Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome. The population of the city of Milan is around 1.4 million while its province-level municipality has a population of 3.2 million. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5.2 million. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the middle and early modern age.
Milan is considered to be a leading alpha global city and its strengths lie the arts, commerce, design, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, services, research and tourism. Its business district hosts Italy's Stock Exchange and the headquarters of national and international banks and companies. In terms of GDP, it has the third-largest economy among European cities after Paris and London, but the fastest in growth among the three. Milan is the wealthiest among European non-capital cities and is considered part of the Blue Banana and one of the "Four Motors for Europe."
Milan has been recognized as the world’s fashion capital and the world's design capital. It’s is the destination of 8 million overseas visitors every year, attracted by its museums and art galleries that boast some of the most important collections in the world, including major works by Leonardo da Vinci.
While Rome is Italy's political capital, Milan is the country's industrial and financial heart and generates approximately 10% of the national GDP. Milan is home to about 45% of businesses in the Lombardy region and more than 8 percent of all businesses in Italy, including three Fortune 500 companies. Milan also contains Via Monte Napoleone (Monte Napoleone Street), Europe's most expensive street.
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