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Description of Milan

Milan is an Italian municipality of 1 372 810 inhabitants, capital of the Lombardy region, of homonymous metropolitan city, and the center of one of the most populous metropolitan areas in Europe.

Founded around 590 BC, perhaps with the name of Medhelan, near a sanctuary from a Celtic tribe belonging to the group of Insubri and belonging to the culture of Golasecca, it was conquered by the ancient Romans in 222 BC and later renamed them Mediolanum. With the passing of the centuries it increased its importance until becoming the capital of the Western Roman Empire, in whose period the edict of Milan was promulgated, which granted to all the citizens, therefore also to the Christians, the freedom to honor one's own deities.

At the forefront of the struggle against the Holy Roman Empire in the communal age, Milan became a lordship first and then raised to a ducal dignity at the end of the 14th century, remaining at the center of the political and cultural life of Renaissance Italy. At the beginning of the 16th century it lost its independence in favor of the Spanish Empire and then passed, almost two centuries later, under the Austrian crown: thanks to the Habsburg policies , Milan became one of the main centers of Italian enlightenment. Capital of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, after the Restoration it was one of the most active centers of the Risorgimento until it entered the Kingdom of Italy, the Savoy.

Main economic and financial center of the Italian peninsula , Milan led its industrial development, setting up the "Industrial Triangle" with Turin and Genoa, especially during the economic boom years when industrial and urban growth also involved the neighboring cities, creating the vast Milanese metropolitan area. In the cultural field, Milan is the main Italian publishing center and is at the top of the world music circuit thanks to the opera season of the Teatro alla Scala and its long opera tradition. It is also one of the main exhibition centers Europeans and industrial design , and is considered one of the world's fashion capitals.

Milan is famous for its wealth of historical and modern sights - the Duomo, one of the biggest and grandest Gothic cathedrals in the world, La Scala, one of the best established opera houses in the world, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, an ancient and glamorous arcaded shopping gallery, the Brera art gallery, with some of the finest artistic works in Europe, the Pirelli tower, a majestic example of 1960s modernist Italian architecture, the San Siro, a huge and famed stadium, or the Castello Sforzesco, a grand medieval castle. So, you have your fair share of old and new monuments. Plus, it contains one of the world's most famous paintings - Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper.


When to visit

Milan, depending on how you want to tour the city, is a great place to visit pretty much all year round. Keep in mind most places, including tourist destinations and museums, are closed on Mondays.

In autumn, the weather is warm or cool, and in later months can be quite rainy and foggy. At this time of the year, the city's inhabitants are very busy with work, so, the only people you're likely to see wandering around are tourists. All the major venues and shops are opened, since it is the working part of the year.

In winter, the city can become cold (often below or around freezing point), and the weather is usually foggy and rainy if not snowy. However, the city, in the few weeks before Christmas, becomes delightful to visit - the main sights are all illuminated by stunning lights, a huge Christmas tree is set up in front of the Duomo, vendors and markets can be found everywhere, many shop and display windows are decorated and the streets become bustling with locals and tourists alike. However, the only downside is that it can become extremely crowded, noisy and busy.

In spring, the weather is similar to that of autumn. People go back to work, and the atmosphere becomes more quiet, yet serious unlike that of the winter. Parks become nice to visit, as trees blossom. The city is also quite nice to visit at Carnival, where people dress up and celebrate, and during Easter, where there are special services held in churches and some special events.

In summer, Milan can become extremely hot and humid, with the odd powerful rainstorm here and there. Whilst in July, apart from the weather, most shops remain open, in August, as many locals go off to take their summer holidays, many businesses and venues shut down (with the notice Chiuso per ferie, or shut down for vacation). The city may become quite empty with the odd tourist strolling around, and with several of the main sights shut down. Although it is not the best time for shopping and the weather's not at all times very pleasant, it is good if you want to enjoy the city to yourself when it's quiet, and maybe want to stroll around, sipping at the odd open bar or at an ice cream, or walking in a silent park.



Travel Destinations in Milan

Duomo (Milan)

Piazza del Duomo

Tel. 02 72 02 26 56

Open daily

Treasury (Milan)

Open: 9:30am- 1pm, 2pm- 6pm Mon- Fri

9:30am- 11:30am, 2pm- 5pm Sat

1:30pm- 4pm Sun & public holidays


Baptistery Digs (Milan)

Open: 9am- 5pm


Open: 9am- 5:45pm (9am- 4:15pm Nov- Feb)




Teatro alla Scala (Milan)


Piazzu della Scala

Tel. 02 85 46 62 16

Box office: 02 72 00 37 44

Museo Teatrale (Milan)

Largo Ghringhelli 1

Tel. 02 99 79 24 73

Open: 9am- noon, 1:30pm- 5pm daily


Castello Sforzesco (Milan)

Piazza Castello

Tel. 02 88 46 37 00

Open: daily                 Museum: 9am- 5:30 pm Tue- Sun

Closed: public holidays


Museo Poldi- Pezzoli (Milan)

via Aleassandro Manzoni 12

Tel. 02 79 48 89



Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (Milan)

Piazza del Duomo, Piazza dellla Scala


Palazzo Reale (Milan)

Piazza del Duomo

Tel 02 67 56 72










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