[mi-lan, -lahn]
Milan (Milan Obrenović), 1854-1901, prince (1868-82) and king (1882-89) of Serbia; grandnephew of Miloš Obrenović. He succeeded his cousin Michael Obrenović as prince. He was educated in Paris, and a regency, which undertook constitutional reform in 1869, ruled for him until 1872. Under Russian influence he declared war (1876) on the Ottoman Empire in support of the rebellion in Bosnia and Herzegovina (see Russo-Turkish Wars). At the Congress of Berlin (1878) he secured Austrian support and obtained European recognition of the full independence of Serbia from the Ottoman Empire. In 1882 he took the title king of Serbia after signing a secret treaty granting Austria considerable influence. Heavy taxation, his pro-Austrian policy, his scandalous private life, and his unsuccessful campaign (1885) against Bulgaria aroused bitter opposition. After proclaiming (1889) a liberal constitution, he abdicated in favor of his son, Alexander (Alexander Obrenović), and went abroad. He returned in 1897 and became commander in chief of the army but resigned upon his son's marriage to Draga Mašin.
Milan, Ital. Milano, Lat. Mediolanum, city (1991 pop. 1,369,231), capital of Lombardy and of Milan prov., N Italy, at the heart of the Po basin. Because of its strategic position in the Lombard plain, at the intersection of several major transportation routes, it has been since the Middle Ages an international commercial, financial, and industrial center. Today Milan is Italy's second largest city after Rome and its economic heart. It has the highest per capita income in Italy. Manufactures include textiles, clothing, machinery, chemicals, electric appliances, printed materials, motor vehicles, airplanes, and rubber goods. The city has a large construction industry, and it is one of the most important silk markets in Europe.

Points of Interest

The most striking feature of the city is the Duomo, the large, white-marble cathedral (1386-1813), which shows traces of many styles (especially Gothic). It is elaborately ornamented, with 135 pinnacles and more than 200 marble statues. A statue of the Madonna is on the highest pinnacle (354 ft/108 m). Other points of interest in Milan include Brera Palace and Picture Gallery (17th cent.), which includes major works by Mantegna, Bellini, Piero della Francesca, and Raphael; the Castello Sforzesco (15th cent., with 19th-century additions), which houses a museum of art; the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (1465-90), containing the famous fresco, the Last Supper, by Leonardo da Vinci; the Basilica of Sant' Ambrogio (founded in the 4th cent., rebuilt in the 11th-12th cent.); the Ambrosian Library, which houses a rich collection of paintings; the Church of Sant' Eustorgio (9th cent.); the Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology; the gallery of modern art; and the Poldi Pezzoli Museum, with paintings by Boticelli, Pollaiuolo, Mantegna, and Piero della Francesca. Long a center of music, Milan has a conservatory and a famous opera house, Teatro alla Scala (opened in 1778). Between the Duomo and La Scala is the 130-year-old Galleria, an enclosed four-story glass-roofed arcade that contains shops and eateries and is a popular gathering place. The city also has three universities and a polytechnic institute.


Probably of Celtic origin, Milan was conquered by Rome in 222 B.C. In later Roman times it was the capital (A.D. 305-402) of the Western Empire and the religious center of N Italy. In 313 Constantine I issued the Edict of Milan, which granted religious toleration. From 374 to 379 the city's bishop was St. Ambrose, known for the liturgy he wrote and for his eloquence. Milan was severely damaged by the Huns (c.450) and again by the Goths (539) and was conquered by the Lombards in 569.

In the 12th cent. it became a free commune and gradually gained supremacy over the cities of Lombardy. From the 11th to the 13th cent. Milan suffered from internal warfare between rich and poor, from the Guelph and Ghibelline strife, and from the enmity of rival cities, which assisted Emperor Frederick I in destroying it (1163). As a member of the Lombard League, Milan later contributed to the defeat of Frederick I at Legnano (1176). The city's independence was recognized in the Peace of Constance (1183). In the 13th cent. Milan lost its republican liberties; first the Torriani, then the Visconti (1277) became its lords. Galeazzo Visconti received (1395) the title of duke of Milan from the emperor, and under him the duchy became one of the most important states in Italy. After the death of the last Visconti (1447) the Sforza became dukes of Milan. The city flourished until it became involved in the Italian Wars and passed under Spanish domination (1535).

At the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, Austrian rule of Milan was established (1713-96). Napoleon I made the city the capital of the Cisalpine Republic (1797) and of the kingdom of Italy (1805-14). In 1815 Milan again came under Austria. It was a leading center throughout the Risorgimento; after five days of heroic fighting in 1848 the citizens of Milan succeeded in expelling the Austrians, who returned, however, a few months later. In 1859 the city was united with the kingdom of Sardinia. Its industrial importance grew after it was incorporated (1861) into Italy. In World War II Milan suffered widespread damage from Allied air raids; many significant buildings were damaged beyond repair.

Kundera, Milan, 1929-, Czechslovakian-born novelist and essayist. The publication of his first novel, The Joke (1967, tr. 1974), a satire of Stalinist Czechoslovakia in the 1950s, roughly coincided with the 1968 Soviet invasion of his homeland. The book and his criticism of the invasion brought Kundera, formerly a committed communist, severe disapproval by the new government, and were key factors in the banning of his work, his expulsion from the Communist party, and the loss of both his teaching position and his citizenship. These events led to his decision to flee Czechoslovakia and settle (1975) in France, where he became (1981) a citizen.

His widely translated fiction, which is often set against a totalitarian backdrop yet is usually apolitical in tone, looks ironically at love, sex, and the possibility of spiritual fulfillment in the modern age. His works frequently treat themes of exile and return, memory and forgetfulness, nostalgia and regret. Kundera's most acclaimed novels are The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979, tr. 1980, 1996) and The Unbearable Lightness of Being (tr. 1984). Among his other novels are Life Is Elsewhere (tr. 1974, 2000) and Immortality (1990, tr. 1991), both written in Czech; and Slowness (1995, tr. 1996), Identity (1997, tr. 1998), and Ignorance (2000, tr. 2002), all originally in French. He has also written plays, short stories, poetry, and essays. Among the latter are three collections containing his reflections on fiction, The Art of the Novel (1986, tr. 1988), Testaments Betrayed (tr. 1995), and The Curtain (2005, tr. 2007).

See studies by M. N. Banerjee (1990) and F. Ricard (2003).

Milan (Milano; ) is one of the largest cities in Italy, located in the plains of Lombardy. It is the capital in the Province of Milano. The municipality (Comune di Milano) has a population of 1.3 million. The Milan metropolitan area, depending on the specific definition, has a population ranging from 2.9 to 9.8 million. The municipal border covers a relatively small area (about one-eighth that of Rome) because of the historical development of high density centres in agriculturally rich Lombardy. Milan is renowned as one of the world capitals of design and fashion. The English word milliner is derived from the name of the city. The Lombard metropolis is famous for its fashion houses and shops (such as along via Montenapoleone) and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in the Piazza Duomo (reputed to be the world's oldest shopping mall). The city hosted the World Exposition in 1906 and will host the Universal Expo in 2015. Inhabitants of Milan are referred to as "Milanese" (Italian: Milanesi or informally Meneghini or Ambrosiani).

The Olona river, the Lambro river and the Seveso creek run through Milan. Olona and Seveso run mostly underground.



The Celtic name for the settlement of the Insubres is not attested, but in the Roman name Mediolanum the name element -lanum is the Celtic equivalent of -planum "plain'", thus Mediolanum: "in the midst of the plain", due to its location in a plain close to the confluence of two small rivers, the Olona and the Seveso. The origin of the name and of a boar as a symbol of the city are fancifully accounted for in Andrea Alciato's Emblemata (1584), beneath a woodcut of the first raising of the city walls, where a boar is seen lifted from the excavation, and the etymology of Mediolanum given as "half-wool", explained in Latin and in French. The foundation of Milan is credited to two Celtic peoples, the Bituriges and the Aedui, having as their emblems a ram and a boar; therefore "The city’s symbol is a wool-bearing boar, an animal of double form, here with sharp bristles, there with sleek wool. Alciato credits the most saintly and learned Ambrose for his account.

The German name for the city is Mailand, while in the local Western Lombard dialect, the city's name is Milán, similar to the French.

Roman times

Around 400 BC, the Celtic Insubres inhabited Milan and the surrounding region. In 222 BC, the Romans conquered this settlement, which received the name Mediolanum. After several centuries of Roman control, Milan was declared the capital of the Western Roman Empire by Emperor Diocletian in 293 AD. Diocletian chose to stay in the Eastern Roman Empire (capital Nicomedia) and his colleague Maximianus the Western one. Immediately Maximian built several gigantic monuments, like a large circus (470 x 85 meters), the Thermae Erculee, a large complex of imperial palaces and several other services and buildings.
In the Edict of Milan of 313, Emperor Constantine I guaranteed freedom of religion for Christians. The city was besieged by the Visigoths in 402, and the imperial residence was moved to Ravenna. Fifty years later (in 452), the Huns overran the city. In 539, the Ostrogoths conquered and destroyed Milan in the course of the so-called Gothic War against Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. In the summer of 569, the Longobards (from which the name of the Italian region Lombardy derives) conquered Milan, overpowering the small Byzantine army left for its defence. Milan surrendered to the Franks in 774 when Charlemagne, in an utterly novel decision, took the title "King of the Lombards" as well (before then the Germanic kingdoms had frequently conquered each other, but none had adopted the title of King of another people). Subsequently Milan was part of the Holy Roman Empire.

Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, Milan prospered as a center of trade due to its command of the rich plain of the Po and routes from Italy across the Alps. The war of conquest by Frederick I Barbarossa against the Lombard cities brought the destruction of much of Milan in 1162. After the founding of the Lombard League in 1167, Milan took the leading role in this alliance. As a result of the independence that the Lombard cities gained in the Peace of Constance in 1183, Milan became a duchy. In 1208 Rambertino Buvalelli served a term as podestà of the city, in 1242 Luca Grimaldi, and in 1282 Luchetto Gattilusio. In 1395, Gian Galeazzo Visconti became duke of Milan. In 1447 Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan, died without a male heir; following the end of the Visconti line, the Ambrosian Republic was enacted. However, the Republic collapsed when in 1450, Milan was conquered by Francesco Sforza, of the House of Sforza, which made Milan one of the leading cities of the Italian Renaissance.

Periods of Spanish, French and Austrian domination

The French king Louis XII first laid claim to the duchy in 1492. At that time, Milan was defended by Swiss mercenaries. After the victory of Louis’s successor Francis I over the Swiss at the Battle of Marignano, the duchy was promised to the French king Francis I. When the Habsburg Charles V defeated Francis I at the Battle of Pavia in 1525, northern Italy, including Milan, passed to the House of Habsburg. In 1556, Charles V abdicated in favour of his son Philip II and his brother Ferdinand I. Charles’s Italian possessions, including Milan, passed to Philip II and the Spanish line of Habsburgs, while Ferdinand’s Austrian line of Habsburgs ruled the Holy Roman Empire.

However, in 1700 the Spanish line of Habsburgs was extinguished with the death of Charles II. After his death, the War of the Spanish Succession began in 1701 with the occupation of all Spanish possessions by French troops backing the claim of the French Philippe of Anjou to the Spanish throne. In 1706, the French were defeated in Ramillies and Turin and were forced to yield northern Italy to the Austrian Habsburgs. In 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht formally confirmed Austrian sovereignty over most of Spain’s Italian possessions including Lombardy and its capital, Milan.

19th Century

Napoleon conquered Lombardy in 1796, and Milan was declared capital of the Cisalpine Republic. Later, he declared Milan capital of the Reign of Italy and was crowned in the Duomo. Once Napoleon’s occupation ended, the Congress of Vienna returned Lombardy, and Milan, along with the Veneto, to Austrian control in 1815. During this period, Milan became a centre of lyric opera. Here Mozart wrote three operas, and in a few years La Scala became the reference theatre in the world, with its premieres of Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini and Verdi. Verdi himself is now tumulated in a precious Institute, the "Casa di Riposo per Musicisti", the Verdi's present to Milan. In the 19th century other important theatres were La Cannobiana and the Teatro Carcano.

On March 18, 1848, the Milanese rebelled against Austrian rule, during the so-called "Five Days" (It. Cinque Giornate), and Field Marshall Radetzky was forced to withdraw from the city temporarily. However, after defeating Italian forces at Custoza on July 24, Radetzky was able to reassert Austrian control over Milan and northern Italy. However, Italian nationalists, championed by the Kingdom of Sardinia, called for the removal of Austria in the interest of Italian unification. Sardinia and France formed an alliance and defeated Austria at the Battle of Solferino in 1859. Following this battle, Milan and the rest of Lombardy were incorporated into the Kingdom of Sardinia, which soon gained control of most of Italy and in 1861 was rechristened as the Kingdom of Italy.

The political unification of Italy cemented Milan’s commercial dominance over northern Italy. It also led to a flurry of railway construction that made Milan the rail hub of northern Italy. Rapid industrialization put Milan at the centre of Italy’s leading industrial region, though in the 1890s Milan was shaken by the Bava-Beccaris massacre, a riot related to an high inflation rate. Meanwhile, as Milanese banks dominated Italy’s financial sphere, the city became the country’s leading financial centre. Milan’s economic growth brought a rapid expansion in the city’s area and population during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

20th Century

In 1919, Benito Mussolini organized the Blackshirts, who formed the core of Italy’s Fascist movement, in Milan. In 1922, Mussolini started his March on Rome from Milan.

During World War II, Milan suffered severe damage from British and American bombing, Even though Italy quit the war in 1943, the Germans occupied most of northern Italy until 1945. Some of the worst Allied bombing of Milan was in 1944. Much of the bombing focused around Milan's main train station.

In 1943, anti-German resistance in occupied Italy increased and there were explosions in Milan.

As the war came to an end, the American 1st Armored Division advanced on Milan as part of the Po Valley Campaign. But even before they arrived, members of the Italian resistance movement rose up in open revolt in Milan and liberated the city. Nearby, Mussolini and several members of his Italian Social Republic (Repubblica Sociale Italiana, or RSI) were captured by the resistance at Dongo and executed. On 29 April 1945, the bodies of the Fascists were taken to Milan and hung unceremoniously upside-down at Piazzale loreto a public square.

After the war the city was the site of a refugee camp for Jews fleeing from Austria. During the 1950s and 1960s, thousands of Italians, particularly from Southern Italy, moved to Milan to seek jobs within the city’s rapidly expanding economy and the population peaked at 1,723,000 in 1971. From the 1980s Milan become to host many immigrants from other countries of third world. In the same years began the quick and great extension of Chinatown, a district established in the 20s in the area around Via Paolo Sarpi, Via Bramante, Via Messina and Via Rosmini, by a group of Chinese people from Zejiang. Today is one of the most picturesque district in the city. Much of Milan's population however was lost during the 1970s and 1980s to the belt of new suburbs and small cities surrounding Milan. Nonetheless, Milan’s population seems to have stabilized, and there has been a slight increase in the population of the city since 2001.

Municipal Administration


Of nine boroughs into which Milan is divided, eight are governed by centre-right coalition (1-8) and one by centre-left coalition (9).

Administrative Subdivision

The city of Milan is subdivided into 9 administrative zones, called Zona. In 1999 the administration decided to reduce the number of these zones from 21 to 9. The Zona 1 is in the historic centre - within the perimeter of the Spanish-era city walls, the other eight cover from Zona 1 borders to the city limits..

The following table reports the datas for every Zona; the total population is higher than the official city population because it includes foreign born immigrants with permits in its count.

Zona Area
(31 December 2006)
Zona 1 Centro Storico 9.67 107,087 11,074 Centro Storico, Piazza del Duomo, Porta Tenaglia, Porta Sempione / Arco della Pace, Chinatown, Giardini Pubblici, piazza della Repubblica, largo della Crocetta, via della Guastalla, Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio, San Vittore, Parco delle Basiliche, Carrobbio
Zona 2 Stazione Centrale, Gorla, Turro, Precotto, Greco, Crescenzago 12.58 163,932 13,031 Porta Nuova, Centrale, Ponte Seveso, Loreto, Maggiolina, Villaggio dei Giornalisti, Greco, Gorla, Turro, Precotto, Padova, Crescenzago, Adriano, Breda, Cassina di Pomm
Zona 3 Porta Venezia, Città Studi, Lambrate 14.23 153,470 10,785 Porta Venezia, Porta Monforte, Città Studi, Lambrate, Parco Lambro, Ortica, Quartiere Feltre, Casoretto, via Corelli, Rottole, Cimiano, via Carnia, Naviglio della Martesana
Zona 4 Porta Vittoria, Porta Romana, Forlanini, Monlué, Rogoredo 20.95 169,051 8,069 Porta Vittoria, Porta Romana, piazzale Libia, Cavriano, Calvairate, Monluè, Taliedo, La Trecca, Porto, Gamboloita, Nosedo, piazzale Corvetto, Rogoredo, Santa Giulia, Morsenchio, Forlanini, viale Omero, San Luigi, Ponte Lambro
Zona 5 Porta Ticinese, Porta Lodovica, Vigentino, Chiaravalle, Gratosoglio 29.87 134,016 4,487 Porta Ticinese, Porta Lodovica, Vigentino, Chiaravalle, Gratosoglio, Porta Vigentina, Conchetta, parco Ravizza, piazza Ohm, via Ripamonti, Vigentino, viale Ortles, via Quaranta, Morivione, via Spaventa, Quartiere Stadera, Quartiere Torretta, via Meda, Conca Fallata, Vaiano Valle, Selvanesco, Casenuove, Macconago, Quintosole, Ronchetto delle Rane, Chiesa Rossa, Naviglio Pavese, Vettabbia, corso San Gottardo
Zona 6 Barona, Giambellino, Lorenteggio, Porta Genova 18.28 164,487 8,998 Porta Genova, Darsena, via Magolfa, via Solari, San Cristoforo, Moncucco, Lorenteggio, via Giambellino, Restocco Maroni, Ronchetto sul Naviglio, Boffalora, Cascina Bianca, Cascina Cantalupa, via Bisceglie, via Inganni, piazza Frattini, Naviglio Grande, Barona, via Santa Rita, viale Legioni Romane, via Foppa
Zona 7 Porta Vercellina, Baggio, San Siro, Forze Armate 31.34 190,969 6,093 Porta Vercellina, Baggio, San Siro, via delle Forze Armate, Porta Vercellina, piazzale Aquileia, piazza Piemonte, via Washington, via Marghera, piazzale Brescia, piazzale Siena, via Saint Bon, Ospedale San Carlo, via Valsesia, Quinto Romano, Quarto Cagnino, piazzale Selinunte, Figino, Assiano, Muggiano, via Novara, via Marx, via Bellaria, via degli Ippodromi
Zona 8 Porta Volta, Fiera, Gallaratese, Quarto Oggiaro 23.72 197,484 8,326 Porta Volta, Fiera, Gallaratese, Quarto Oggiaro, corso Sempione, Bullona, Cimitero Monumentale, Porta Garibaldi, via Cenisio, via Paolo Sarpi, Ghisolfa, Cagnola, Il Portello, Monte Stella, Boldinasco, Q.T.8, piazza Bonola, via Ghisallo, Trenno, Lampugnano, San Leonardo, piazzale Accursio, Musocco, Porta Volta, Villapizzone, Garegnano e Certosa di Garegnano, Vialba, Quarto Oggiaro, Belgioioso, Roserio
Zona 9 Affori, Porta Nuova, Niguarda, Bovisa, Fulvio Testi 21.12 194,386 9,204 Affori, Porta Nuova, Niguarda, Bovisa, viale Fulvio Testi, Centro Direzionale, via Melchiorre Gioia, L'Isola, viale Zara, via Lancetti (Dogana), via Farini, Bovisasca, Dergano, Derganino, Montalbino, Prato Centenaro, Cà Granda, Comasina, Segnano, Bicocca, Stazione di Milano Greco Pirelli, viale Sarca, viale Fermi, via Astesani, piazzale Maciachini, Bruzzano, Parco Nord, via Seveso
Total City 181,76 1,483,882 8,164


Under the Köppen climate classification Milan is typically classified as having a Humid subtropical climate (Cfa). Milan's winters are typically damp and cool, while summers are often quite warm and humid. Average temperatures are -4/+6°C in January and +15/+28°C in July. Snowfalls are relatively common in winter, even if in the last 15-20 years they have decreased in frequency and amount. The historic average of Milan's area is between 35 and 45 cm (16"/18"); single snowfalls over 30-50 cm in 1-3 days happen periodically, with a record of 80-100 cm during the famous snowfall of January 1985. Humidity is quite high during the whole year and annual precipitation averages about 1000 mm (40 in). In the stereotypical image, the city is often shrouded in the fog characteristic of the Po Basin, although the removal of rice fields from the southern neighbourhoods, urban heating effect and the reduction of pollution levels have reduced this phenomenon in recent years, at least in the downtown.

Main sights

''See also: buildings and structures in Milan

Milan is one of the major artistic centres of northern Italy. Its chief landmarks include:


The city proper (Comune di Milano) has a population of 1,303,437 inhabitants (2006). Between 1991 to 2001, the city proper has lost 113,084 inhabitants (8.3 percent), mostly due to suburban sprawl and expulsion of population from the inner city centre, which is now almost fully dedicated to offices and commerce. The population of the urban area, that coincides with the Province of Milan, is estimated as of 2006 to be 3,884,481 Finally, the official population of the Milan Metropolitan area counts over 7.4 million residents, the largest in Italy As of 2006, the Italian national institute of statistics ISTAT estimated that 292,204 foreign-born immigrants live in Milan Urban Area, equal to 7.6% of total population.


Milan is one of the major financial and business centres of the world. The city is the seat of the Italian Stock Exchange (the Borsa Italiana) "Piazza Affari" and its hinterland is an avant-garde industrial area. Milan was included in a list of ten "Alpha world cities" by Peter J. Taylor and Robert E. Lang of the Brookings Institution in the economic report "U.S. Cities in the 'World City Network'" (Key Findings, ).

Milan is also well-known as the seat of the Alfa Romeo motorcar company, for its silk production, and as one of the world's capitals for fashion and a world leader for design.

Milan also provides directional functions for the whole of Lombardy, as its industrial base has been externalized throughout the region in the 1960s-70s.

FieraMilano, the city's Exhibition Centre and Trade Fair complex, is notable. The original fairground, known as "FieraMilanoCity", has been entirely dismantled, with the exception of a few remarkable buildings (including the cycle sports stadium, built in the '20s), to be house for an urban development, CityLife, using the short distance from the city centre. The new fairground, in the north-western suburb of Rho, opened in April 2005, makes the Fiera Milano the largest trade fair complex in the world.

Milan of the future

At present, Milan is experiencing a significant architectural and urban design renaissance. Many new construction projects are under way with the aim of rehabilitating disused, peripheral industrial areas, including entire quarters. Examples of these projects include: the addition to the Teatro alla Scala; the CityLife project in the old "fiera" site; the new quarter Santa Giulia; and the Porta Nuova project in the Garibaldi-Repubblica zone. Famous architects are involved in the construction of this "new" Milan, such as Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, Massimiliano Fuksas and Daniel Libeskind. These major works will give Milan a new skyline no longer dominated by the Duomo and the Pirelli Tower.

This urban rebirth will continue due to the selection of Milan to host Expo 2015.


Milan is home to numerous universities and other institutions of higher learning:

State Universities

  • Università degli Studi di Milano Faculties: Agriculture, Arts and Philosophy, Law, Sciences, Medicine and Surgery, Pharmacy, Political Science, Sport and Exercise Science, Veterinary Medicine
  • University of Milan Bicocca Faculties: Economics; Educational Science; Law; Mathematics, Physics and Natural Sciences; Medicine and Surgery; Psychology; Sociology; Statistical Sciences

Science and medical

Architecture and engineering

Business, economic and social

Language, art and music

Actor and Theatre School

Fashion and design


  • I.S.E.F. Milano – Centro accademico sportivo "Rino Fenaroli"



The city has a large international airport known as Malpensa International Airport (MXP), located near the industrial towns of Busto Arsizio and Gallarate and connected to the downtown with the "Malpensa Express" railway service (from Cadorna Station and Stazione Centrale (Central Station)). Malpensa was designed by the famous Ettore Sottsass. Milan also has the Linate Airport (LIN) within the city limits (for European and domestic traffic), connected with bus line 73 (from S. Babila). A third airport is Orio al Serio (BGY), close to the city of Bergamo. Vergiate, Venegono, Bresso, Voghera and Montichiari are additional airports in the region.

Subways, tramways, trolleybuses and buses

Milan has 3 subway lines (M1 – red, M2 – green, M3 – yellow) and the system, called Milan MetroLa Metrò or sometimes Il Metrò, running for more than 80 km. There is also a light metro-service, "Metrò S. Raffaele", connecting the San Raffaele Hospital with Cascina Gobba station (M2). Extensions of lines 1, 2 and 3 are under construction, to create more than 15 km of track with 10 new stations. Line 5, linking San Siro sports stadium (west) with Viale Fulvio Testi (north east), through the new City Life complex is also under construction, to be finished in the first half of 2012. Line 4, merged with a proposed line 6, linking San Cristoforo railway station (southwest) with Linate Airport is in planning stage.

The "Passante" is a railway tunnel under the city centre used by suburban trains, and allows passengers coming from suburbs a direct interchange to the three (soon to be four) metro lines at Garibaldi, Repubblica, Porta Venezia and Rogoredo stations.

Greater Milan also has one of the most extensive tramway systems in the world, with more than 286 km of track, and 20 lines.

Milan also has four trolleybus routes; included in the fleet are ten air-conditioned Cristalis trolleybuses.

Ninety-three bus lines cover over 1,070 km between them. The local transportation authority (ATM) transported more than 600 million passengers in 2003 .


Milan is the second railway hub of Italy, and the five major stations of Milan, amongst which the Milan Central station, are among Italy's busiest. The first railroad built in Milan, the Milan and Monza Rail Road was opened for service on August 17, 1840.

High speed train lines are under construction all across Italy, and new lines will open from Milan to Rome and Naples, and from Milan to Torino.

Other than the Stazione Centrale, High Speed Trains will sometimes stop also at:

  • Milano Rogoredo (for trains coming from Bologna and Rome)
  • Milano/Rho Fiera (from Turin)
  • Milano Pioltello (from the planned high speed line from Venice)

Regional-Metropolitan Railway services

The Suburban Railway Service ("S" Lines, a service similar to the French RER and German S-Bahn), composed of eight suburban lines and ten more scheduled for 2008, connects the "Greater Milan" to cities such as Como and Varese. The Regional Railway Service ("R"), instead, links Milan with the rest of Lombardy and the national railway system. The "Passante ferroviario" is an underground railway serving a couple of "S" lines and is very much like another subway line (and is even marked as such on subway maps), except that it is connected to LeNord and Trenitalia suburban networks. See the map of the M (subway) + S (regional metropolitan railway) Network on Go on


Milan has a taxi service operated by private companies and licensed by the City of Milan (Comune di Milano). All taxis are the same color, white. Prices are based on a set fare at the beginning and an additional fare based on time elapsed and distance traveled. As the number of licences is kept low by lobbying of present taxi drivers and finding a taxi may be difficult in rush hours or rainy days, and almost impossible during public transportation strikes, which occur often.




In the late eighteenth century, and throughout the nineteenth, Milan was an important centre for intellectual discussion and literary creativity. The Enlightenment found here a fertile ground. Cesare Beccaria, with his famous Dei delitti e delle pene, and Pietro Verri, with the periodical Il Caffè were able to exert a considerable influence over the new middle-class culture, thanks also to an open-minded Austrian administration. In the first years of the nineteenth century, the ideals of the Romantic movement made their impact on the cultural life of the city and its major writers debated the primacy of Classical versus Romantic poetry. Here, too, Giuseppe Parini, and Ugo Foscolo published their most important works, and were admired by younger poets as masters of ethics, as well as of literary craftmanship. Foscolo's poem Dei sepolcri was inspired by a Napoleonic law which—against the will of many of its inhabitants—was being extended to the city.

In the third decade of the nineteenth century, Alessandro Manzoni wrote his novel I Promessi Sposi, a Milanese story of the XVII century, etc.. This historical novel was the real manifesto of Italian Romanticism, which found in Milan its centre. The periodical Il Conciliatore published articles by Silvio Pellico, Giovanni Berchet, Ludovico di Breme, who were both Romantic in poetry and patriotic in politics.

After the Unification of Italy in 1861, Milan lost its political importance; nevertheless it retained a sort of central position in cultural debates. New ideas and movements from other countries of Europe were accepted and discussed: thus Realism and Naturalism gave birth to an Italian movement, Verismo. The greatest verista novelist, Giovanni Verga, was born in Sicily but wrote his most important books in Milan.


Milan is the base of operations for many local and nationwide communication services and businesses, such as newspapers, magazines, and TV and radio stations.



  • La Settimana Enigmistica
  • Abitare (architecture & design monthly)
  • Casabella (architecture & design monthly)
  • Domus (architecture & design monthly)
  • Panorama (weekly)


In addition to Italian, approximately a third of the population of western Lombardy can speak the Western Lombard language, also known as Insubric. In Milan, some natives of the city can speak the traditional Milanese language—that is to say the urban variety of Western Lombard, which is not to be confused with the Milanese-influenced regional variety of the Italian language.


Milan's population, like that of Italy as a whole, is overwhelmingly Catholic. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milan. Other religions practised include Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and Protestantism.

Milan has its own historic Catholic rite known as the Ambrosian Rite (it: rito ambrosiano). It varies slightly from the typical Catholic rite (the Roman, used in all other western regions), with some differences in the liturgy and mass celebrations, and in the calendar (for example, the date of carnival is celebrated some days after the common date). The Ambrosian rite is also practised in other surrounding locations in Lombardy and in the Swiss canton of Ticino.

Another important difference concerns the liturgical music. The Gregorian chant was completely unused in Milan and surrounding areas, because the official one was its own Ambrosian chant, definitively established by the Council of Trent (1545-1563) and earlier than the Gregorian To preserve this music there has developed the unique schola cantorum, a college, and an Institute in partnership with the "Pontifical Ambrosian Institute of Sacred Music" (PIAMS) in Rome


Like most cities in Italy, Milan and its surrounding area has its own regional cuisine. Milanese cuisine includes "cotoletta alla milanese", a breaded veal (pork and turkey can be used) cutlet pan-fried in butter (which some claim to be of Austrian origin, as it is similar to Viennese "Wienerschnitzel", while others claim that the "Wienerschnitzel" derived from the "cotoletta alla milanese"). Other typical dishes are cassoeula (stewed pork rib chops and sausage with Savoy cabbage and tomato sauce), ossobuco (stewed veal shank with tomato or lemon sauce), risotto alla milanese (with saffron, white wine and beef marrow), busecca (stewed tripe with beans and tomato sauce), and brasato (stewed beef or pork with wine and potatoes). Season-related pastries include chiacchiere (flat fritters dusted with sugar) and tortelli (fried spherical cookies) for Carnival, colomba (glazed cake shaped as a dove) for Easter, pane dei morti ("Bread of the Dead", cookies aromatized with cinnamon) for All Soul's Day and panettone for Christmas. The salame milano, a salami with a very fine grain, is widespread throughout Italy. The best known Milanese cheese is gorgonzola from the nearby town of that name, although today the major gorgonzola producers operate in Piedmont.


The city hosted, among other events, the FIFA World Cup in 1934 and 1990, the UEFA European Football Championship in 1980.

Football is the most popular sport in Italy, and Milan is home to two world-famous football teams: A.C. Milan and Internazionale. The former is normally referred to as "Mìlan" (notice 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 whose teams have won both the European Cup and the Intercontinental Cup. Both teams play at Giuseppe Meazza – San Siro Stadium (85,700). Many of the strongest Italian football players were born in Milan, in the surrounding metropolitan area, or in Lombardy: Valentino Mazzola, Paolo Maldini, Giuseppe Meazza, Giacinto Facchetti, Luigi Riva, Gaetano Scirea, Giuseppe Bergomi, Walter Zenga, Antonio Cabrini, Roberto Donadoni, Gianluca Vialli, Silvio Piola, Gabriele Oriali, Giovanni Trapattoni and Franco Baresi as well as many others.

  • The 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, although in the 1950s the stands could hold more than 250,000. It has hosted an F1 race nearly every year since the first year of competition, with the exception of 1980.
  • Olimpia Milano (sponsored Armani) is a successful Italian and European basketball team. It is one of the most important and successful Italian teams and also one of the top teams in Europe too. Olimpia plays at the DatchForum arena (capacity 14,000).
  • Rhinos Milano American Football Club is the oldest American football club in Milan and has won four Italian Super Bowls. They are one of the five foundation clubs of the Italian Football League.
  • CUS Milano Baseball is the oldest baseball club in Milan and has won eight Italian Scudetti.
  • The Amatori Rugby Milano has won 18 National Championships and are the most famous and important Rugby team in Italy.
  • Different ice hockey teams from Milan have won 30 National Championships between them. The Vipers Milano have won 5 of the last 7 national championships, the Alpenliga and several Coppa Italia, and are the leaders of that sport in Italy. They play at the Agora Stadium (capacity 4,500) during the regular season, and at the Forum during playoffs.
  • Every year, Milan hosts the Bonfiglio Trophy Under 18 Tennis Tournament. It is the most important youth tournament in the world, and is played at the Milan Tennis Club. The central court has a capacity of 8000. Past winners include Tacchini, Jan Kodes, Adriano Panatta, Corrado Barazzutti, Moreno, Björn Borg, Smid, Ivan Lendl, Guy Forget, Jim Courier, Goran Ivanišević, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, and Guillermo Coria.

Milan and Lombardy are official candidates for the Summer Olympic Games of 2020 ("Milan-Lombardy 2020").


  • Autodromo Nazionale Monza – car and motorcycle racing – 137,000
  • San Siro – only football; Milan and Inter – 85,700
  • Arena Civica – Athletics, Rugby, Football, American Football 30,000
  • Brianteo – Athletics, Football – 18,568
  • Ippodromo del Trotter – Horse Racing – 16,000
  • Ippodromo del Galoppo – Horse Racing – 15,000
  • Datch Forum – Basketball, Ice Hockey, Volleyball, Music – 9,000 to 12,000
  • MazdaPalace – Basketball, Volleyball – 9,000
  • Velodromo Vigorelli – Cycling, American Football – 12,000
  • PalaLido – Basketball, Volleyball – 5,000
  • PalaSHARP - 9,000
  • Agorà – Ice Hockey – 4,000
  • Nuovo Giuriati – Rugby – 4,000

There are other stadiums and multiuse palaces located in the metropolitan area, the biggest being Monza Brianteo Stadium (18,000 seats), the PalaDesio (10,000) and Geas Stadium (8,500).

Club League Sport Venue Established Championships
A.C. Milan Serie A Football San Siro – Giuseppe Meazza 1899 4 World Club cups; 7 European championship; 17 Italian championship; 2 Cup Winners' Cup
F.C. Internazionale Milano Serie A Football San Siro – Giuseppe Meazza 1908 2 World Club cups; 2 European championship; 16 Italian championship; 3 UEFA Cups
Olimpia Milano Serie A Basketball Datchforum 1936 1 World cup; 3 European championship; 25 Italian championship; 3 Cup Winners' Cup; 2 Korac cup
H.C. Milano/Milano Vipers Serie A Ice Hockey Agorà 1924 2 European championship; 20 Italian championship
H.C. Diavoli/Devils today settled in Courmayeur Serie A Ice Hockey 1930 3 European championship; 7 Italian championship
Amatori Rugby Milano Serie B Rugby Stadio Giuriati 1928 18 Italian championship
Rhinos Milano Serie A2 American Football Velodromo Vigorelli-Maspes 1977 4 Italian championship

Parks and gardens

Sister cities

Milan is twinned with the following cities:

Other forms of cooperation and city friendship:

See also



  • The decline and fall of the Roman Empire (Edward Gibbon)
  • The later Roman empire (Jones), Blackwell and Mott, Oxford
  • Milano romana / Mario Mirabella Roberti (Rusconi publisher) 1984
  • Marchesi, i percorsi della Storia Minerva Italica (It)
  • Acts of international convention "Milan Capital"), Convegno archeologico internazionale Milano

capitale dell'impero romano 1990 ; Milano Altri autori: Sena Chiesa, Gemma Arslan, Ermanno A.

  • Milano tra l'eta repubblicana e l'eta augustea : atti del Convegno di studi, 26-27 marzo 1999, Milano
  • Milano capitale dell'impero romano : 286-402 d.c. – (Milano) : Silvana, (1990). – 533 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
  • Milano capitale dell'Impero romano : 286-402 d.c. - album storico archeologico. – Milano : Cariplo : ET, 1991. – 111 p. : ill. ; 47 cm. (Pubbl. in occasione della Mostra tenuta a Milano nel) 1990.
  • Agostino a Milano: il battesimo - Agostino nelle terre di Ambrogio: 22-24 aprile 1987 / (relazioni di) Marta Sordi (et al.) Augustinus publ.
  • Anselmo, Conte di Rosate : istoria milanese al tempo del Barbarossa / Pietro Beneventi, Europia publ.

External links

Search another word or see milanon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature