Welcome to Milan.

We are Vittorio and Simona, your guides, and we will show you the most beautiful places in Milan.

First a bit of history to bring you up to speed. The history of Milan starts more than 28 centuries ago. At that time, you would find here a village inhabited by Ligurians. They were a warlike people to be sure, but they were not strong enough to resist the conquest by the even fiercer Gauls (coming from what now is France), who gave it the name Mediolanum. Fast forwarding, we reach 220 BC when Milan becomes an integral part of the Roman Empire. During the 500 years of Roman rule, Milan flourished and became the most important trade, cultural, and religious center of Northen Italy. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the rich and beautiful city become a target of Burgundians, and later of Lombards. The Lombard era (between 569-824) is regarded as a one of the most peaceful periods in the history of Milan. During the Middle Ages Milan was governed by the number of bishops, who gradually lost their power to the feudal Visconti and Sforza noble families. These transformed Milan into a prosperous center of intellectual and artistic life. Unique and overwhelming architectural highlights such as the Castello Sforzesco and the Cathedral or "Duomo" were constructed under their reign (of course a guided tour is devoted to each of them!). This was also the era of the painter, scientist, sculptor and engineer Leonardo da Vinci, a superstar the like of which the world has never seen since. More than 200 years of Visconti and Sforza rule ended when ...

... Milan was conquered by France in 1500. Over the following 4 centuries Milan was ruled by outsiders: after France came Spain, then Austria, then France again and finally Austria. These were bad times, full of endless wars, plundering, and plagues. But owing to the stubborn determination of Milan's citizenry to preserve their heritage, its treasures of art and architecture survived largely unscathed. At long last, the occupation of Milan ended when the last usurpers, the Habsburgs from Austria, withdrew upon the proclamation of the kingdom of Italy in 1861.

Contemporary Milan is a modern city. It is home to two of Europe's greatest soccer squads. It is the throbbing industrial and economic heart of Italy. It is the capital of the region of Lombardy. At the same time, it is a beautiful city brimming with history and culture. There are theaters such as the world famous "La Scala," cinemas, art museums (but also the torture museum and the Da Vinci museum of science and technology), monuments, palaces, parks and churches. Milan is also one of the primary fashion centers in the world (who has not heard of Versace and Armani?). And to top it all of, there is the nightlife in the Navigli (canals) district with its countless jazz bars and small restaurants (osteria's). Are you ready to start your tour?

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