With a population of about 1.3 million, Milan, the capital of Lombardy, is located in the Po Valley, not far from the Alps with the great lakes (Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano) to the North.
Milan is considered the Italian economic and finance center, with the headquarters of the Stock Exchange and of many of the most important industrial and financial businesses of the Country. The city hosted the Universal Exposition in 2015 under the theme “Feeding the planet, energy for life”.
It is also the Italian symbol of fashion and design: it hosts many of the main Italian fashion maisons and international design fairs, such as “Settimana della Moda” (Milan Fashion Week) and the “Salone Internazionale del Mobile” (Milan Furniture Fair); also, a Design School operates at Politecnico di Milano.
Milan hosts the “Teatro alla Scala”, considered the temple of lyrics all over the world, and several prose theatres such as the “Piccolo Teatro” founded by Giorgio Strehler.
In Milan are located the headquarters of the main daily newspapers (Il Corriere della Sera, Il Sole 24 Ore) and many of the main Italian publishers (Mondadori, Feltrinelli, Garzanti, Rizzoli).
The city offers to visitors the possibility to admire a wide range of monuments, museums and buildings reflecting the vestiges of history and culture left by many people who lived here. The ancient Roman remains are preserved at the Colonne di San Lorenzo, whereas the Romanesque can be admired at Sant’Ambrogio, Sant’Eustorgio or San Simpliciano Basilicas. The Duomo is one of the largest cathedrals in the world and the most important example of Gothic architecture in Italy. The Castello Sforzesco, built on the wishes of the Duke Francesco Sforza, nowadays hosts the Michelangelo’s “Pietà Rondanini” and several museums. The church of Santa Maria delle Grazie hosts the famous masterpiece “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci – declared part of the World Heritage by UNESCO.
The city has always participated actively to the National History since its origins, contributing to the purposes and the aims that led to reunification of Italy in the 18th century. Some distinguished people, who gave a significant contribution to Italian culture, lived in Milan, such as Leonardo da Vinci (who lived in Milan from 1482 to 1500), the poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni, the musician Arturo Toscanini, the writer Carlo Emilio Gadda, the film director Luchino Visconti. Two Nobel prizes operated in Milan: Giulio Natta (1963, in chemistry) and Dario Fo (1997, in literature).