Milan is located in Northern Italy and is Italy's most important financial centre and at 1.3 million people is the country's second largest city.
Milan has a long and turbulent history. Founded by the Celts in 222 BC it was then taken over by the Romans, then by the Spanish armies in the 1500's. The Austrians ruled in the 1700's and then Napoleon claimed the city in 1796. Subsequently and finally Milan become part of Italy. The second World War saw much of Milan extensively bombed which sadly destroyed many of the city's historical buildings. Surprisingly, throughout this history Milan has always prospered and grown and is now one of Europe's richest cities and the centre of Italian commerce.
From the original Roman city layouts onwards, each generation of occupants has influenced the architecture and style of the city. Visitors can today wander the streets and see buildings from many different periods. The cobbled streets with fifteenth century shops contrast with towering churches opening up onto town squares and the many picturesque parks. Milan is a city shaped by its layered history making just walking the streets a fascinating experience.
Whilst commerce rules Milan it is undisputedly its reputation as one of the design and fashion capitals of the world alongside New York, London and Paris that has made it famous. Many of the worlds best known fashion labels including Prada, Gucci, Valentino, Versace and Armani are headquartered in Milan and the city hosts a key fashion week twice a year. Visitors can view and purchase clothes and accessories from these fashion houses at "quadrilatero della moda", the upmarket fashion district in the city.
The Milanesi are also avid sports fans hosting celebrated football teams AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano and the Monza Formula One event. The city also hosts Rugby, American Football, Hockey, Baseball and Basketball teams making Milan an attractive holiday destination for a wide range of sports fans as well as fashion and history enthusiasts.
For the history buffs Milan has many great museums and sites to visit. Highlights include "The Duomo", a massive Gothic church constructed in 1386 with stunning views of the city, The "Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology" and "Saint Mary of Graces" which houses da Vinci's "Last Supper". This can be difficult to get tickets to and it is advised that you book ahead by a couple of months. The "Baggatti Valsecchi Museum" is located in the city centre and holds a significant art collection in a 19th century house giving visitors quite a different ambience from normal galleries. Milan's castle, "Castello Sforzesco" houses several museums and is also well worth the visit.
Milan is an exciting destination where lovers of culture, sport, architecture and fashion can be treated to wonderful diverse experiences all in one city.
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