Milan is an Italian city with over one million inhabitants. It is also the centre of the metropolitan area of the same name, as well as being the capital of the Lombardy region. It is the second Italian city in terms of population. It is the fourth most populous metropolitan area in Europe after London, Madrid and Paris.
Founded by the Insubri, or Insubres, a Gaulish people, in the early sixth century BC, it was conquered by the Romans in 222 BC who named it Mediolanum. It gradually increased in importance until it became the capital of the Western Roman Empire. During its history Milan has taken on a variety of roles, including that of capital, as well as being the political and cultural centre of the Duchy of Milan during the Renaissance.
It was the capital of the Kingdom of Italy during the Napoleonic period. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia during Austrian domination. In the cultural area, Milan has been, since the nineteenth century, the undisputed Italian centre of publishing, both of book publishing and in the field of media information. It is at the very top of the world music circuit thanks to its famed Scala theatre opera season and its long operatic tradition.
Capital of the Economy
Milan became the Italian economic capital during the industrial revolution in Europe in the second half of the nineteenth century, forming with Turin and Genoa the industrial triangle. From this time onwards, and especially in the period following World War II, it suffered a hard process of industrial urbanisation linked to industrial expansion involving also neighbouring cities, and became the favourite destination for internal emigration during this time.
In the last century the city consolidated its economic and productive role, becoming the largest Italian financial market. It is also known now as one of the world capitals of fashion and industrial design, and one of the most important Italian university centres. According to the MasterCard study of the Top 20 of Global Destination Cities in 2015 it was ranked the second Italian city for the number of foreign visitors to the city, and fifteenth in the world.
Near Milan we find one of the centres of the Milan Fair complex, the largest trade fair in Europe. In 2016 Milan has been recognised as the eighteenth, and only Italian, of the Cities of Opportunity, as defined by PwC’s two-year study. A league table of cities that offer the best economic opportunities, the best quality of life and are the most open to innovation. For these reasons, this year it has been awarded the title of Global City, the only Italian city to be placed on Alfa’s World City list.
The Fashion District
The Fashion District, or fashion quadrilateral, is a district of Milan where the most important jewellers, boutiques and designer and furniture showrooms are to be found. So named because it is ideally bordered by four streets famous for the numerous shops, showrooms and studios of the most important names in fashion. The heart of the Fashion District is via Montenapoleone, which is believed to be the fifth most expensive and prestigious street in the world. The fashion quadrilateral is enclosed by four main streets: Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni, Via della Spiga, Corso Venezia.