Milan (/mɪˈlæn/, US also /mɪˈlɑːn/, Milanese: [miˈlãː] (listen); Italian: Milano [miˈlaːno] (listen)) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city proper in Italy after Rome. It is the only European city wealthier than its corresponding capital. Milan served as the capital of the Western Roman Empire, the Duchy of Milan and the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia. The city proper has a population of about 1.4 million while its metropolitan city has 3.26 million inhabitants. Its continuously built-up urban area, that stretches well beyond the boundaries of the administrative metropolitan city, is the fourth largest in the EU with 5.27 million inhabitants. The population within the wider Milan metropolitan area, also known as Greater Milan, is estimated at 8.2 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 3rd largest in the EU.
Milan is considered a leading alpha global city, with strengths in the fields of art, commerce, design, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, services, research and tourism. Its business district hosts Italy’s stock exchange (Italian: Borsa Italiana), and the headquarters of national and international banks and companies. In terms of GDP, it has the third-largest economy among EU cities after Paris and Madrid, and is the wealthiest among EU non-capital cities. Milan is viewed as part of the Blue Banana and one of the “Four Motors for Europe“.
The city has been recognized as one of the world’s four fashion capitals thanks to several international events and fairs, including Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair, which are currently among the world’s biggest in terms of revenue, visitors and growth. It hosted the Universal Exposition in 1906 and 2015. The city hosts numerous cultural institutions, academies and universities, with 11% of the national total of enrolled students. Milan received 10 million visitors in 2018, with the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from China, United States, France and Germany. The tourists are attracted by Milan’s museums and art galleries that include some of the most important collections in the world, including major works by Leonardo da Vinci. The city is served by many luxury hotels and is the fifth-most starred in the world by Michelin Guide. Milan is also home to two of Europe’s most successful football teams, A.C. Milan and F.C. Internazionale, and one of Europe’s main basketball teams, Olimpia Milano. Milan will host the 2026 Winter Olympics together with Cortina d’Ampezzo.