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Milan is a city of almost one and a half million inhabitants, bathed by small rivers and various canals called “Navigli”. The capital of Lombardy, it is the second Italian municipality in terms of population after Rome; its metropolitan area is the largest and most populated in the peninsula and one of the most populous in Europe. During the second industrial revolution (between 1856 and 1900) it became “Italian economic capital” and today it represents an important commercial and industrial centre at an international level. Milan is also a beautiful example of the cultural sphere: already in the 19th century it was the largest Italian publishing centre, and it is at the top of the world music circuit thanks to the “Teatro alla Scala”, one of the most famous theatres in the world known as “the temple of opera”. It is the third largest city in Europe and the sixth largest in the world for its ability to attract foreign capital. It is home to one of Europe’s most important financial centres and hosts a large number of administrative offices of dozens of multinational companies. Especially during the twentieth century it consolidated its economic and productive role, and today it is the largest Italian financial market, as well as being one of the world capitals of fashion (along with Paris) and industrial design. Located near the Lombard capital (15 km away) we find Rho, a municipality renowned for being the home of the Fiera di Milano, which with its 753,000 square meters of total area is the largest exhibition centre in Europe. Throughout its history, this city has almost always benefited from its position; the demonstration of what has just been said is represented by the fact that today Milan is the undisputed economic and cultural centre of the peninsula. Let’s briefly look back at the history of the city. According to the Roman historian Titus Livy, it was the Celts who founded Milan, originally known as the “Mediolanum”. The Romans conquered it in 222 BC and ruled it for more than two centuries, in this period the city had a remarkable development. Around 450 AD it was first conquered and destroyed by Attila with his Huns and then (in 539) invaded by the Visigoths, all this slowed down considerably the development that resumed only around the eighth century. Shortly afterwards it gained independence, but in 1162 it was again razed to the ground by the army of Emperor Frederick I. In 1176, with the help of the Lombard league, Milan managed to defeat the troops of Federico I himself. This victory coincided with the beginning of a new period of prosperity. From 1277 to 1447 the Visconti family ruled. The first Duke of Milan was Gian Galeazzo Visconti, he marked an era of particular prosperity. In 1450 Francesco
Sforza, first duke of the Sforza dynasty, took power and maintained it until 1500, when France occupied the Lombard capital. The Sforza family strongly opposed the invaders coming from all over Europe (from France, Switzerland and Austria) but around 1535 they were forced to bow to the occupation of the Spanish, who ruled until the city was ceded, in 1713, to Austria. Napoleon took over the metropolis in 1796. Milan was later: capital of the Cisalpine Republic, capital of the Italian Republic from 1802 to 1805 and capital of the Kingdom of Italy from 1805 to 1814. In 1815, after the Congress of Vienna, it returned to Austria. Austrian rule lasted until 1859, when, with the help of the French, it was liberated by the Italian patriots. In 1861 it became part of the Kingdom of Italy. Since then, it has resumed its great economic and commercial expansion, which still lasts today. In 1883, Europe’s first power plant was inaugurated, the second in the world after New York. The Universal Exhibition dates back to 1906, an event that made a period. The theme chosen for this important event was transport. The First World War brought much disappointment with the many expectations of greater prosperity and democracy that had been created but were not respected: these social tensions led to what historians call the “biennio rosso” (two-year red period). Milan was also the cradle of the fascist movement, founded in the city on 23 March 1919. During the Second World War the city experienced the most serious air bombing ever suffered by an Italian metropolis. The place where the Resistance was emblem was, after the Second World War, one of the engines of the industrial and cultural reconstruction of the country.
Today the Lombard capital is considered, as mentioned above, the main economic, financial and productive centre of the peninsula, constituting with Genoa and Turin the “industrial Triangle”. The city was the birthplace of famous people such as Giuseppe Verdi, Alessandro Manzoni and Leonardo da Vinci, who left his most important work in the city: the “Last Supper”, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980 and preserved in the refectory of the convent of the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The old town is characterized by neo-Gothic, Baroque and Liberty architecture. The most valuable points of interest are the Duomo and the Castello Sforzesco. Finally, the Navigli, one of the most trendy areas of the city, developed from the beginning of the twentieth century, where the old styles blend with the new ones, deserve attention. The district, full of artists, musicians, politicians and architects, is very characteristic and is now chosen by many Milanese as a new home of life and fun.
When you visit a new city you want to discover new things, live different experiences. Cuisine enthusiasts, professional cooks make a menu and unique location available where you can meet new people and get to know the city from who experiences it daily.
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