Verme, Teatro Lirico and formerly the Teatro Regio Ducal. The city also has a renowned symphony orchestra and musical conservatory, and has been, throughout history, a major centre for musical composition: numerous famous composers and musicians such as Gioseppe Caimo(SONY Vaio VGN-NS12S Battery), Simon Boyleau, Hoste da Reggio, Verdi, Giulio Gatti-Casazza, Paolo Cherici and Alice Edun are or were from, or call or called Milan their home. The city has also formed numerous modern ensembles and bands, such as the Dynamis Ensemble, Stormy Six and the Camerata Mediolanense have been formed(SONY Vaio VGN-NS12M Battery).

Main article: Tourism in Milan

Da Vinci's blueprint for a crossbow, part of Codex Atlanticus, ca. 1500.

Milan is one of the European Union's most important tourist destinations, also being the 7th best city in Europe in terms of touristic reputation, attractions and branding;[84] with 1.902 million arrivals in 2007 and 1.914 million in 2008, it places itself 42nd and 52nd respectively, most visited city in the world.[85] According to a particular source(SONY Vaio VGN-NS11Z Battery), 56% of international visitors to Milan are from Europe, while 44% of the city's tourists are Italian, and 56% are from abroad. The most important European Union markets are the United Kingdom (16%), Germany (9%) and France (6%). According to the same study, most of the visitors who come from the USA to the city go on business matters, while Chinese and Japanese tourists mainly make up the leisure segment(SONY Vaio VGN-NS11M Battery). The average stay for a tourist in the city is of 3.43 nights, while foreigners stay for longer periods of time, 77% of which stay for a 2–5 night average. Of the 75% of visitors staying in hotels, 4-star ones are the most popular (47%), while 5-stars, or less than 3-stars represent 11% and 15% of the charts respectively.

Armour of Sigismondo Malatesta, ca. 1460–65(SONY Vaio VGN-NS11L Battery).

The city contains several cultural institutions, museums and galleries, some of which are highly important at an international level,[86] such as the city's Duomo and Piazza, the Convent of Sta. Maria delle Grazie with Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper, the San Siro Stadium, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the Castello Sforzesco, the Pinacoteca di Brera and the Via Monte Napoleone. Most tourists visit sights such as Milan Cathedral(SONY Vaio VGN-NS11J Battery), the Castello Sforzesco and the Teatro alla Scala, however, other main sights such as the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio, the Navigli and the Brera Academy and district are less visited and prove to be less popular.

The Pinacoteca di Brera is one of Milan's most important art galleries. It contains one of the foremost collections of Italian paintings, an outgrowth of the cultural program of the Brera Academy, which shares the site in the Brera Academy(SONY Vaio VGN-NS11E Battery). It contains masterpieces such as the Brera Madonna by Piero della Francesca. The Castello Sforzesco hosts numerous art collections and exhibitions. The best known of the current civic museums is the Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco, with an art collection including Michelangelo's last sculpture, the Rondanini Pietà, Andrea Mantegna's Trivulzio Madonna and Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Trivulzianus manuscript(SONY Vaio VGN-NS10L Battery). The Castello complex also includes The Museum of Ancient Art, The Furniture Museum, The Museum of Musical Instruments and the Applied Arts Collection, The Egyptian and Prehistoric sections of the Archaeological Museum and the Achille Bertarelli Print Collection.

Unique Forms of Continuity in Space by Umberto Boccioni.

Milan's figurative art flourished in the Middle-Ages, and with the Visconti family being major patrons of the arts, the city became an important centre of Gothic art and architecture (Milan Cathedral being the city's most formidable work of Gothic architecture). (SONY Vaio VGN-NS10J Battery) Also, rule of the Sforza family, between the 14th and 15th century, was another period in which art and architecture flourished. Milan became the seat of an elegant Renaissance court,[88] while great works, such as the Ospedale Maggiore, the public hospital designed by Filarete were built, and artists of the calibre of Leonardo da Vinci came to work in Milan, leaving works of inestimable value, such as the fresco of the Last Supper and the Codex Atlanticus(SONY Vaio VGN-NS10E Battery).

Leonardo's The Last Supper.

Bramante also came to Milan to work on the construction of some of the most beautiful churches in the city; in Santa Maria delle Grazie the beautiful luminous tribune is by Bramante, as is the church of Santa Maria presso San Satiro.

The city was affected by the Baroque in the 17th and 18th centuries, and hosted numerous formidable artists, architects and painters of that period, such as Caravaggio and Francesco Hayez, which several important works are hosted in Brera Academy. (SONY Vaio VGN-NS38M/W Battery)

Milan in the 20th century was the epicenter of the Futurist artistic movement. Filippo Marinetti, the founder of Italian Futurism wrote in his 1909 "Futurist Manifesto" (in Italian, Manifesto Futuristico), that Milan was "grande...tradizionale e futurista" ("grand...traditional and futuristic", in English). Umberto Boccioni was also an important Futurism artist who worked in the city. (SONY Vaio VGN-NS38M/P Battery) Today, Milan remains a major international hub of modern and contemporary art, with numerous modern exhibitions.[87] The Museum of Twentieth Century, sited in the Arengario palace near Duomo square in the centre of Milan, is one of the most important art galleries about Italian and international Twentieth Century’s art in Italy: of particular relevance are the sections dedicated to Futurism, Spatialism and Arte povera(SONY Vaio VGN-NS31Z/W Battery).

The Museo Poldi Pezzoli is another of the city's most important and prestigious museums. The museum was originated in the 19th century as the private collection of Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli and his mother, Rosa Trivulzio, of the family of the condottiero Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, and has a particularly broad collection of Northern Italian and (for Italy) Netherlandish/Flemish artists(SONY Vaio VGN-NS31Z/S Battery). The Museum of the Risorgimento (Museo del Risorgimento) is a museum in Milan on the history of Italian unification from 1796 (Napoleon's first Italian campaign) and 1870 (Rome's annexation into the Kingdom of Italy) and on Milan's part in it (particularly the Five Days of Milan). It is housed in the 18th century Palazzo Moriggia. Its collections include Baldassare Verazzi's Episode from the Five Days and Francesco Hayez's 1840 Portrait of Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria(SONY Vaio VGN-NS31Z/P Battery). La Triennale di Milano is a design museum and events venue located inside the Palace of Art building, part of Parco Sempione, the park grounds adjacent to Castello Sforzesco. It hosts exhibitions and events highlighting contemporary Italian design, urban planning, architecture, music, and media arts, emphasizing the relationship between art and industry(SONY Vaio VGN-NS31S/S Battery).

Fashion and design

2010 Milan Fashion Week event.

Milan is regarded as one of the international capitals of industrial and modern design, and one of the world's most influential cities in such fields.[89] The city is particularly well known for its high-quality ancient and modern furniture and industrial goods. Milan hosts the FieraMilano, Europe's biggest, and one of the world's most prestigious furniture and design fairs. (SONY Vaio VGN-NS31M/W Battery) Milan also hosts major design and architecture-related events and venues, such as the "Fuori Salone" and the Salone del Mobile. In the 1950s and 60s as well as early 70's, being the main industrial centre of Italy and one of mainland Europe's most progressive and dynamic cities, Milan became, along with Turin, Italy's capital of post-war design and architecture. Skyscrapers(SONY Vaio VGN-NS31M/P Battery), such as the Pirelli Tower and the Torre Velasca were constructed, and artists such as Bruno Munari, Lucio Fontana, Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni, to name a few, either lived or worked in the city.[90]

Milan is also regarded as one of the fashion capitals of the world, along with New York City, Paris, and London. The Global Language Monitor declared that in 2009 Milan was the top economic and media global capital of fashion,[91] despite the fact it fell down to sixth place in 2010, (SONY Vaio VGN-NS21Z/S Battery)and went up to fourth place in 2011.[93] Most of the major Italian fashion brands, such as Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Prada, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana, are currently headquartered in the city. Numerous international fashion labels also operate shops in Milan, including an Abercrombie & Fitch flagship store, which has become a main consumer attraction. Furthermore(SONY Vaio VGN-NS21S/W Battery), the city hosts the Milan Fashion Week twice a year, just like other international centres such as Paris, London, Tokyo, and New York. Milan's main upscale fashion district is the quadrilatero della moda (literally, "fashion quadrilateral"), where the city's most prestigious shopping streets (Via Monte Napoleone, Via della Spiga, Via Sant'Andrea, Via Manzoni and Corso Venezia) are held. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II(SONY Vaio VGN-NS21S/S Battery), the Piazza del Duomo, Via Dante and Corso Buenos Aires are other important shopping streets and squares. Mario Prada, founder of Prada was born here, helping to cultivate its position as a world fashion capital.

See also: Lombard cuisine

Panettone, traditional Christmas cake.

Like most cities in Italy, Milan and its surrounding area has its own regional cuisine, which, as it is typical for Lombard cuisines, uses more frequently rice than pasta, and features almost no tomato. Milanese cuisine includes "cotoletta alla milanese"(SONY Vaio VGN-NS21M/W Battery), a breaded veal (pork and turkey can be used) cutlet pan-fried in butter (which some claim to be of Austrian origin, as it is similar to Viennese "Wienerschnitzel", while others claim that the "Wienerschnitzel" derived from the "cotoletta alla milanese"). Other typical dishes are cassoeula (stewed pork rib chops and sausage with Savoy cabbage), ossobuco (stewed veal shank with a sauce called gremolata) (SONY Vaio VGN-NS21M/P Battery), risotto alla milanese (with saffron and beef marrow), busecca (stewed tripe with beans), and brasato (stewed beef or pork with wine and potatoes). Season-related pastries include chiacchiere (flat fritters dusted with sugar) and tortelli (fried spherical cookies) for Carnival, colomba (glazed cake shaped as a dove) for Easter, pane dei morti ("Deads' Day bread"(SONY Vaio VGN-NS12S/S Battery), cookies aromatized with cinnamon) for All Soul's Day and panettone for Christmas. The salame milano, a salami with a very fine grain, is widespread throughout Italy. The best known Milanese cheese is gorgonzola from the namesake town nearby, although today the major gorgonzola producers operate in Piedmont(SONY Vaio VGN-NS12M/W Battery).

In homage to a unique cuisine, Milan has several world-renowned restaurants and cafés. Most of the more refined and upper-class restaurants are found in the historic centre, while the more traditional and popular ones are mainly located in the Brera and Navigli districts. Today, there is also a Nobu Japanese restaurant in Milan, which is located in Armani World in Via Manzoni and is regarded as being one of the trendiest restaurants in the city. (SONY Vaio VGN-NS12M/S Battery) One of the city's chicest cafés or pasticcerie is the Caffè Cova, an ancient Milanese coffeehouse founded in 1817 near the Teatro alla Scala, which has also opened franchises in Hong Kong.[95] The Biffi Caffè and the Zucca in Galleria are also famous and historical "Caffès" situated in Milan. Other restaurants in Milan include the Hotel Four Seasons restaurant, La Briciola, the Marino alla Scala and the Chandelier(SONY Vaio VGN-NS11Z/S Battery). Today, there is also a McDonald's fast-food restaurant in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and some new boutique-cafés, such as the Just Cavalli Café, owned by the luxury fashion goods brand Roberto Cavalli.

Language and literature

Main article: Milanese literature

Monument to Alessandro Manzoni in Piazza San Fedele.

In the late 18th century, and throughout the 19th, Milan was an important centre for intellectual discussion and literary creativity. The Enlightenment found here a fertile ground. Cesare, Marquis of Beccaria, with his famous Dei delitti e delle pene, and Count Pietro Verri(SONY Vaio VGN-NS11ZR/S Battery), with the periodical Il Caffè were able to exert a considerable influence over the new middle-class culture, thanks also to an open-minded Austrian administration. In the first years of the 19th century, the ideals of the Romantic movement made their impact on the cultural life of the city and its major writers debated the primacy of Classical versus Romantic poetry. Here, too, Giuseppe Parini(SONY Vaio VGN-NS11S/S Battery), and Ugo Foscolo published their most important works, and were admired by younger poets as masters of ethics, as well as of literary craftsmanship. Foscolo's poem Dei sepolcri was inspired by a Napoleonic law that—against the will of many of its inhabitants—was being extended to the city. In the third decade of the 19th century, Alessandro Manzoni wrote his novel I Promessi Sposi, considered the manifesto of Italian Romanticism(SONY Vaio VGN-NS11M/S Battery), which found in Milan its centre, and Carlo Porta wrote his poems in Western Lombard Language. The periodical Il Conciliatore published articles by Silvio Pellico, Giovanni Berchet, Ludovico di Breme, who were both Romantic in poetry and patriotic in politics. After the Unification of Italy in 1861, Milan lost its political importance; nevertheless it retained a sort of central position in cultural debates(SONY Vaio VGN-NS11L/S Battery). New ideas and movements from other countries of Europe were accepted and discussed: thus Realism and Naturalism gave birth to an Italian movement, Verismo. The greatest verista novelist, Giovanni Verga, was born in Sicily but wrote his most important books in Milan.

In addition to Italian, approximately a third of the population of western Lombardy[citation needed] can speak the Western Lombard language[citation needed], also known as Insubric[citation needed]. In Milan, some people (mostly elder ones) (SONY Vaio VGN-NS11J/S Battery) of the city (natives but also, less often, immigrants) can speak the traditional Milanese language —that is to say the urban variety of Western Lombard, which is not to be confused with the Milanese-influenced regional variety of the Italian language.

The St. Ambrose Basilica, one of the city's most important and oldest churches.

Milan's population, like that of Italy as a whole, is mostly Catholic. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milan(SONY Vaio VGN-NS11E/S Battery). Other religions practised include: Orthodox Churches,[96] Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and Protestantism. Milan has its own historic Catholic rite known as the Ambrosian Rite (Italian: Rito ambrosiano). It varies slightly from the typical Catholic rite (the Roman, used in all other western regions), with some differences in the liturgy and mass celebrations, in the Canons are Easter and Lent, in the colour of liturgical vestments, peculiar use of incense(SONY Vaio VGN-NS10L/S Battery), marriage form, office for the dead, baptism by immersion, and in the calendar (for example, the date for the beginning of lent is celebrated some days after the common date, so the carnival has different date). The season of Advent is of six weeks duration and starts on the Sunday after the feast of Saint Martin (11 November). The Ambrosian rite is also practised in other surrounding locations in Lombardy, parts of Piedmont and in the Swiss canton of Ticino(SONY Vaio VGN-NS10J/S Battery). The sounding of church bells uses a peculiar technique. Another important difference concerns the liturgical music. The Gregorian chant was completely unused in Milan and surrounding areas, because the official one was its own Ambrosian chant, definitively established by the Council of Trent (1545–1563) and earlier than the Gregorian.[103] To preserve this music there has developed the unique schola cantorum, a college(SONY Vaio VGN-NS10E/S Battery), and an Institute called PIAMS (Pontifical Ambrosian Institute of Sacred Music), in partnership with the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music (PIMS) in Rome.[104]

San Siro Stadium, with a capacity of over 80,000, is one of Europe's largest.

Association football is the most popular sport in Italy, and Milan is home to two world-famous football teams: A.C. Milan and F.C. Internazionale Milano (Inter Milan). The former is normally referred to as "Mìlan" (pronounced with the stress on the first syllable, unlike the English and Milanese name of the city), the latter as "Inter"(Sony VAIO VGN-SR49VN/H battery). A match between these two teams is known as Derby della Madonnina. Milan is the only city in Europe who hosts two European Cup/Champions League winning teams (A.C. Milan and Internazionale). Both teams have also won the Intercontinental Cup (now FIFA Club World Cup). With a combined ten Champions League titles, Milan has won more European Cups than any other city. Both teams play at the UEFA 5-star rated Giuseppe Meazza Stadium(Sony VAIO VGN-SR49D battery), more commonly known as the San Siro, that is one of the biggest stadiums in Europe, with a seating capacity of over 80,000.[105]

The world famous Monza Formula One circuit is located near the city, inside a wide park. It is one of the world's oldest car racing circuits. The capacity for the F1 races is currently around 137,000 spectators. It has hosted an F1 race nearly every year since the first year of competition, with the exception of 1980(Sony VAIO VGN-SR49D/Q battery).

Milan is home to Italy's most successful basketball team: Olimpia Milano. They won 25 Italian Championships as well as 3 European Champions Cups. The team play at the Mediolanum Forum, which houses 12,000 spectators.

Milan is also home to Italy's oldest American football team: Rhinos Milano. They won 4 Italian Super Bowl. The team play at the Velodromo Vigorelli, which houses 8,000 spectators(Sony VAIO VGN-SR49D/J battery).

The city hosted, among other sport events, the FIFA World Cup in 1934 and 1990, the UEFA European Football Championship in 1980 and most recently the 2003 World Rowing Championships, the 2009 World Boxing Championships and some games of the FIVB World Championship in 2010(Sony VAIO VGN-SR48J battery).

Milan's higher education system comprises 39 university centres (44 faculties, 174,000 new students a year, equal to 10% of the entire Italian university population),[106] and has the largest number of university graduates and postgraduate students (34,000 and more than 5,000, respectively) in Italy. (Sony VAIO VGN-SR48J/J battery)

The Politecnico di Milano main building.

Founded on 29 November 1863, the Politecnico di Milano is the oldest university in Milan. Its most eminent professors over the years have included the mathematician Francesco Brioschi (its first Director), Luigi Cremona, and Giulio Natta (Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1963). The Politecnico di Milano is nowadays organised in 16 departments and a network of 9 Schools of Engineering(Sony VAIO VGN-SR48J/B battery), Architecture and Industrial Design spread over 7 campuses over the Lombardy region with a central administration and management. The number of students enrolled in all campuses is approximately 40,000, which makes Politecnico di Milano the largest technical university in Italy.[108]

The central building of University of Milan, built in the Renaissance as the city hospital: the Ospedale Maggiore(Sony VAIO VGN-SR46TD/B battery).

The University of Milan, founded 30 September 1923, is a public teaching and research university with 9 faculties, 58 departments, 48 institutes and a teaching staff of 2,500 professors. A leading institute in Italy and Europe for scientific productivity, the University of Milan is the largest university in the region, with approximately 65,000 enrolled students. (Sony VAIO VGN-SR46MD/B battery)

The University of Milan Bicocca was instituted on 10 June 1998, to serve students from Northern Italy and take some pressure off the historical University of Milan, which was getting overcrowded. It is set in Bicocca, an area in the northern part of Milan, which was the core of its past industrial activity with some of the largest Italian factories in steel processing, chemical manufacturing, and electro-mechanics. In the faculty of science non-traditional degrees(Sony VAIO VGN-SR45T/W battery), from B.Sc. to PhD, in materials science, biotechnology and environmental science are coupled to the conventional ones in physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, computation and earth science. At present the university hosts more than 30,000 students.[110]

The Luigi Bocconi Commercial University is a private university focused on economics, management, finance and law. Established in 1902, has been ranked among the top 20 best business schools in the world by The Wall Street Journal international rankings(Sony VAIO VGN-SR45T/P battery), especially thanks to its M.B.A. program, which in 2007 placed it no. 17 in the world in terms of graduate recruitment preference by major multinational companies.[111] Forbes has ranked Bocconi no.1 worldwide in the specific category Value for Money.[112] In May 2008, Bocconi overtook several traditionally top global business schools in the Financial Times Executive education ranking, reaching no. 5 in Europe and no. 15 in the world(Sony VAIO VGN-SR45T/B battery).

The Catholic University of the Sacred Heart courtyard.

The Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, founded in 1921 by Father Agostino Gemelli, is currently the biggest Catholic university in the world with almost 42,000 enrolled students.[114]

The University of Languages and Communication of Milan, founded in 1968, is specialized in consumer and services research, business communication and ICT(Sony VAIO VGN-SR45H battery), tourism, fashion, cultural heritage and its exploitation, foreign languages for business, economics, marketing and distribution. The two campuses of Milan and Feltre have almost 10,000 enrolled students.[115]

The Saint Raphael University was fundamentally born as an off-spring of the research hospital structure St. Raphael Hospital, where students attend basic research laboratories in many research fields, including neurology(Sony VAIO VGN-SR45H/P battery), neurosurgery, diabetology, molecular biology, AIDS studies among others. It has expanded since then to include research fields in cognitive science and philosophy.

The internal court of Brera Academy.

The Academy of Fine Arts of Brera is a public academic institution dedicated to teach and research within the creative art, (painting, sculpting, graphics, photo, video etc.) and cultural historical disciplines. It is the academic institution with the highest rate of internationalization in Italy with about 3,500 students including over 850 foreigners from 49 nations(Sony VAIO VGN-SR45H/N battery).

The New Academy of Fine Arts of Milan, founded in 1980, is a private academy that offers Bachelor and Master of Arts Degree Programs, Academic Master Programs, Diploma Program and Semester Abroad Programs held in English that are accredited by the US University System in the fields of Visual Arts, Graphic Design, Design, Fashion, Media Design and Theatre Design. Over 1,000 students coming from all over Italy and 40 different countries are currently studying at the academy. (Sony VAIO VGN-SR45H/B battery)

The European Institute of Design is a private university specialized in fashion, industrial and interior design, audio/visual design including photography, advertising and marketing and business communication. The school was founded in 1966 today enrolls over 8,000 students.

The Marangoni Institute is a fashion institute with campuses in Milan, London, and Paris. Founded in 1935, it prepares highly skilled professionals for the fashion and design industries(Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/W battery).

The Domus Academy (DA) is a private postgraduate institution that offers a series of professional masters degrees in various design-oriented or design-based fields such as industrial design, fashion management, urban management and architecture, business design, interaction design, etc. Founded in 1982 by such Milanese design luminaries such as Gianfranco Ferre and Andrea Branzi(Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S battery), DA now attracts students from all over the world interested in the interplay among research, design, and management.

The Milan Conservatory is a college of music established by a royal decree of 1807, when the city was the capital of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy. It opened the following year with premisses in the cloisters of the Baroque church of Santa Maria della Passione. There were initially 18 boarders, including students of both sexes(Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P battery). With more than 1,700 students, over 240 teachers and 20 majors, it is Italy's largest university of music.[118]

There are eight main hospitals in Milan, many of which are associated with universities: Niguarda Hospital, Fatebenefratelli Hospital, Policlinic Major Hospital, San Carlo Borromeo Hospital, San Giuseppe Hospital, San Raffaele Hospital, Luigi Sacco Hospital and San Paolo Hospital(Sony VAIO VGN-SR39VN/S battery). Milan is also home to advanced institutes for medical research and treatment such as the Monzino Cardiology Center, the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research and the European Institute of Oncology.

Main article: Transport in Milan

Map of the Milan Metro Network.

Milan is one of southern Europe's key transport nodes and one of Italy's most important railway hubs for local, national and international routes. Five major railway stations in Milan, among which the Milan Central station, are among Italy's busiest. (Sony VAIO VGN-SR39D battery) Since the end of 2009, two High speed train lines link Milan to Rome, Naples and Turin considerably shortening travel times with other major cities in Italy.

The Azienda Trasporti Milanesi (ATM) operates within the metropolitan area, managing a public transport network consisting of an underground rapid transit network and tram, trolley-bus and bus lines. Overall the network covers nearly 1,400 km (870 mi) reaching 86 municipalities(Sony VAIO VGN-SR39D/Q battery). Besides public transport, ATM manages the interchange parking lots and other transportation services including bike sharing and car sharing systems.

Milan Malpensa international airport.

Milan Metro is the rapid transit system serving the city, with 3 lines and a total length of more than 80 km (50 mi). Two additional lines are currently under construction.[122] The Suburban Railway Service Lines comprises 10 lines and connects the metropolitan area with the city centre through the Milan Passerby underground railway(Sony VAIO VGN-SR39D/J battery). Commonly referred to as "Il Passante", it is informally considered the fourth metro line, with a train running every 6 minutes.

The city tram network consists of approximately 160 kilometres (99 mi) of track and 17 lines.[123] Bus lines cover over 1,070 km (665 mi). Milan has also taxi services operated by private companies and licensed by the City council of Milan. The city is also a key node for the national road network, being served by all the major highways of Northern Italy(Sony VAIO VGN-SR38 battery).

Milan is served by three international airports. The Malpensa International Airport, the second busiest in Italy (about 19 million passengers in 2010), is 45 km (28 mi) from central Milan and connected to the city by the "Malpensa Express" railway service. The Linate Airport, which lies within the city limits, is mainly used for domestic and short-haul international flights(Sony VAIO VGN-SR38/Q battery), and served over 9 million passengers in 2010.[124] The airport of Orio al Serio, near the city of Bergamo, serves the low-cost traffic of Milan (8 million passengers in 2010).[125] A fourth airport, Milano Bresso, serves only private flights, and is operated by Aero Club Milano.

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Italy

Sister cities

Milan has fifteen official sister cities as reported on the city's website.[126] The date column indicates the year in which the relationship was established. São Paulo was Milan's first sister city(Sony VAIO VGN-SR38/P battery).

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