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Renowned symbols of Milan across the world.

History of Milan.-

Milan was founded in 600BC by Belloveso, the head of the Insubri celtic tribe. The name derives from Mediolanum. The origin of the word Mediolanum is unclear, and there are several theories.

In the year 286, Milan was chosen as the place of residence of the Western Roman Emperor Massimiliano, and it was in this period that many of the city’s historic sites were constructed: the Amphitheatre, the Forum (Piazza San Sepolcro), the sixteen columns of San Lorenzo Basilica and the majestic city walls, a polygonal tower of which remains visible today, and a fortified passage of the Monastero Maggiore.

During the Visconti domination, the Gothic style became a key feature of Milanese architecture, and in 1386 the construction of the Duomo began, as numerous artists arrived in Milan, enriching the city’s artistic heritage. Under Francesco Sforza, several grand buildings were constructed, including the Sforzesco Castle and the Ospedale Maggiore, churches Santa Maria delle Grazie and Santa Maria della Passione, and the major artists of the time, including Da Vinci and Bramante, contributed to the development of the city.

veduta di milano




The Duomo.-

The Duomo of Milan, symbol of the Lombardian capital, is dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente, and is found in the Piazza that shares its name. It is one of the most famous and complex structures of Gothic architecture in the world.

In 1386, Archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo began construction in a rayonnant Late Gothic style more typically French than Italian. Construction coincided with the accession to power in Milan of the archbishop's cousin Gian Galeazzo Visconti, and was meant as a reward to the noble and working classes which had been suppressed by his tyrannical Visconti predecessor Barnabò.

It was consecrated in 1418, but remained incomplete until Napoleon added the spires when he became King of Italy.

The other 3500 statues which adorn the Duomo include saints, animals and monsters, typical features of medieval architecture. The interior is solemn, and subdivided into five areas, and contains many ornate statues. Climbing up to the terrace offers splendid views over the city and of the Duomo’s numerous spires, the oldest of which was erected between 1397 and 1404.

La Scala Opera House.-

Designed by the architect Giuseppe Piermarini, and constructed in 1778, La Scala is situated in the square of the same name in central Milan. Majestic on the outside, inside it is beautifully decorated and richly furnished, with four platforms, two galleries, a vast seating area and a massive stage.

It is amongst the most famous theatres in the world, in one of the historic squares of the city, Piazza della Scala, from which it takes its name. The piazza in turn takes its name from the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Scala, erected in 1381 and demolished in 1778 to make space for the theatre. The theatre's programme consists of lyrical operas, ballets and classical concerts.

teatro alla Scala Milano

The Giuseppe Meazza Stadium at San Siro

It was built in 1925 at the wish of Piero Pirelli, the president of Milan at the time. Until 1935 it was the stadium solely of Milan, but after the Second World War, Inter moved here too, leaving behind the Arena Civica. Milan's temple of football has been restructured on numerous occasions, the first time being in 1935, then in 1955, and most recently, for the 1990 World Cup.

Originally named the San Siro after the quarter where it is located, in 1980, it took on the name of Inter legend Guiseppe Meazza. The fans, especially of Milan, continue to refer to it as the San Siro. The stadium holds almost 86,000 people and during the summer season is used as a venue for live music.

Stadio Meazza - San Siro

2015 World Exposition in Milan

With the 2015 Exposition, Milan is aiming to aid the financial growth of Italy, becoming the primary ambassador for Italy across the world. Milan and its surrounding area are the ideal candidate, in Italy and the world, for the 2015 World Exposition, because:

    • It is at the centre of an area of around ten million people, like London or Paris
    • Milan produces 10% of Italy’s total GDP, a level similar to that of Brussels or Madrid
    • Its per capita income is almost double the national average and its unemployment rate stands at half
    • Milan registers 40% of new innovation patents in Italy
    • Each year, around ten million tickets for shows of art, music and film are sold, on a par with Berlin, Amsterdam and Barcelona
    • It is the seat of 650 fashion show-rooms, competing with Paris and New York
    • It is the capital of Italy for voluntary work
L'expo del 2015 a Milano

milano Expo 2015
  • Vittoria Emanuele II Gallery

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a covered double arcade formed of two glass-vaulted arcades at right angles intersecting in an octagon; it is prominently sited on the northern side of the Piazza del Duomo in Milan, and connects to the Piazza della Scala. Named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of united Italy, it was originally designed in 1861 and built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877.
The arcade contains shops and boutiques of prestigious labels, as well as its famous cafés and restaurants. It is considered, alongside Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga, one of the most important points for luxury shopping in Milan.

  • Sforzesco Castle

For centuries, the Sforzesco Castle was significant for many reasons, even before it was a stronghold for Lombardian art, which it is today.

Even if its name evokes the era of Francesco Sforza, its origin is in fact older; in fact, it dates back to Galeazzo II Visconti in the second half of the fourteenth century. Galeazzo also constructed Porta Giovia Castle. The Visconti castle formed part of a huge, fortified boundary, to which Gian Galeazzo, Galeazzo’s son, added a citadel in 1392.

  • Palazzo Reale

The Palazzo Reale was a government seat for centuries and is an important cultural centre today, where shows and expositions are held.

The Palazzo is situated to the right of the Duomo's face, opposite the Vittorio Emmanuele II Gallery. The Palazzo's fascia, following the line of the ancient courtyard, forms a recess of the Piazza del Duomo, referred to as Piazzetta Palazzo Reale.

Particularly important is the Sala delle Cariatidi.

  • Galleria d'arte Moderna

Milan's modern art gallery, founded in 1921, was originally situated at the Villa Reale, and in 2004 moved to the Museo dell'Ottocento.

  • Pinacoteca di Brera

The Brera art gallery is found in the square that shares its name, which also hosts other cultural institutions such as the Library, the Astronomy Observatory, the Botanical Market, the Lombard Institute of Science and Literature and The Academy of Belle Arti.

It is Milan's main art museum, one of the most important in the world, owing to its prestigious collection of ancient and modern work. Main works to see include the collection of 20th century Italian art. Works from the 14th and 15th centuries include masterpieces of Gentile da Fabriano, Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini and Carpaccio. Grand Napoleonic rooms house canvasses, frescoes and particularly large works, such as St Mark's Sermon, The Finding of the Body, various works of Veronese, The Crucifixion of Bramantino and other important Venetian and Lombardian works of the 14th and 15th centuries.

  • Poldi Pezzoli Museum

Only the most prestigious of works are kept in the Poldi Pezzoli Museum. It is one of the most relevant private art institutions in Europe, containing many works from the collection of Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli (1822-79). The extraordinary collection given to the city by Poldi Pezzoli more than a century ago continues to be enriched over time.

  • The Cenacolo Vinciano

The most famous work of Da Vinci's time in Milan is the Last Supper (or Cenacolo), painted in the refectory of the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie between 1495 and 1497. The painting- famous the world over- is one of the greatest expressions of Renaissance art and of human genius, and represents one of the greatest pictorial works of the collective imagination; but it has not had an easy life. One of the causes of its deterioration is that Leonardo was experimenting with new techniques to allow for long-term artistic elaboration. The first signs of deterioration were in 1518, and worse signs still appeared in 1547. Seeing the damage already suffered by the work, Vespino reproduced it in the 1600s at the request of Federico Borromeo (the copy is in the Ambrosiana Art Gallery, but time has altered its colours dramatically). In 1726, the first attempt at restoring the original work was carried out, and more attempts were made in 1908. It was cleaned again in 1953, after damage suffered during World War Two. The last restoration, the seventh, was in 1977, and it was this restoration that allowed the world to enjoy Leonardo's work in all its original splendor.

The Last Supper is illuminated by an oblique light cast across the table at the dramatic moment in which Christ announced his betrayal by one of his disciples. Christ is the central figure and is surrounded by his disciples, in differing states of emotion.

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