Milan – city of fashion and design, hub of business and politics, capital of culture …: The names given to Italy’s unofficial capital city are as numerous as its facets. Since ancient times Milan has always been a centre of trade and lifestyle, a place of prosperity and art. Great masters like Leonardo da Vinci or Giuseppe Verdi have left their mark and given the city its unique flair as a place where classical tradition meets constant innovation. Countless works of art, monuments, palaces, churches and museums compete with unconventional skyscrapers as radical symbols of contemporary architecture for the attention of sightseers. Milan’s Scala and icons of modern fashion like Gucci or Prada typify the cosmopolitan image of the city and its inhabitants. The heart and undisputed centre of its see-and-be-seen culture is the Gothic cathedral with its spectacularly decorative façade and the Piazza del Duomo in front of it. This piazza is bordered and at the same time extended to the north by the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan’s world famous shopping arcade of glass and marble, steel and stucco, while to the south lies the Palazzo Reale with its various museums. Here beats the heart of Milan – il cuore della città.
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