"Home sweet home!" Top 5 Page for this destination Milan by draguza

Milan Travel Guide: 2,882 reviews and 7,326 photos

Brief History

Hi everyone, welcome to MIlan the city of fashion and design...(so to say)
I was born and raised here so if you need any tourist tips feel free to contact me.
A brief history of Milan :

Milan was originally founded by Celtic tribes around 700 BC and in 222 BC it came under Roman control. The Romans called the city Mediolanum, which means “middle of the plain” and rapidly it became a prosperous hub for trade between Rome and western Europe.

In 292 AD, when the Roman empire was collapsing as a superpower it became the seat of the Western Emperors and was the city in which emperor Constantine I granted the Christians freedom of worship. This cleared the way for Christianity becoming the main religion in Europe. With the demise of the Roman Empire the city became vulnerable to barbarian attacks and centuries of chaos followed.

A new period of prosperity began in the 11th century when a town council was formed and trade took off again. This also let to conflict with other cities and in 1162 the Holy Roman Empire Frederick I (aka Barbarossa / redbeard) tried to bring the city once more under the control of Rome. He was defeated by a league of Milan and surrounding towns known as the ‘Lega Lombarda’ in 1176.

The families Torriani, Visconti and Sforza governed Milan for the next centuries until the city came under Spanish control from 1535 . The famous Duomo was build during this period. When the European borders were redrawn with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 Milan became part of the Austrian empire. Monuments from that period include La Scala.

Napoleon chased the Austrians out of Milan in 1797 and made it the capital of his Cisalpine Republic. The Austrians came back however in 1814 and ruled again until 1859 when they were definitely defeated by a coalition of Napoleon III and Victor Emmanuel II at the Battle of Magenta. In 1860 it became part of the newborn Kingdom of Italy.

In the 20s of last century Italy, while still being a kingdom, turned into a dictatorship ruled by Mussolini who allied himself with Adolf Hitler which subsequently drag Italy into World War II. Milan was heavily bombed, especially after the invasion at Anzio by American troops when the Germans took over power in Italy. In the last months of the war Mussolini formed his Republic of Salo but he was captured by partisans and hung in Piazza Loretto in Milan.

After WW2 Milan recovered quickly and soon became one of the biggest industrial areas in Europe.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Good for shopping
  • Cons:Too much smog and pollution
  • In a nutshell:You'll have to see it and judge it
  • Intro Updated Nov 19, 2006
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Reviews (109)

Comments (22)

  • Feb 2, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    Are there any flea markets in Milan that work every weekend (Sunday specifically)?

  • bugulma's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    informative page! Now I have several ideas what to see in Milan next time :-)

  • Roadquill's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Hi Natalie, great page and info on Milan. We plan on staying in Milan a few nights following the upcoming VT meet in Bergamo. Best, Karl

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jan 26, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Hello, Natalie! You have a great page here! Milan is just splendid!

  • Nov 14, 2011 at 8:44 AM

    Hi thanks for your information. I found it very good will be arriving in Milan on Friday hope the weather is good.

  • Aitana's Profile Photo
    Jan 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    Hi Natalie, I'll visit Milan in May and your tips are quite helpfull. Thanks for all the info. Regards, Carmen.

  • omran's Profile Photo
    Aug 6, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    Thank you Natalie for sharing your info & pics..regards from Tripoli

  • fabrice's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2009 at 12:59 AM

    very useful info about this marvellous city , but there are countries in the world where men are much much worse

  • Herkbert's Profile Photo
    Aug 30, 2009 at 3:54 PM

    Hi Natalie - thanks for all the great information and pictures from Milan. We are planning a trip and your pages were a great help. Thanks.. Tom

  • sevynaturel's Profile Photo
    Apr 22, 2009 at 12:37 PM

    Natalie, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for all the valuable information you have about Milanon your page. I will be visiting at the end of May and was browsing through a few pages, but your page has it all. use. Ciao

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