With 1.3 million inhabitants, Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital of the Lombardy region. Once a founding of Celtic settlers, the city experienced a rapid upswing in the Roman Empire. In its history, Milan underwent the influence of German, French and Austrian emperors, and after the unification of Italy became the largest industrial city in the country. It is today the leading cultural, media and modem metropolis of Italy, a university city and an international financial center as the seat of the Italian Stock Exchange. It houses a world cultural heritage, historically significant buildings, and various art treasures.
In the 15th century under the rule of the Sforza, Castello Sforzesco was a splendid example of Renaissance architecture. Under the Duke of the Visconti family, the construction of the Cathedral begun in 1386. Within the framework of the industrial revolution in the second half of the nineteenth century, Milan became a thriving industrial center in Italy. Giuseppe Mengoni built the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II from 1865 to 1877, the oldest indoor shopping mall in the world.