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Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with \
World Heritage Site UNESCO

Milan has grown throughout its 2,700 year history of trade, conquest, occupation and conflict to become the Italian city with the most international outlook. It leads the country as economic capital, and it leads the world in certain fields such as fashion and design, but the brilliance of its private enterprise contrasts with the inefficiency of its public institutions (a problem common to all Italy and not just to Milan). Of the city's founding fathers there remains just a legend, of a Celtic ruler named Belloveso who crossed the Alps and invaded the forested and fertile plains of the Po valley.
Some say in about 720 B.C., others about 350 B.C. The legend refers to the story of Belloveso who turned to an oracle for information on when and where to found the city. The reply was that the city should be founded on the place where a boar only half-covered with fur would be found. Notwithstanding this unusual prediction, Belloveso set his men to search and finally found the animal in a clearing near a spring. This location was what is now Piazza Mercanti. The city was founded there and named Medio-lanuto, half-furred, after the boar. The name then became Mediolanum in Latin and thence Milano. Other more sober historians say that the name Milan derives simply from Mittland, town in the centre of the country.

Teatro alla Scala


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