Milan is in northern Italy, and is situated in the Po river basin. The city is the capital of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. It is the country’s prosperous manufacturing and commercial heartland and is a leading European centre for finance.
Milan is believed to have been founded by Celtic tribes who settled along the Po River in the seventh century BC. The Romans occupied the town in 222 BC, naming it Mediolanum (‘Middle of the Plain’). The town occupied a key position on the trade routes between Rome and North Western Europe and this ensured its growth and prosperity. Charlemagne chose Milan as the site to declare the freedom of Christians. Milan endured centuries of barbarian invasion, but by the eleventh century it was a bishopric and a free commune with autonomous government which had established itself as the leading city in Lombardy. Despite increasing prosperity, the city became embroiled in conflict with the neighbouring towns of...