Milan is famous for being a center of art, music and education since antiquity and as a center of fashion in modern times. Milan is in the north of Italy in a region called Lombardy and is also a showcase for the region's cuisine. Milan is Italy's second-largest city.
Milan was the greatest of northern Italy's city-states and was ruled by the Visconti family, then the Sforza famiy till 1535. Milan was extensively bombed during World War II, and because of rebuilding, its appearance looks more modern than great Italian cities like Rome and Florence.
Still, many treasures remain, including Leonardo da Vinci's painting of The Last Supper in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The Brera Palace also has a wealth of artwork by Titian, Bernardino Luini, the Bellinis and Raphael. Among them are Raphael's Marriage of the Virgin and Gentile Bellini's Saint Mark.
The Milan Cathedral is one of the largest churches in Europe. It was begun in 1385 and only completed in the time of Napoleon I. The cathedral is built of white marble and is in the shape of a Latin cross. The renowned opera house, La Scala, was built in 1778 on the site of a church.