According to Phone Just, Milan is the center of the Lombardy region, located in northern Italy. It is the largest city in Italy in terms of the number of inhabitants after Rome, as well as one of the most important economic and industrial centers of the country. Milan was founded in the 6th-5th centuries BC. the Celts. In the 3rd century BC. the Celtic settlement was conquered by the Romans and soon turned into one of the largest cities of the Roman Empire – Mediolanum. From the 14th century, under the rule of the Dukes of the Visconti, Milan received the status of a separate state and fought with the Venetian Republic for leadership in northern Italy. In the 19th century, industry began to develop rapidly in Milan, and already in the second half of the 20th century, Milan became the fastest growing city in Italy. Nowadays, Milan is known as a bustling city with many historical sights and museums and as the fashion capital of the world.
The center of the historical part of Milan is Piazza Duomo, where one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world and the main Gothic cathedral in Italy, the Milan Cathedral, stands. which can accommodate up to 40 thousand people. It was built over several centuries from 1386 to 1813. The cathedral is a mixture of various architectural styles, it is lined with white marble and decorated with 135 spiers and 3200 statues. The interior of the cathedral, shrouded in twilight, impresses with its size, the vault of the cathedral rests on 52 columns dividing the space into 5 naves. Here you can see carved altars, sarcophagi of archbishops and numerous statues. On the central spire of the cathedral, which has a height of 108 m, there is a 4 m high statue of the Madonna made of gilded bronze. Tourists can climb the stairs to the roof of the cathedral and admire the views of Milan. The Milan Cathedral is adjacent to the Archbishop’s Palace, the Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale) – the medieval residence of the rulers of Milan (the Museum of Modern Art and the Cathedral Museum are located here), and the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II.
To the north of Piazza Duomo is the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, an elegant 19th-century shopping arcade with a length of 195 m, which became one of the first European shopping arcades. The gallery was designed by Giuseppe Mengoni. Shortly before its opening, the architect died tragically during construction work. The gallery has the shape of a Latin cross in plan, it is covered with a dome of glass and iron, under which chic boutiques, restaurants and cafes are located.
Gallery of Victor Emmanuel II leads to the square Piazza della Scala, where the monument to Leonardo da Vinci (1872) and the most famous opera house in the world, La Scala, stand. The theater was opened in 1778, it has a capacity of 2800 seats and is famous for its acoustics. The opera house has its own museum, which tells about the history of the theater, prominent composers and where collections of costumes, paintings and sculptures are exhibited. Nearby is the Poldi PezzoliMuseum with a collection of ceramics, Venetian glass, jewelry, antique furniture, weapons, armor, sculptures and paintings of the 14th-19th centuries, including Botticelli’s Madonna and Child. Other museums are also interesting in the historical center of Milan. Southwest of Piazza Duomo is The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, which houses the old library and art gallery. The Pinakothek was named after the city’s patron Saint Ambrose. This is the oldest museum in the city, its history dates back to 1609. The Pinakothek contains works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Brueghel, Caravaggio and other outstanding painters. The Pinacoteca Brera, which is located in the eponymous palace of the 17th century, is also famous for its collections of paintings. The 40 halls of the art gallery contain works of art representing various schools of painting, from the 15th to the 20th century. Here are works by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Donato Bramante, Raphael, Mantegna, Piero della Francesca, Gentile da Fabriano, Carpaccio, Tintoretto, Bellini, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Van Duc and Goya. No less interesting Gallery of Modern Art with paintings and sculptures of the 19th and 20th centuries and the National Museum of Science and Technology with a collection of Leonardo da Vinci’s scientific projects.