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MILAN, ITALY

I have been in Italy a couple of times. In the second one I was in Milan with the interrail tickect. I was there because my fly to come back to home took off from Milan. I went to Milan fromVenice in a train and I meet a korean guy in the train with I spend all my time inMilan.

Milan is one of the largest cities in Italy, located in the plains of Lombardy. The municipality (Comune di Milano) has a population of 1.3 million. The Milan metropolitan area, depending on the specific definition, has a population ranging from 2.9 to 7.4 million. The municipal border covers a relatively small area (about one-eighth of that of Rome) because of the historical development of high density centres in agriculturally rich Lombardy.

Milan is renowned as one of the world capitals of design and fashion. The English word milliner is derived from the name of the city. The Lombard metropolis is famous for its fashion houses and shops (such as along via Montenapoleone) and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in the Piazza Duomo (reputed to be the world's oldest shopping mall). The city hosted the World Exposition in 1906 and will host the Universal Expo in 2015. Inhabitants of Milan are referred to as "Milanese" (Italian: Milanesi or informally Meneghini or Ambrosiani).

The Olona river, the Lambro river and the Seveso creek run through Milan. Olona and Seveso run mostly underground.

Around 400 BC, the Celtic Insubres inhabited Milan and the surrounding region. In 222 BC, the Romans conquered this settlement, which received the name Mediolanum. After several centuries of Roman control, Milan was declared the capital of the Western Roman Empire by Emperor Diocletian in 293 AD. Diocletian chose to stay in the Eastern Roman Empire (capital Nicomedia) and his colleague Maximianus the Western one. Immediately Maximinian built several gigantic monuments, like a large circus (470 x 85 meters), the Thermae Erculee, a large complex of imperial palaces and several other services and buildings.
In the Edict of Milan of 313, Emperor Constantine I guaranteed freedom of religion for Christians. The city was besieged by the Visigoths in 402, and the imperial residence was moved to Ravenna. Fifty years later (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 I. In the summer of 569, the Longobards (from which the name of the Italian region Lombardy derives) conquered Milan, overpowering the small Byzantine army left for its defence. Milan surrendered to the Franks in 774 when Charlemagne, in an utterly novel decision, 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). Subsequently Milan was part of the Holy Roman Empire.

During the Middle Ages, Milan prospered as a center 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 1167, 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. In 1395, Gian Galeazzo Visconti became duke of Milan. In 1450, Milan passed to the noble House of Sforza, which made Milan one of the leading cities of the Italian Renaissance.

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. 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.

However, 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 throne. 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.


Lands marks:

The Duomo, the world's largest collection of marble statues with the widely visible golden Madonna statue on top of the spire, la Madunina (little Madonna), the symbol of Milan.
Teatro alla Scala. Milan is also one of the most important centres in the world for Opera lirica, with his famous Teatro alla Scala (La Scala).
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a large, covered arcade linking the Duomo's piazza with the Teatro alla Scala.
The Castello Sforzesco
The Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio
The Palaeo-Christian Basilica of San Lorenzo
The Biblioteca Ambrosiana, containing drawings and notebooks by Leonardo da Vinci among its vast holdings of books, manuscripts, and drawings, and is one of the main repositories of European culture. The city is also the home of the Brera Academy of Fine Arts.
The church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, which houses one of the most famous paintings of Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper (L'ultima cena or Il cenacolo).
The church of Santa Maria presso San Satiro, with a famous trompe l'oeil traditionally ascribed to Bramante
The Cimitero Monumentale di Milano.
The Pinacoteca di Brera, Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Poldi Pezzoli, the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum and the Musei del Castello galleries, which host a great number of pictorial masterpieces.


November 2006

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