|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 (30 November 2016)|
|• Density||7,400/km (19,000/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); German: Mailand, Lombard: Mailand, Milanese variant: Milan [miˈlã]) is a city in Italy, capital of the Lombardy region, and the most populous metropolitan area and the second most populous comune in Italy. The population of the city proper is 1,351,000, and that of the Metropolitan City of Milan is 3,209,000. According to Eurostat, the commuting area has 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 all the provinces of Lombardy, the Piedmont province of Novara, and some parts of the province of Piacenza. Milan has a population of about 8,500,000 people. It is the main industrial and financial centre of Italy and one of global significance. 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. Milan – after Naples – is the second Italian city with the highest number of accredited stars from the Michelin Guide. The city hosted the Universal Exposition in 1906 and 2015. Milan is home to two of Europe's major football teams, A.C. Milan and F.C. Internazionale, and one of the major basketball teams, Olimpia Milano.
The etymology of Milan (Lombard: Milan [miˈlã]) is 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 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, the name "Mediolanum" is borne by about sixty Gallo-Roman sites in France, e.g. 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.
Around 400 BC, the Celtic Insubres settled Milan and the surrounding region. In 222 BC, the Romans conquered the settlement, renaming it Mediolanum. Milan was eventually declared the capital of the Western Roman Empire by Emperor Diocletian in 286 AD. Diocletian chose to stay in the Eastern Roman Empire (capital Nicomedia) and his colleague Maximianus ruled the Western one. Immediately Maximian built several monuments, such as a large circus 470 m × 85 m (1,542 ft × 279 ft), the Thermae Herculeae, a large complex of imperial palaces and several other buildings.
With the Edict of Milan of 313, Emperor Constantine I guaranteed freedom of religion for Christians. After the city was besieged by the Visigoths in 402, the imperial residence was moved to Ravenna. In 452, the Huns overran the city. In 539, the Ostrogoths conquered and destroyed Milan during the Gothic War against Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. In the summer of 569, a Teutonic tribe, the Lombards (from which the name of the Italian region Lombardy derives), conquered Milan, overpowering the small Byzantine army left for its defence. Some Roman structures remained in use in Milan under Lombard rule. Milan surrendered to the Franks in 774 when Charlemagne took the title of "King of the Lombards" (before then the Germanic kingdoms had frequently conquered each other, but none had adopted the title of King of another people). The Iron Crown of Lombardy dates from this period. Subsequently, Milan became part of the Holy Roman Empire.
During the Middle Ages, Milan prospered as a centre of trade due to its position. The war of conquest by Frederick I Barbarossa brought the destruction of much of Milan in 1162. Milan took the lead role in the formation of the Lombard League, formed in 1167. The war between the German emperor and the Italian communes continued for years, ending with the Italian victory at the battle of Legnano. 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. The position was a dangerous one: in 1252 Milanese heretics assassinated the Church's Inquisitor, later known as Saint Peter Martyr, at a ford in the nearby contado; the killers bribed their way to freedom, and in the ensuing riot the podestà was almost lynched. In 1256 the archbishop and leading nobles were expelled from the city. In 1259 Martino della Torre was elected Capitano del Popolo by members of the guilds; he took the city by force, expelled his enemies, and ruled by dictatorial powers, paving streets, digging canals, and taxing the countryside. He also brought the Milanese treasury to collapse; the use of often reckless mercenary units further angered the population, granting an increasing support for the Della Torre's traditional enemies, the Visconti. The most important industries in this period were armaments and wool production, a whole catalogue of activities and trades is given in Bonvesin della Riva's "de Magnalibus Urbis Mediolani".
On 22 July 1262 Ottone Visconti was made archbishop of Milan by Pope Urban IV, against the candidacy of Raimondo della Torre, Bishop of Como. The latter thus started to publicise allegations of the Visconti's closeness to the heretic Cathars and charged them of high treason: the Visconti, who accused the Della Torre of the same crimes, were then banned from Milan and their properties confiscated. The ensuing civil war caused more damage to Milan's population and economy, lasting for more than a decade. Ottone Visconti unsuccessfully led a group of exiles against the city in 1263, but after years of escalating violence on all sides, in the Battle of Desio (1277) he won the city for his family. The Visconti succeeded in ousting the della Torre permanently, and proceeded to rule Milan and its possessions until the 15th century.
Much of the prior history of Milan was the tale of the struggle between two political factions: the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. Most of the time the Guelphs were successful in the city of Milan. Eventually, however, the Visconti family were able to seize power (signoria) in Milan, based on their "Ghibelline" friendship with the German Emperors. In 1395, one of these emperors, Wenceslas (1378–1400), raised the Milanese to the dignity of a duchy. Also in 1395, Gian Galeazzo Visconti became duke of Milan. The Ghibelline Visconti family was to retain power in Milan for a century and a half from the early 14th century until the middle of the 15th century.
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. The Ambrosian Republic took its name from St. Ambrose, popular patron saint of the city of Milan. Both the Guelph and the Ghibelline factions worked together to bring about the Ambrosian Republic in Milan. Nonetheless, 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.
Milan's last independent ruler, Lodovico il Moro, called French king Charles VIII into Italy in the expectation that France might be an ally in inter-Italian wars. The future king of France, Louis of Orléans, took part in the expedition and realised Italy was virtually defenceless. This prompted him to come back a few years later and claim the Duchy of Milan for himself, his grandmother having been a member of the ruling Visconti family. At that time, Milan was also defended by Swiss mercenaries. After the victory of Louis's successor François I over the Swiss at the Battle of Marignan, the duchy was promised to the French king François I. When the Spanish Habsburg Emperor Charles V defeated François I at the Battle of Pavia in 1525, northern Italy, including Milan, passed to Habsburg Spain.
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 remained with the Spanish line of Habsburgs, while Ferdinand's Austrian line of Habsburgs ruled the Holy Roman Empire.
The Great Plague of Milan in 1629–31 killed an estimated 60,000 people out of a population of 130,000. This episode is considered one of the last outbreaks of the centuries-long pandemic of plague that began with the Black Death.
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 1713–1714 the Treaties of Utrecht and Rastatt formally confirmed Austrian sovereignty over most of Spain's Italian possessions including Lombardy and its capital, Milan.
Napoleon invaded Italy in 1796, and Milan was declared capital of the Cisalpine Republic. Later, he declared Milan capital of the Kingdom of Italy and was crowned in the Duomo. Once Napoleon's occupation ended, the Congress of Vienna returned Lombardy, and Milan, along with Veneto, to Austrian control in 1815. During this period, Milan became a centre of lyric opera. Here in the 1770s Mozart had premiered three operas at the Teatro Regio Ducal. Later La Scala became the reference theatre in the world, with its premières of Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini and Verdi. Verdi himself is interred in the Casa di Riposo per Musicisti, his present to Milan. In the 19th century other important theatres were La Cannobiana and the Teatro Carcano.
On 18 March 1848, the Milanese rebelled against Austrian rule, during the so-called "Five Days" (Italian: Le Cinque Giornate), and Field Marshal Radetzky was forced to withdraw from the city temporarily. The Kingdom of Sardinia stepped in to help the insurgents; a plebiscite held in Lombardy decided in favour of unification with Sardinia. However, after defeating the Sardinian forces at Custoza on 24 July, Radetzky was able to reassert Austrian control over Milan and northern Italy. A few years on, however, Italian nationalists again called for the removal of Austria and 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 had started under Austrian partronage (Venice–Milan; Milan–Monza) that made Milan the rail hub of northern Italy. Thereafter with the opening of the Gotthard (1881) and Simplon (1906) railway tunnels, Milan became the major South European rail focus for business and passenger movements e.g. the Simplon Orient Express. Rapid industrialisation and market expansion 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 a high inflation rate. Meanwhile, as Milanese banks dominated Italy's financial sphere, the city became the country's leading financial centre.
In 1919, Benito Mussolini's Blackshirts rallied for the first time in Piazza San Sepolcro and later began their March on Rome in Milan. During the Second World War Milan suffered extensive damage from Allied bombings. When Italy surrendered in 1943, German forces occupied most of Northern Italy until 1945. As a result, resistance groups formed. As the war came to an end, the American 1st Armored Division advanced on Milan – but before they arrived, the resistance seized control of the city and executed Mussolini along with several members of his government. On 29 April 1945, the corpses of Mussolini, his mistress Clara Petacci and other Fascist leaders were hanged in Piazzale Loreto.
During the post-war economic boom, a large wave of internal migration (especially from rural areas of Southern Italy), moved to Milan. The population grew from 1.3 million in 1951 to 1.7 million in 1967. During this period, Milan was largely reconstructed, with the building of several innovative and modernist skyscrapers, such as the Torre Velasca and the Pirelli Tower. The economic prosperity was however overshadowed in the late 1960s and early 1970s during the so-called Years of Lead, when Milan witnessed an unprecedented wave of street violence, labour strikes and political terrorism. The apex of this period of turmoil occurred on 12 December 1969, when a bomb exploded at the National Agrarian Bank in Piazza Fontana, killing seventeen people and injuring eighty-eight.
In the 1980s, with the international success of Milanese houses (like Armani, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana), Milan became one of the world's fashion capitals. The city saw also a marked rise in international tourism, notably from America and Japan, while the stock exchange increased its market capitalisation more than five-fold. This period led the mass media to nickname the metropolis "Milano da bere", literally "Milan to drink". However, in the 1990s, Milan was badly affected by Tangentopoli, a political scandal in which many politicians and businessmen were tried for corruption. The city was also affected by a severe financial crisis and a steady decline in textiles, automobile and steel production.
In the early 21st century, Milan underwent a series of sweeping redevelopments. Its exhibition centre moved to a much larger site in Rho. New business districts such as Porta Nuova and CityLife were constructed. With the decline in manufacturing, the city has sought to develop on its other sources of revenue, including publishing, finance, banking, fashion design, information technology, logistics, transport and tourism. In addition, the city's decades-long population decline seems to have come to an end in recent years, with signs of recovery as it grew by seven percent since the last census.
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), presieding 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.
Using the administrative division of the Milanese territory in the functional areas some important aspects of the spatial distribution of demographic phenomena can be captured. As well as the aggregated data on the stocks, the individual information (also geographically referenced) by the population register are considered for this purpose. The stocks at the 1st on January of the years from 2005 to 2009 are available. The totals for individuals and family are consistent with the totals published by ISTAT (National Institute of Statistics) by means of appropriate scaling coefficients, since some differences can occur between the two sources. As of the 2011 census, the Italian national institute of statistics estimated that 236,855 foreign-born residents lived in Milan, representing almost 20% of the total resident population, a rapid increase from recent years levels. After World War II, Milan experienced two main waves of immigration: the first, dating from the 1950s to the early 1970s, saw a large influx of migrants from poorer and rural areas within Italy; the second, starting from the late 1980s, has been characterised by the preponderance of foreign-born immigrants.
The early period coincided with the so-called Italian economic miracle of postwar years, an era of extraordinary growth based on rapid industrial expansion and great public works, that brought to the city a large influx of over 400,000 people, mainly from rural and overpopulated Southern Italy. In the last three decades, the foreign born share of the population soared. Immigrants came mainly from Africa (in particular Egyptian, Moroccans, Senegalese, and Nigerian), and the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe (notably Albania, Romania, Ukraine, Macedonia, Moldova), in addition to a growing number of Asians (in particular Chinese, Sri Lankans and Filipinos) and Latin Americans (Mainly South Americans). At the beginning of the 1990s, Milan already had a population of foreign-born residents of approximately 58,000 (or 4% of the then population), that rose rapidly to over 117,000 by the end of the decade (about 9% of the total).
Decades of continuing high immigration have made the city the most cosmopolitan and multicultural in Italy. Milan notably hosts the oldest and largest Chinese community in Italy, with almost 21,000 people in 2011. Situated in the 9th district, and centred on Via Paolo Sarpi, an important commercial avenue, the Milanese Chinatown was originally established in the 1920s by immigrants from Wencheng County, in the Zhejiang province, and used to operate small textile and leather workshops. Milan has also a substantial English-speaking community (more than 3,000 American, British and Australian expatriates), and several English schools and language publications, such as Hello Milano, Where Milano and Easy Milano.
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 Milano.|
|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||