MILAN - ITALY
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Milan
Country: ITALY
Region: LOMBARDIA
Province: MILAN
Elevation: 120 m (390 ft)
Demonym: MILANESI
Postal code: 20100, 20121-20162
Dialing code: 02
Time zone: CET (UTC+1)
CEST (UTC+2)


Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital of Lombardy. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area is the 5th largest in the European Union with an estimated population of about 5,248,000. The massive suburban sprawl that followed the post-war boom of the 1950s-60s and the growth of a vast commuter belt, suggest that socioeconomic linkages have expanded well beyond the boundaries of its administrative limits and its agglomeration, creating a metropolitan region of 7-9 million people, stretching over the provinces of Milan, Bergamo, Como, Lecco, Lodi, Monza and Brianza, Pavia, Varese and Novara. It has been suggested that the Milan metropolitan region is part of the so-called Blue Banana, the area of Europe with the highest population and industrial density.


Milan was founded by the Insubres, a Celtic people. The city was later conquered by the Romans, becoming the capital of the Western Roman Empire. During the Middle Ages, Milan flourished as a commercial and banking center. In the course of centuries, it has been alternatively dominated by France, Habsburg Spain, and Austria, until when in 1859 the city was eventually annexed by the new Kingdom of Italy. During the early 1900s, Milan led the industrialization process of the young nation, being at the very center of the economic, social and political debate. Badly affected by the World War II devastations, and after a harsh Nazi occupation, the city became the main centre of the Italian Resistance. In post-war years, the city enjoyed a prolonged economic boom, attracting large flows of immigrants from rural Southern Italy. During the last decades, Milan has seen a dramatic rise in the number of international migrants, and today more than one sixth of its population is foreign born.


Milan is the main industrial, commercial and financial centre of Italy and a leading global city. Its business district hosts the Borsa Italiana (Italy's main stock exchange) and the headquarters of the largest national banks and companies. The city is a major world fashion and design capital. Thanks to its important museums, theatres and landmarks (including the Milan Cathedral, the fifth largest cathedral in the world, and Santa Maria delle Grazie, decorated with Leonardo da Vinci paintings, a UNESCO World Heritage Site) Milan attracts more than two million annual visitors.


Milan is a major nation-wide and international centre of the performing arts, most notably opera. Milan hosts La Scala operahouse, considered one of the most prestigious operahouses in the world, and throughout history has hosted the premieres of numerous operas, such as Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi in 1842, La Gioconda by Amilcare Ponchielli, Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini in 1904, Turandot by Giacomo Puccini in 1926, and more recently Teneke, by Fabio Vacchi in 2007. Milan hosts numerous cultural institutions and universities, with 185,000 enrolled students in 2011, i.e. 11 percent of the national total. 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. Milan is home to two of the world's major football teams, A.C. Milan and F.C. Internazionale Milano.


Part of the description above is taken from the Wikipedia article Milan with patent CC-BY-SA. The full list of those who have contributed to the drafting of the article is available here.