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Milan (Italian: Milano [miˈlaːno] ( listen); Lombard: Milan [miˈlãŋ]; German: Mailand; Latin: Mediolanum) is the second-largest municipality in Italy and the capital of Lombardy as well as of the province of Milan. The basic administrative division proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area is the 5th largest in EU and the largest in Italy with an estimated population of approximately 5.2 million. The growth of many suburbs and satellite settlements around the city proper, following the Italian economic miracle of 1950s–60s and massive commuting flows, suggest that socioeconomic linkages have expanded well beyond the boundaries of its administrative limits and its agglomeration, creating a region of approximately 9.3 million people. It has been suggested that the Milan metropolitan area is part of the so-called Blue Banana, the area of Europe with the highest population and industrial density. Its health care and education system is considered one of the best of Europe.
Milan was founded by the Insubres, a Celtic people. The city was later captured by the Romans in 222 BC, and later was the capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 until 402 AD. Milan became one of the most prosperous Italian cities during the High Middle Ages, playing a primary role in the Lombard League. Later Milan became the capital of the Duchy of Milan, being ruled by the Visconti, the Sforza, the Spanish and the Austrians. In 1796, Milan was conquered by the French troops of Napoleon, only to be given again to the Austrian Empire at the Congress of Vienna of 1815. In 1859 the city was eventually annexed to the House of Savoy, and soon started to lead the industrialization process of the new Kingdom of Italy. During World War II, the city was badly affected by Allied bombings, and after German occupation in 1943, Milan became the main centre of the Italian resistance movement.[1] In post-war years, Milan enjoyed a prolonged economic boom, attracting large flows of immigrants from Southern Italy. During the past three decades, the city has seen a dramatic rise in the number of international migrants, and today 15.2% of Milan's population is foreign born.
Milan is the main industrial, commercial and financial centre of Italy. Its business district hosts the Italian Stock Exchange and the headquarters of the largest national banks and multinational companies. The city is recognized as a major world fashion and design capital, and it has thus been ranked by GaWC as an Alpha world city in 2010, as well as the 42nd most important global city. Thanks to its important museums, theatres and landmarks (including the Milan Cathedral, the fourth largest cathedral in the world, and Santa Maria delle Grazie, decorated with Leonardo da Vinci paintings, a UNESCO World Heritage Site) Milan attracts two million annual visitors. It hosts numerous cultural institutions and universities, including Bocconi University, which ranks fifth among European Business Schools. The city is also well known for several international events and fairs, including Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair, the largest of its kind in the world, and will host the 2015 Universal Exposition. The city is also home to two renowned football teams, A.C. Milan and F.C. Internazionale Milano.

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Additional Photos by maria varipati (maria-v1981) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1186 W: 30 N: 1943] (10814)
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