|Comune di Milano|
Clockwise, from top: Porta Nuova business district, Milan Cathedral, Sforza Castle, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Navigli, Piazza Gae Aulenti, Bosco Verticale, Arch of Peace
|Location of Milan in Italy|
|Coordinates: / 45.467; 9.183 / 45.467; 9.183|
|Province / Metropolitan city||Milan|
|• Mayor||Giuseppe Sala (PD)|
|• Total||181.76 km (70.18 sq mi)|
|Elevation||120 m (390 ft)|
|Population (31 December 2016)|
|• Density||7,500/km (20,000/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||Milanesi o Meneghini|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Saint day||7 December|
Milan (English: // or US: //; Italian: Milano [miˈlaːno] ( listen); Lombard: Milan [miˈlã] (Milanese variant)) is a city in Italy, capital of the Lombardy region, and the largest metropolitan area and the second most populous comune in Italy. The population of the city proper is 1,369,000, and that of the Metropolitan City of Milan is 3,219,000. According to Eurostat, the commuting area counts 4,252,000 inhabitants but its built-up-urban area (that stretches beyond the boundaries of the Metropolitan City of Milan), has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 in 1,891 square kilometres (730 square miles), ranking 4th in the European Union. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that comprehends almost every province of Lombardy, the Piedmont province of Novara, and some parts of the province of Piacenza and which counts an estimated population of 8,123,020.
It is Italy's main industrial and financial centre and one of the most significant globally. In terms of GDP, it has the largest economy among European non-capital cities. Milan is considered part of the Blue Banana and lies at the heart of one of the Four Motors for Europe.
Milan is an Alpha leading global city, with strengths in the arts, commerce, design, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, services, research, and tourism. Its business district hosts Italy's Stock Exchange and the headquarters of the largest national and international banks and companies. The city is a major world fashion and design capital, well known for several international events and fairs, including Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair. The city hosts numerous cultural institutions, academies and universities, with 11% of the national total enrolled students.
Milan's museums, theatres and landmarks (including the Milan Cathedral, Sforza Castle and Leonardo da Vinci paintings such as The Last Supper, a UNESCO World Heritage Site) attract over 9 million visitors annually (data referred to city proper). Milan has one of the highest numbers of accredited stars from the Michelin Guide among Italian cities. The city hosted the Universal Exposition in 1906 and 2015. Milan hosts two of Europe's major football teams, A.C. Milan and F.C. Internazionale, and one of Italy's major basketball teams, Olimpia Milano.
The etymology of the name Milan (Lombard: Milan [miˈlã]) remains uncertain. One theory holds that the Latin name Mediolanum comes from the Latin words medio (in the middle) and planus (plain). However, some scholars believe that lanum comes from the Celtic root lan, meaning an enclosure or demarcated territory (source of the Welsh word llan, meaning "a sanctuary or church", ultimately cognate to English/German Land) in which Celtic communities used to build shrines. Hence Mediolanum could signify the central town or sanctuary of a Celtic tribe. Indeed, about sixty Gallo-Roman sites in France bore the name "Mediolanum", for example: Saintes (Mediolanum Santonum) and Évreux (Mediolanum Aulercorum). In addition, another theory links the name to the boar sow (the Scrofa semilanuta) an ancient emblem of the city, 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 Ambrose for his account.
Milan is located in the north-western section of the Po Valley, approximately halfway between the river Po to the south and the foothills of the Alps with the great lakes (Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano) to the north, the Ticino river to the west and the Adda to the east. The city's land is flat, the highest point being at 122 m (400.26 ft) above sea level.
The administrative commune covers an area of about 181 square kilometres (70 sq mi), with a population, in 2013, of 1,324,169 and a population density of 7,315 inhabitants per square kilometre (18,950/sq mi). The Metropolitan City of Milan covers 1,575 square kilometres (608 sq mi) and in 2015 had a population estimated at 3,196,825, with a resulting density of 2,029 inhabitants per square kilometre (5,260/sq mi). A larger urban area, comprising parts of the provinces of Milan, Monza e Brianza, Como, Lecco and Varese is 1,891 square kilometres (730 sq mi) wide and has a population of 5,270,000 with a density of 2,783 inhabitants per square kilometre (7,210/sq mi).
The concentric layout of the city centre reflects the Navigli, an ancient system of navigable and interconnected canals, now mostly covered. The suburbs of the city have expanded mainly to the north, swallowing up many communes to reach Varese, Como, Lecco and Bergamo.
Milan has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa), according to the Köppen climate classification, or a temperate oceanic climate (Do), according to the Trewartha climate classification. Milan's climate is similar to much of Northern Italy's inland plains, with hot, sultry summers and cold, foggy winters. However, the mean number of days with precipitation per year is one of the lowest in Europe. The Alps and Apennines mountains form a natural barrier that protects the city from the major circulations coming from northern Europe and the sea.
During winter, daily average temperatures can fall below freezing (0 °C [32 °F]) and accumulations of snow can occur: the historic average of Milan's area is 25 centimetres (10 in) in the period between 1961 and 1990, with a record of 90 centimetres (35 in) in January 1985. In the suburbs the average can reach 36 centimetres (14 in). The city receives on average seven days of snow per year.
The city is often shrouded in heavy fog, although the removal of rice paddies from the southern neighbourhoods and the urban heat island effect have reduced this occurrence in recent decades. Occasionally, the Foehn winds cause the temperatures to rise unexpectedly: on 22 January 2012 the daily high reached 16 °C (61 °F) while on 22 February 2012 it reached 21 °C (70 °F). Air pollution levels rise significantly in wintertime when cold air clings to the soil, causing Milan to be one of Europe’s most polluted cities.
In summer, humidity levels are high and peak temperatures can reach temperatures above 35 °C (95 °F). Usually this season enjoys clearer skies with an average of more than 13 hours of daylight: when precipitations occur though, there is a higher likelihood of them being thunderstorms and hailstorms. Springs and autumns are generally pleasant, with temperatures ranging between 10 and 20 °C (50 and 68 °F); these seasons are characterised by higher rainfall, especially in April and May. Relative humidity typically ranges between 45% (comfortable) and 95% (very humid) throughout the year, rarely dropping below 27% (dry) and reaching as high as 100% Wind is generally absent: over the course of the year typical wind speeds vary from 0 to 14 km/h (0 to 9 mph) (calm to gentle breeze), rarely exceeding 29 km/h (18 mph) (fresh breeze), except during summer thunderstorms when winds can blow strong. In the spring, gale-force windstorms may happen, generated either by Tramontane blowing from the Alps or by Bora-like winds from the north.
|Climate data for Milan (Linate Airport, 1971–2000, Extremes 1946–present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||21.7
|Average high °C (°F)||5.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||2.5
|Average low °C (°F)||−0.9
|Record low °C (°F)||−15.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||58.7
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||6.7||5.3||6.7||8.1||8.9||7.7||5.4||7.1||6.1||8.3||6.4||6.3||83.0|
|Average relative humidity (%)||86||78||71||75||72||71||71||72||74||81||85||86||77|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||58.9||96.1||151.9||177.0||210.8||243.0||285.2||251.1||186.0||130.2||66.0||58.9||1,915.1|
|Source: Servizio Meteorologico|
The legislative body of the municipality is the City Council (Consiglio Comunale), which is composed by 48 councillors elected every five years with a proportional system, contextually to the mayoral elections. The executive body is the City Committee (Giunta Comunale), composed by 12 assessors, that is nominated and presided over by a directly elected Mayor. The current mayor of Milan is Giuseppe Sala, a left-wing independent leading a progressive alliance composed by Democratic Party and Italian Left.
The municipality of Milan is subdivided into nine administrative Borough Councils (Consigli di Municipio), down from the former twenty districts before the 1999 administrative reform. Each Borough Council is governed by a Council (Consiglio) and a President, elected contextually to the city Mayor. The urban organisation is governed by the Italian Constitution (art. 114), the Municipal Statute and several laws, notably the Legislative Decree 267/2000 or Unified Text on Local Administration (Testo Unico degli Enti Locali). After the 2016 administrative reform, the Borough Councils have the power to advise the Mayor with nonbinding opinions on a large spectrum of topics and are responsible for running most local services, such as schools, social services, waste collection, roads, parks, libraries and local commerce; in addition they are supplied with an autonomous funding in order to finance local activities.
Milan is the capital of the eponymous administrative province and of Lombardy, one of the twenty regions of Italy. While the Province of Milan has a population of 3,195,211, making it the second most populated province of Italy after Rome, Lombardy is by far the most populated region of Italy, with more than ten million inhabitants, almost one sixth of the national total. The seat of the regional government is Palazzo Lombardia that, standing at 161.3 metres (529 feet), is the second tallest building in Milan.
According to the last governmental dispositions concerning administrative reorganisation, the urban area of Milan is one of the 15 Metropolitan municipalities (città metropolitane), new administrative bodies fully operative since 1 January 2015. The new Metro municipalities, giving large urban areas the administrative powers of a province, are conceived for improving the performance of local administrations and to slash local spending by better co-ordinating the municipalities in providing basic services (including transport, school and social programs) and environment protection. In this policy framework, the Mayor of Milan is designated to exercise the functions of Metropolitan mayor (Sindaco metropolitano), presiding over a Metropolitan Council formed by 16 mayors of municipalities within the Metro municipality.
The Metropolitan City of Milan is headed by the Metropolitan Mayor (Sindaco metropolitano) and by the Metropolitan Council (Consiglio metropolitano). Since 21 June 2016 Giuseppe Sala, as mayor of the capital city, has been the mayor of the Metropolitan City.
There are only few remains of the ancient Roman colony, notably the well-preserved Colonne di San Lorenzo. During the second half of the 4th century, Saint Ambrose, as bishop of Milan, had a strong influence on the layout of the city, reshaping the centre (although the cathedral and baptistery built in Roman times are now lost) and building the great basilicas at the city gates: Sant'Ambrogio, San Nazaro in Brolo, San Simpliciano and Sant'Eustorgio, which still stand, refurbished over the centuries, as some of the finest and most important churches in Milan. Milan's Cathedral, built between 1386 and 1577, is the fifth largest cathedral in the world and the most important example of Gothic architecture in Italy. The gilt bronze statue of the Virgin Mary, placed in 1774 on the highest pinnacle of the Duomo, soon became one of the most enduring symbols of Milan.
In the 15th century, when the Sforza ruled the city, an old Viscontean fortress was enlarged and embellished to become the Castello Sforzesco, the seat of an elegant Renaissance court surrounded by a walled hunting park. Notable architects involved in the project included the Florentine Filarete, who was commissioned to build the high central entrance tower, and the military specialist Bartolomeo Gadio. The alliance between Francesco Sforza and Florence's Cosimo de' Medici bore to Milan Tuscan models of Renaissance architecture, apparent in the Ospedale Maggiore and Bramante's work in the city, which includes Santa Maria presso San Satiro (a reconstruction of a small 9th-century church), the tribune of Santa Maria delle Grazie and three cloisters for Sant'Ambrogio. The Counter-Reformation in the 16th–17th century was also the period of Spanish domination and was marked by two powerful figures: Saint Charles Borromeo and his cousin, Cardinal Federico Borromeo. Not only did they impose themselves as moral guides to the people of Milan, but they also gave a great impulse to culture, with the creation of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, in a building designed by Francesco Maria Ricchino, and the nearby Pinacoteca Ambrosiana. Many notable churches and Baroque mansions were built in the city during this period by the architects, Pellegrino Tibaldi, Galeazzo Alessi and Ricchino himself.
Empress Maria Theresa of Austria was responsible for the significant renovations carried out in Milan during the 18th century. This profound urban and artistic renewal included the establishment of Teatro alla Scala, inaugurated in 1778 and today one of the world's most famous opera houses, and the renovation of the Royal Palace. The late 1700s Palazzo Belgioioso by Giuseppe Piermarini and Royal Villa of Milan by Leopoldo Pollack, later the official residence of Austrian vice-roys, are often regarded among the best examples of Neoclassical architecture in Lombardy. The Napoleonic rule of the city in 1805–1814, having established Milan as the capital of a satellite Kingdom of Italy, took steps in order to reshape it accordingly to its new status, with the construction of large boulevards, new squares (Porta Ticinese by Luigi Cagnola and Foro Bonaparte by Giovanni Antonio Antolini) and cultural institutions (Art Gallery and the Academy of Fine Arts). The massive Arch of Peace, situated at the bottom of Corso Sempione, is often compared to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. In the second half of the 19th century, Milan quickly became the main industrial centre in of the new Italian nation, drawing inspiration from the great European capitals that were hubs of the second industrial revolution. The great Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, realised by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877 to celebrate Vittorio Emanuele II, is a covered passage with a glass and cast iron roof, inspired by the Burlington Arcade in London. Another late 19th century eclectic monument in the city is the Cimitero Monumentale graveyard, built in a Neo-Romanesque style between 1863 and 1866.
The tumultuous period of early 20th century brought several, radical innovations in Milanese architecture. Art Nouveau, also known as Liberty in Italy, is recognisable in Palazzo Castiglioni, built by architect Giuseppe Sommaruga between 1901 and 1904. Other remarkable examples include Hotel Corso and Berri-Meregalli house, the latter built in a traditional Milanese Art Nouveau style combined with elements of neo-Romanesque and Gothic revival architecture, regarded as one of the last such types of architecture in the city. A new, more eclectic form of architecture can be seen in buildings such as Castello Cova, built the 1910s in a distinctly neo-medieval style, evoking the architectural trends of the past. An important example of Art Deco, which blended such styles with Fascist architecture, is the huge Central railway station inaugurated in 1931.
The post–World War II period saw rapid reconstruction and fast economic growth, accompanied by a nearly two-fold increase in population. In the 1950s and 1960s, a strong demand for new residential and commercial areas drove to extreme urban expansion, that has produced some of the major milestones in the city's architectural history, including Gio Ponti's Pirelli Tower (1956–60), Velasca Tower (1956–58), and the creation of brand new residential satellite towns, as well as huge amounts of low quality public housings. In recent years, de-industrialization, urban decay and gentrification led to a vast urban renewal of former industrial areas, that have been transformed into modern residential and financial districts, notably Porta Nuova in downtown Milan and FieraMilano in the suburb of Rho. In addition, the old exhibition area is being completely reshaped according to the Citylife regeneration project, featuring residencial areas, museums, an urban park and three skyscrapers designed by international architects, and after whom they are named: the 202-metre (663-foot) Isozaki Tower – when completed, the tallest building in Italy, the twisted Hadid Tower, and the curved Libeskind Tower.
The largest parks in the central area of Milan are Sempione Park, at the north-western edge, and Montanelli Gardens, situated northeast of the city. English-style Sempione Park, built in 1890, contains a Napoleonic Arena, the Milan City Aquarium, a steel lattice panoramic tower, an art exhibition centre, a Japanese garden and a public library. The Montanelli gardens, created in the 18th century, hosts the Natural History Museum of Milan and a planetarium. Slightly away from the city centre, heading east, Forlanini Park is characterised by a large pond and a few preserved shacks which remind of the area's agricultural past.
In addition, even though Milan is located in one of the most urbanised regions of Italy, it's surrounded by a belt of green areas and features numerous gardens even in its very centre. Since 1990, the farmlands and woodlands north (Parco Nord Milano) and south (Parco Agricolo Sud Milano) of the urban area have been protected as regional parks. West of the city, the Parco delle Cave (Sand pit park,) has been established on a neglected site where gravel and sand used to be extracted, featuring artificial lakes and woods.
|Source: ISTAT 2011|
With rapid industrialisation in post-war years, the population of Milan peaked at 1,743,427 in 1973. Thereafter, during the following thirty years, almost one third of the population moved to the outer belt of new suburbs and satellite settlements that grew around the city proper. There were an estimated 1,324,169 official residents in the commune of Milan at the end of 2013 and 3,196,825 in its administrative metropolitan city. However, Milan's conurbation extends well beyond the limits of its administrative area and was home to 5,270,000 people in 2015, while its wider metropolitan area has a population of between 7 and 10 million depending on the definition used.
The partnership with the city of St. Petersburg, Russia, that started in 1967, was suspended in 2012 (a decision taken by the city of Milan), because of the prohibition of the Russian government on "homosexual propaganda".
Milan has the following collaborations:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Milan.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Milan.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1920 Encyclopedia Americana article Milan.|
Articles relating to Milan
Tourism in Milan
|Museums and galleries||
|Villas and palaces||
|Squares and public spaces||
|Streets and canals||
|Gardens and parks||
|Events and traditions||