WHY VISIT MILAN?
Milan, the capital of Italian fashion is exhibitionist, luxurious and chic. But not only that, Milan is a cosmopolitan and open city where the five senses are mixed with culture, art, gastronomy. Trends are visible in every corner.
A LITTLE HISTORY OF MILAN
Milan was founded in 600 B.C. by the Celts like Midland or Medelhan. In 222 B.C. was conquered by the Romans with the name Mediolanum, "middle ground", is believed, because is found between the Alps and the Apennines in the center of the plain of Lombardy. It begins its economic development favored by its location and between 286 and 402 A.C. was capital of the Roman Empire of the West. After the fall of the Roman Empire the city was occupied by Heruli and Ostrogoths and during the Gothic Wars between Byzantines and Ostrogoths, the city was sacked and the population enslaved. The Byzantine general Narses rebuilt it and in 569 was conquered by the Lombards, until the arrival of Charlemagne.
At the end of the 8th century, Milan regained its former prosperity and in the 11th century, governed by the archbishops became prosperous. In 1162 it was razed by Federico I Barbarroja and in 1176 recovered after the battle of Legnano. Between 1277 and 1447 the city was under the power of the Visconti. The greatest boom of the city was reached by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of the city, between 1351 and 1402.
During the 15th century, the duchy of Milan was ruled by the Visconti and Sforza families who had artists of the stature of Leonardo da Vinci and Bramante working with them. At the beginning of 16th century the Valois, house reigning in France, reclaimed its rights over Milan, the longest period of its domination occurred during the reign of Francisco I of France. After the French defeat at the Battle of Pavia, Milan became Spanish possession under the Emperor Charles V. The Spanish rule lasted until 1713, the year in which the city was ceded to Austria.
After the French Revolution, Milan was occupied by Napoleon and later became one of the main centers of Italian nationalism, claiming its independence and Italian unification. In 1859, Austria ceded its control to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, which two years later became the Kingdom of Italy. In 1877 the famous Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery was inaugurated, pioneer of the modern commercial centers and the expansion of the iron architecture.
In the 20th century, Milan became the city symbol of socialism and was also the cradle of the fascist movement. On 25 April (1945), the Italian national holiday of the liberation of the Nazi occupation and fascist regime, celebrates the partisan general uprising that meant the liberation of the city after the Second World War. During the second half of the 20th century, Milan was one of the engines of industrial and cultural reconstruction of the country.
WHAT IS MILAN NOWADAYS?
Today Milan is a city with almost seven million inhabitants in its metropolitan area. It is an important commercial and industrial center at international level. Milan is the economic district of finance, fashion and the Italian industry. In addition, Milan is home to the Milan Stock Exchange, one of the most important financial centers in Europe. It is also characterized for having one of the largest university, publishing and television centers in Europe and has the highest skyscrapers in Italy.
CURIOSITIES ABOUT MILAN
Did you know that Milan was the cradle of Italian fascism? On March 22, 1919, Mussolini took his first steps, starting with the street fighting and harassment of the socialist majority of the city. He also began the assault on workers' newspapers and the repression of factory committees. In 1943 a general strike was organized in the factories of Milan and the National Liberation Committee was established, which helped to fall to the fascist regime.
Did you know that the Duomo of Milan is the fifth largest cathedral in the world? This majestic cathedral in Gothic style can accommodate more than 40,000 people. Its construction lasted five centuries! The first stone was laid in 1386 and was completed in 1965.
Did you know that Milan is one of the most famous capitals of fashion? Surely you knew!, but what you did not know that in Milan are held around 750 fashion shows on average a year. In addition, it has 3,657 stores and establishments dedicated to clothing and believe it or not it has 997 shoe stores and leather goods stores.
ATTRACTIONS IN MILAN
But Milan is not only fashion and industry; in your visit to this fascinating city do not forget to visit (see map of Milan):
Duomo of Milan: The imposing Cathedral of Milan is undoubtedly the most famous symbol of this city. Its origins go back to the 14th century but it is the essence of Gothic that runs the city with sovereign marble beauty.
The Last Supper: This fascinating fresco, the masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci, is in the ancient dining room of the Dominicans in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie and is one of the world's best known images and one of the best examples of the Renaissance.
Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery: Known as "the hall" of Milan, it is an architectural gem and houses in its interior companies such as Prada, Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, Etro, D & G and Armani.
La Scala of Milan: The opera house of the city, a tribute to the music opened in 1778, is a must stop in your visit if you are an opera lover and of course if you like to collect unique experiences.
Brera Picture Gallery: It was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte at the beginning of the 19th century and today is one of the most important Italian art galleries. In addition it counts on an exquisite artistic collection accumulated through purchases, legacies and donations.