Milan – Italy, Europe
Milan (Italian: Milano) is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza (created in 2004 splitting the northern part from the province of Milan itself), is one of Europe’s largest with an estimated population of over 4 million spread over 1,980 km2 (764.48 sq mi), with a consequent population density of more than 2,000 inhabitants/km².The growth of many suburbs and satellite settlements around the city proper following the great economic boom of the 1950s–60s and massive commuting flows suggest that socioeconomic linkages have expanded well beyond the boundaries of the city proper and its agglomeration, creating a metropolitan area of 7.4 million population expanded all over the central section of Lombardy region. 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.
The city was founded by the Insubres, a Celtic people. Milan was later captured by the Romans in 222 BC, and later was the capital city 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 city 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 I, who made it the capital of the puppet state of the Kingdom of Italy in 1805. Later Milan became the capital city of the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, which was part of the Austrian Empire. In 1859 the city was unified with the Kingdom of Sardinia, which later became the Kingdom of Italy. During the Romantic period, Milan was a major cultural centre in Europe, attracting several artists, composers and important literary figures. Later, during World War II, the city was badly affected by Allied bombings, and after German occupation in 1943, Milan became the main hub of the Italian resistance. Despite this, Milan saw a post-war economic growth, attracting thousands of immigrants from Southern Italy and abroad.
Over the years, Milan has had an increase in the number of international inhabitants, and 15.2% of Milan’s population is foreign born. The city remains one of Europe’s main transportation and industrial hubs, and Milan is the EU’s 10th most important centre for business and finance (2009) with its economy being the world’s 26th richest by purchasing power. Milan ranks highly in both national and international rankings in terms of GDP per capita, average income rates, cost of living, and quality of life. Its economic environment has made it, according to several studies, the world’s 20th and Europe’s 10th top business and financial centre, having been highly successful in terms of city branding.
Milan is recognised as a 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. An important centre of the international arts and musical scene, the city holds several renowned institutions, theatres and museums, as well as important monuments, including a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Santa Maria delle Grazie); the metropolis also hosts several important 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. Euromonitor International ranked Milan as the world’s 63rd most visited city in 2009, with 1.894 million arrivals. Inhabitants of Milan are referred to as “Milanese” (Italian: Milanesi or informally Meneghini or Ambrosiani). Milan, for its pivotal economic role and its fervent political and cultural activity that often anticipates national trends, it is often nicknamed as the “moral capital of Italy”.
Milan has a Humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa), continental, – although with some continental characteristics – similar to much of Northern Italy’s inland plains, where hot, humid and very sultry summers and cold, wet winters prevail.
Average temperatures in city center are 3 °C (37 °F) in January with −2 °C (28 °F) for the minimum and 25 °C (77 °F) in July with average maximum of 30 °C (86 °F). Snowfalls are relatively common during winter but with few days with snow. The historic average of Milan’s area is of 21 centimetres (8 in) during the period between 1950 and 2007, with a record of 70 centimetres (28 in) during the snowfall of January 1985. Humidity is quite high during the whole year and annual precipitation averages about 1,000 millimetres (39 in). The ventilation is poor throughout the year and this increases the rate of pollution.
In the stereotypical image, the city is often shrouded in the heavy fog characteristic of cold seasons in the Po Basin, although the removal of rice paddies from the southern neighborhoods, the urban heat island effect and the reduction of pollution from factories have reduced this phenomenon in recent years, at least in the city centre, although pollution is still very high. Wind is generally absent. In spring, though, gale-force windstorms can happen, generated either by Tramontana blowing from the Alps or by Bora-like winds from northeast.
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. Other major theatres in Milan include the Teatro degli Arcimboldi, Teatro Dal Verme, Teatro Lirico (Milan) and formerly the Teatro Regio Ducal. The city also has a renownded symphony orchestra and musical conservatory, and has been, throughout history, a major centre for musical composition: numerous famous composers and musicians such as Gioseppe Caimo, Simon Boyleau, Hoste da Reggio, Verdi, Giulio Gatti-Casazza, Paolo Cherici and Alice Edun are or were from, or call or called Milan their home. The city has also formed numerous modern ensembles and bands, such as the Dynamis Ensemble, Stormy Six and the Camerata Mediolanense have been formed.
Milan is one of the European Union’s most important tourist destinations, also being the 7th best city in Europe in terms of touristic reputation, attractions and branding; with 1.902 million arrivals in 2007 and 1.914 million in 2008, it places itself 42nd and 52nd respectively, most visited city in the world. According to a particular source, 56% of international visitors to Milan are from Europe, while 44% of the city’s tourists are Italian, and 56% are from abroad. The most important European Union markets are the United Kingdom (16%), Germany (9%) and France (6%).According to the same study, most of the visitors who come from the USA to the city go on business matters, while Chinese and Japanese tourists mainly take up the leisure segment. The average stay for a tourist in the city is of 3.43 nights, while foreigners stay for longer periods of time, 77% of which stay for a 2–5 night average. Of the 75% of visitors staying in hotels, 4-star ones are the most popular (47%), while 5-stars, or less than 3-stars represent 11% and 15% of the charts respectively.
Milan is regarded as one of the international capitals of industrial and modern design, and one of the world’s most influential cities in such fields. The city is particularly well known for its high-quality ancient and modern furniture and industrial goods. Milan hosts the FieraMilano, Europe’s biggest, and one of the world’s most prestigious furniture and design fairs. Milan also hosts major design and architecture-related events and venues, such as the “Fuori Salone” and the Salone del Mobile. In the 1950s and 60s as well as early 70’s, being the main industrial centre of Italy and one of mainland Europe’s most progressive and dynamic cities, Milan became, along with Turin, Italy’s capital of post-war design and architecture. Skyscrapers, such as the Pirelli Tower and the Torre Velasca were constructed, and artists such as Bruno Munari, Lucio Fontana, Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni, to name a few, either lived or worked in the city.
Milan is one of Italy’s most important railway hubs for local, national and international routes. Five major railway stations in Milan, among which the Milan Central station, are among Italy’s busiest. Since the end of 2009, two High speed train lines link Milan to Rome, Naples and Turin considerably shortening travel times with other major cities in Italy. The Azienda Trasporti Milanesi (ATM) operates within the metropolitan area, managing a public transport network consisting of an underground rapid transit network and tram, trolley-bus and bus lines. Overall the network covers nearly 1,400 km (870 mi) reaching 86 municipalities. Besides public transport, ATM manages the interchange parking lots and other transportation services including bike sharing and car sharing systems.
Association football is the most popular sport in Italy, and Milan is home to two world-famous football teams: A.C. Milan and F.C. Internazionale Milano (Inter Milan). The former is normally referred to as “Mìlan” (pronounced with the stress on the first syllable, unlike the English and Milanese name of the city), the latter as “Inter”. A match between these two teams is known as the Milan derby. Milan is the only city in Europe who hosts two European Cup/Champions League winning teams (A.C. Milan and Internazionale). Both teams have also won the Intercontinental Cup (now FIFA Club World Cup). With a combined ten Champions League titles, Milan has won more European Cups than any other city. Both teams play at the UEFA 5-star rated Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, more commonly known as the San Siro, that is one of the biggest stadiums in Europe, with a seating capacity of over 80,000. The world famous Monza Formula One circuit is located near the city, inside a wide park. It is one of the world’s oldest car racing circuits. The capacity for the F1 races is currently around 137,000 spectators. It has hosted an F1 race nearly every year since the first year of competition, with the exception of 1980. Milan is home to Italy’s most successful basketball team: Olimpia Milano. They won 25 Italian Championships as well as 3 European Champions Cups. The team play at the Mediolanum Forum, which houses 12,000 spectators. The city hosted, among other sport events, the FIFA World Cup in 1934 and 1990, the UEFA European Football Championship in 1980 and most recently the 2003 World Rowing Championships, the 2009 World Boxing Championships and some games of the FIVB World Championship in 2010.