Milan is the second city in Italy in terms of population after Rome and it is the center of the largest metropolitan area in Italy and one of the most populated cities in Europe.
Founded by the Insubrics at the beginning of the first century b.C., it was conquered by the Romans in 223 a.C. and was called Mediolanum. Its importance increased till it became one of the seats of the Western Roman Empire. During its history it had several important roles, amongst others it was the capital, main political and cultural center of the Duchy of Milano during the renaissance and capital of the Italian Kingdom during the Napoleonic period.
During the industrial revolution, in the XIX century it became the "Italian economyu capital".
During the past century it made stable its economic and productive role becoming the main financial center and it is one of the capitals of fashion and industrial design in the world. Outside of the Milano, at Rho, there is the Milano Fair, the main fair pole in Europe.
During its history it was surrounded by several walls, the last ones, the Spanish walls, were destroyed at the end of 800 and beginning of 900. To remember these walls there are only some doors of the city such as the medieval Porta Nuova, the renaissance Porta Romana, the neoclassic Porta Venezia.
Culture and Architecture
The most impressive military architecture is the one of Castello Sforzesco, resotred and transformed at the end of 1800 in a great museum complex and decorated by the garden of the square with the same name and by the Sempione Park.
Library tradition of Milano reflects in the three historical libraries: the Veneranda Ambrosiana, the Nazionale Braidense and the Civica Trivulziana. In these three libraries you can find a treasure of illuminated manuscripts, the Atlantic Code by Leonardo Da Vinci and one of the most reknown private collections.
The city library at Palazzo Sormani was created in 1890 and it is the main seat of the library system of Milano which includes 24 spots of books landing and reasing located in all quarters of the city. It has a treasure of approximately 1,200,000 volumes and an important collection of newspapers and magazines.
On the history of music and theatre the Library of the Conservatory Giuseppe Verdi and the Theatre Library Livia Simoni connected to the Theatre Museum of La Scala are of great interest.
Milano has five public universities and seven private ones. Amongst them the Politecnico, the science and technology ppole of the State University which includes the faculties of medicine, classical studies, social sciences and natural sciences.
We can't forget also the Academy of Fine Arts at Brera, specialized in the artistic and music education and the Conservatory Giuseppe Verdi.
Milano has a great artistic treasure which is shared in different collections some of these are at the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, at Palazzo Poldi Pezzoli, at Il Palazzo della Ragione, at il Palazzo Reale, at la Rotonda della Besana, at the National Museum of Science and Technology, where you can find the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci.
We cannot avoid to mention amongst the paintings the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci which you can admire at the Sancturary of Santa Maria delle Grazie and some works of Caravaggio who was born around Milano.
Milano has been also one of the main cities for Futurism and at the Pinacoteca of Brera you can admire many importat art works from this artistic current.
The famous Duomo of Milano is one of the most important examples of Gotic Art in Europe and the Galleria which goes from a side of Piazza Duomo to the Theater La Scala, is a true triumph of architecture of the XIX century with its mosaics on the floor and big window as a ceiling.
There are three parks in the old city : the Giardini Pubblici, Sempione Park and the Ravizza Park, while outside of the built city we can find biggest parks such as Lambro Park, Forlanini Park, and the Trenno Park.
Very interesting is also the "Monte Stella", a park built with the ruins of the bombed buildings during the second world war.
On the East of the city you can find Idroscalo, a large artificial basin that was built originally for the water landing and take off of the seaplanes and then turned into an area for races of water sport activities and bathing. It is colloquially called the sea of the Milaneses.
You can't come to Milano without letting this city tempting you with shopping. Milano is one of the most important centers of fashion in the world. The "Quadrilateral of Fashion" as it is called is included between the streets: Via della Spiga, Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni and Corso
Here you will find the show rooms of famous designers such as Armani, Versace, Ferré, Dolce e Gabbana,
Krizia, Alberta Ferretti, Cavalli and many more.
But if you can't affors shopping at these great designers boutiques, don't worry, a few steps from these streets you will find all sort of fashion shops to satisfy all sort of needs and available funds.
In September the city gets dressed for the Milano Fashion Week where the Spring/Summer Collections for the year after are presented by the designers in a real party fo colours and publicity stunts. On February/March the other Milano Fashion Week to present the Autumn/Winter collection for the year after.
If you come to Milano for business or to do some shopping or to increase your culture admiring the art or just to entertain yourself, Milano will never disappoint you.
Here is a city which is more then a good reason to rent a Holiday Apartment in Lombardy!