Milan is the second-largest city in Italy (right behind Rome) and also the capital city of the entire Lombardy region. As one of the most popular cities in Italy, Milan remains even to this day an integral part of Europe’s main transportation and industrial hubs – in fact, Milan is considered Europe’s 10th most important center for business and finance and also possesses the 26th richest economy in the world by purchasing power. Milan is internationally recognized as a fashion and design capital and accordingly is considered the 42nd most significant global city.
With Milan being the second largest city in Italy (after Rome), there is no doubt that the city features a very well developed education system with many post-secondary options for both citizens and international students. Currently, Milan’s higher education system is comprised of 39 university centers – with a total of 44 faculties and an astonishing 174,000 new student registration every year (that’s equal to about 10% of all Italian post-secondary students). On top of it all, Milan also has the largest number of university graduates and postgraduate students in all of Italy. The oldest university in Milan is the Politecnico di Milano – founded on November 29, 1863, the university has been home to some of the most famous professors in history. Milan is also home to the largest Catholic university in the world (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart) – founded in 1921 and currently educating over 42,000 students.
In terms of climate, Milan may not be the most popular destination for those temperate climate seeking tourists. Milan has a human subtropical climate – featuring hot and humid summers; and cold and wet winters. The lowest recorded temperature in Milan is -17.6 °C while the highest is 39 °C. The average temperature in winter is usually around 3 °C but that usually drops down even lower to -2 °C in January. Summer time weather features a minimum of 25 °C and an average maximum of 30 °C. Unfortunately, the humidity is very high throughout the year and the annual precipitation averages around 100 cm.
Milan, along with Rome, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe – in fact, it is rated the 7th best city in the continent in terms of its touristic reputation. With almost 2 million tourists per year, Milan ranks itself as the 42nd most visited city in the world. Let’s check out some of the main attractions Milan has to offer:
Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano)
Milan is surprisingly home to the world’s largest Gothic cathedral – the Duomo di Milano. The construction for the cathedral began in 1386 but it was not completed until 1809 upon orders from Napoleon. Due to its lengthy construction, the cathedral now houses 3,400 statues, 96 gargoyles and 135 spires. The best time to visit the cathedral is during full sunshine as the interior is fully illuminated by the colorful mosaic stained glass windows featured in this beautiful tourist attraction.
Museo Teatrale alla Scala (Theatre Museum at La Scala)
The Museo Teatrale alla Scala is a worldwide known opera house located at the site of the Church of Santa Maria alla Scala.
The city of Milan currently has a population of about 1.3 million (calculated as of December 2010) – slightly lower than its highest population of 1.7 million in 1973. During the period of time when people started moving to the outer suburbs that developed around Milan, many foreign immigrants began to migrate into the city. It has been estimated by ISTAT (Italian national institute of statistics) that about 20% of the entire population consists of foreign immigrants of varying descents.