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Milan (Milano in the Italian language, from Latin, mediolanum with the meaning of 'in the middle of the plain') is the main city in northern Italy, and is located in the plains of Lombardy, one of the most developed Italian regions. It has about 1.3 million inhabitants, but the urban area totals about 4 million. It is the capital of the region and is by some defined as the economic capital of Italy. It has for many centuries been recorded as Mailand, which is still the German name of the city today.

It is the centre of many financial businesses, and its hinterland[?] is an avant-garde industrial area; the town in itself is also famous for fashion firms and shops (via Montenapoleone) and the traditional sweet cake called Panettone.

It is presumed it was originally founded by the Celts of Northern Italy around 600 BC and was conquered by the Romans around 222 BC, who gave it the name of Mediolanum. In the 4th century A.D., at the time of the bishop Saint Ambrose and emperor Theodosius I, the city became the capital of the Western Roman Empire for a short time.

After the Ostrogothic and Lombard periods, the city re-gained its importance in the 11th century and led other Italian cities in gaining semi-independence from the Holy Roman Empire. During the Plague of 1349 Milan is one of the few places in Europe that was not touched by the epidemic. During the Renaissance Milan was ruled by dukes of the Visconti[?] and Sforza families, who had artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Bramante at their service. After trying to conquer the rest of northern Italy in the 15th century, Milan was conquered by France, and then by Spain, in the early 16th century.

In the 18th century Austria replaced Spain as Milan's overlord, but after the French revolution and the Napoleonic wars the city became one of the main centres of Italian nationalism, reclaiming independence and the unification of Italy.

In 1859 (after the second of the Italian independence wars[?]) Austrian rule was ended by kingdom of Sardinia (which transformed into kingdom of Italy in 1861).

Milan is the most important town in the world for Opera lirica, with its famous Teatro alla Scala (La Scala, theatre).

The main monuments and museums include the Gothic cathedral (the famous Duomo di Milano), the Romanesque church of Sant' Ambrogio (St. Ambrose, patron saint of the city), the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (where the Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper fresco is located), the Sforza Castle, the Brera[?] Museum, the Poldi-Pezzoli Museum and the Central Station.

The city is home to two very important soccer teams, Milan A.C. and Internazionale Milano F.C., and the famous Monza Formula 1 circuit is located in the suburbs.

Milan has a large international airport known as Malpensa International Airport

It also has the Linate Airport and the Orio al Serio Airport for Europe traffic.

Famous industries in Milan:

External links

Milan is also the name of some places in the United States of America:

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