Explore Milan

Explore Milan

Milan is a sprawling metropolis, but most of its attractions are concentrated in the city centre, between the Duomo (cathedral) and the Castello Sforzesco. The Duomo is the best place to begin exploring the city and is within strolling distance of dozens of historic sites. The city's efficient underground railway, the Metropolitana Milanesa (MM) has a stop here.

A city of worldly pleasures!

Apart from the city centre, another area deserving your attention is the Brera, immediately north of the Duomo, with its posh galleries and fashionable shopping streets. Also check out Navigli to the south.

Milano is Italy’s cultural, industrial and financial center. The capital of Lombardia (North of Italy) is also one of the main fashion centers in the world, and the second biggest city in Italy. But probably what has made this city famous is its Design industry.

Although this city was the Roman capital of the western half of the Empire, there are not many reminders of this period in Milan. This is rather a fast paced modern metropolis.

We will begin this Milan Photographic Tour in front of the Cathedral ('Duomo'), one of the world’s biggest religious temples. The cathedral’s construction began in the 14th century, when Gian Galeazzo Visconti ruled the city. It is a wonderful Flamighero-Gothic sample.

The now and the next are invented daily in Milan, Europe's creative capital. Until Milan led the way, who knew that happy hour could last four hours, that clothing and household appliances could be made out of basketry, and that coffee could make a delicious pasta sauce?

This city is all about worldly pleasures. Shopping is of quasi-religious significance. Theatre and cinema flourish in this fashionable milieu, as does a hopping club scene and a slew of tempting restaurants. Apart from a few gems, the city is not renowned for its looks; it's lifestyle that counts.

Milan - Offering something for everyone

Milan's name comes from the Celtic Medelhan, meaning "in the middle of the plain", due either to its location in a plain close to the confluence of two small rivers, the Olona and the Seveso, or perhaps to its being close to, and roughly equidistant from, two major rivers, the Ticino and the Adda. The Romans transcribed the name as Mediolanum, which in Latin could also be interpreted as meaning "wool in the middle". Thus arose the legend, built on Celtic lore about the boar as a mythical animal: according to a prophecy the site for the settlement would have been indicated to a Celtic king by the appearance of a wild pig or boar with a ridge of hair along its back, as reported by Cardano around 1626:

Nel fabricar de le superbe mura
De la prima Città ch'abbian gl'Insubri
Uscì da i fondamenti un gran Cinghiale,
Mezzo di pel setoso, e mezzo ignudo,
Onde MILAN chiamossi
Da gli Hedui, o Borgognoni, o pur da i Franchi,
Da cui l'origine hebbe,
Che altri di MEZZA LANA dir potrebbe

While building the majestic walls
Of the first Town the Insubres have
From the foundation a big boar came
Half silky with hair, and half bare
Hence it was called MILAN
By the Aedui, the Burgundians or the Franks,
And from this had its origin
What others could call HALF WOOL
Today the boar is still sometimes used as a symbol of the city. According to another explanation, Mediolanum comes from a corruption of In medio lanorum meaning between the rivers - actually Milan still includes the two small Olona and Seveso rivers.

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

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