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Milan is the second largest city in Italy and the most flourishing one. It's a capital of Italian business, finance, fashion and mass media. Milan is the main road junction in Italy, its airport is the biggest airport in Italy and the subway is considered to be the best.
It's the city full of the ancient art masterpieces. Moreover, Milan is one of leaders in the area the Italians are crazy for – football. The local football club is always among the best in Serie A championship. Despite all its advantages, Milan isn't the most popular travel destination in Italy. The most of the tourists prefer to see the hills of Toscana and the canals of Venice. Milan is considered to be the industrial city with the very fast rhythm of life. Many find that Milan looks more like European than Italian city. The citizens of Milan gained the reputation of the reserved and cold-blooded people.
Milan long history is full of foreign invaders – Goths in 539, Romans in 1157 and the list of the French, Spanish and Austrian rulers. The most popular Milan entertainment, attracting the significant part of tourist is shopping. From 1277 to 1500 Visconti and Sforza families ruled the city. The biggest part of the Gothic and Renaissance masterpieces were created during their rule, although both dynasties were known for their cruelty besides their love for art.
The center of the city is relatively small and very comfortable for walks, but it's better not to use car – the traffic jams are common in Milan. The heart of the city is Piazza Duomo with the several interesting sights around it. Duomo Cathedral on the main cultural attraction in Milan. It's opened from 9.00 till 12.00 and from 14.30 till 18.00. The construction of the cathedral was begun in 1386 and was fully completed only in 1813. Duomo is one the biggest Gothic cathedrals in the world. Its magnificent beauty charms and the interior strikes with its greatness. The monument to Vittorio Emmanuel is the centre of the square and it's the very popular meeting place among tourists.
Vittorio Emmanuel gallery begins with the Triumph Arc on the square and transforms into the glass street. Nowadays it's the centre of the cultural life of Milan – there are the famous bookstores, cafes and restaurants. To the right of the cathedral you can see the yellow building of the Royal Palace, which once has been the Duke's Visconti palace. In 1943 it was hardly damaged but later restored. Now it houses the museum of the modern art and the Duomo museum.
The most exciting Milan entertainment, attracting the crowds of tourists, is shopping. Milan is full of the fashion boutiques mostly on Via Montenapolone. Milan is considered to be one of world's fashion capitals along with Paris, New York, Rome and London. Shopping is almost a religion here and in the season of discounts the whole city seems to go mad.
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Author of this article is Ann Corba. You can visit her website at: Allrez.
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