Milan Visitor information
Milan is an Italian city with a population of around 1.3 million people, making it the the capital of the region of Lombardia and the second largest city in the coutnry, after Rome. Culturally, since the 19th century, Milan has been the Italian centre for book publishing and is considered to be a top location on thw world music scene, thanks to the Scala Theatre with its long operatic traditions. During the industrial revolution, which lead Europe into the 19th century, the city became the “financial capital of Italy”, making with Turin and Genoa the “Industrial triangle. During the course of the last century, Milan’s economy became more stable, making it the largest financial market in the country, as well as one of the world’s fashion capitals, together with Paris, London and New York. Among the city’s iconic monuments are the Milan Cathedral and the Sforza Castle, which was originally an exclusively military complex. The city centre is rich in palaces, built during the 17th and 18th centuries as private residences of the city’s most influential families. In the east is the Milan Idroscalo, which was constructed in the 1920s as a port for hydroplanes and converted in 1934 into an area for sports activities and public bathing resort. Being extremely popular in the summer months, the Idroscalo is considered locally as the “sea for the milanesi". Amont the city’s scientific museums are National Museum of Science and Technology, famous among other things for the permanent Leonardo da Vinci exhibition, and the Natural History museum, being the largest of its kind in Italy. From 1996, Milan hosts the Milan Film Festival, usually held in September in various open areas of the city.
Getting around Milan
Milan is the junction point between the great east-west A4 motorway from Turin to Trieste and the north-south A1 going through to Bologna, Rome and Naples, forming the backbone of Italy. The city is well linked by train to cities like Venice and Genoa and is also served by the high speed trains from Turin and Bologna. The biggest airport is the Milano-Malpensa (MXP), located in the Varese province. It is linked to the city centre with a rail shuttle service and several bus routes. The nearest airport is the Milano-Linate (LIN), which hosts exclusively national, European and low-cost airlines. The metro system has three lines with a fourth in construction and a fifth in the planning stages.
Milan was established by the Insubres. Having been their most important city, in 222 BCE it was conquered by the Romans, whi christened it Mediolanum. Its economic and military importance made Milan an important colony, later becoming the Imperial capital and residence from 286 to 402 AD. At the time of the subdivision of the Empire, the city became the capital of the western part of the Empire. In 539, the Emperor of the East, Justinian I, decided to reconquer the imperial terrotories of the west and attacked Theodoric, instigating what would become the long Gothic War. From its new conquerors, Northern Italy took the name of Langobardia Maior (from where we get the modern-day Lombardia) and Milan became one of the foremost centres of the new kingdom. This kingdom ended in 774, with the conquest of Pavia by Carlo Magno, who in the year 800, crowned in Rome by Pope Leo III, became the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. However, France had also claimed rights of succession on the duchy and in 1499 king Louis XII conquered the territory. Chalres V of Spain, as a Holy Roman Emperor then took over and enthroned there Francesco II Sforza who diedin 1535 with no heirs and Chalres V named his own son Philip II as duke. The devastating plague of 1629 heavily damaged the city and its culture. The 18th century saw Milan pass from Spanish to Austrian rule, which lasted all the way until the times of Napoleon. With the demise of Bonaparte, the city passed again to Austrian rule as the capital of the newly formed Kingdom of Lombardo-Veneto and remained as such until 1859, when it became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, and then of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. The necessities of the First World War made Milan develop into an important centre for industry. The city was birthplace of the fascist movement, which was formed there in 1919 under the name “Movement of the Italian Leagues of Combat”. During the Second World War, Milan suffered the most severe bombing of any Italian city – the objective was to destroy the country’s biggest industial and economic city and to force Italy to withdraw from the war. Today, Milan is one of the most important European cities in terms of higher education, publishing and broadcasting.