Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Milan - The Design Capital of the World


Milan is the capital of the Lombardy Region, besides being the home of international fashion and design. It is also an important financial and commercial centre. This is a dynamic and cosmopolitan city, full of elegant and distinct corners.

In addition, it enjoys a rich heritage that will take us thousands of years back in time because of its old monuments (such as Il Duomo's cathedral) and its beautiful art works (such as the famous painting "The Last Supper" by Leonardo Da Vinci, displayed in the Santa Maria delle Grazie church).

As Milan is the design capital of the world, the main streets of the city (Vía Manzini, Montenapoleone, Vía della Spiga and Vía Sant Andrea) are the ones that house all the major brand fashion stores: Dolce&Gabbana, Armani, Gucci, Versace, Devota&Lomba, Dior... There are also many outlets which sell past seasons clothes at economical prices and many popular stores as H & M, Footlooker, Zara, etc.

Milan holds one of the most prestigious design teaching centres of Europe: the "Istituto Europeo di Design". Thousands of young artists study there in the hope of becoming a great designer. Every spring and every autumn the 'Fashion in Milan' show is celebrated. Some famous designers present their new collections here.

But the city not only stands out for being the home of fashion but for its fascinating works of art and monuments. Formerly Milan was governed by the Visconti and the Sforza families. They were patrons of some artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci or Bramante.The famous Sforzesco Castle was the Sforza family residence. Nowadays, it houses a museum which shows Michelangelo's works of art.

Il Duomo cathedral is the most important tourist attraction in Milan and a very emblematic building. It is a vast Gothic cathedral crowned with 135 pinnacles and adorned with over 2,000 different statues. Inside it has 2,000 more statues spread over 5 floors. Its highest tower holds the golden Madonina, the patron saint of the city. Il Duomo is one of the world's largest cathedrals.

But Milan is also known as the home of the Escala theatre: it is the largest Opera in the world. There Verdi, Rossini or Puccini's works are played. In addition, it has two of its own philharmonic orchestras.

Another major tourist attraction as was pointed out before is the fresco by Leonardo Da Vinci, "The Last Supper", located in the Santa Maria delle Grazie's church (to visit it is necessary to book several months in advance). The church is of Renaissance style and it was built by Bramante.

Finally, the Pazzo di Brera is another essential element of Milan's "geography": it is an art gallery, library, Astronomical Observatory and Fine Arts Academy.

You will fall in love with Milan. It is a beautiful, amazing city. It cultural and leisure diversity is suitable for all wallets, tastes and ages. Rent Milan Apartments to enjoy of the city and have a great time there.

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