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Milan is a frenetic city and one of the major commercial, financial and cultural centres of Northern Italy. With a population of 1,302,000 inhabitants, it is the second largest city in Italy after Rome, and it is the capital of industrial, commercial and banking activities. The fastest way to reach Milan is getting there by plane. The city has two airports, Milano Linate and Milano Malpensa. Talking about Art, Milan is today one of the world capitals of fashion, architecture and design. One of the oldest and most important cultural institutions of Milan is the renowned La Scala Theatre, considered to be the temple of the opera music at a world level. Other cultural attractions include: il Piccolo Theatre, the Cenacolo Vinciano (The Last Supper) painted by Leonardo da Vinci in 1495 and the Brera District, one of the most exclusive and fashionable places in Milan, with its characteristic streets and famous art galleries. For those who love ancient paintings, there is the Pinacoteca di Brera, an art gallery that houses a great number of masterpieces such as the Cristo Morto (Dead Christ) by Mantegna and other modern paintings by Boccioni, De Pisis and Sironi. Important monuments are located both in the historical centre and in the surroundings of the city, such as the Castello Sforzesco, a castle built on the wishes of Galeazzo II Visconti, along the Mediaeval walls of the City. But the city's symbol is the Duomo (Cathedral), the most outstanding example of Gothic architecture dating back to 1396, and its square. Another symbol of Milan's religiousness is the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio, one of the oldest churches in town whose construction began in 379 A.D. and was consecrated by the Bishop Ambrogio who lent his name to the Church. Sant'Ambrogio is the Patron Saint of Milan. Not to be missed is the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in Gothic-Renaissance style, designed by architects such as Solari and Bramante who improved the church several times. Important events are organized in Milan all year long. Milan is considered to be the capital of fashion: during the fashion shows, the city is overrun by designers, top models, actors and politicians. Milan is the ideal setting for many fairs and exhibition shows (such as the International Furniture Show) which attract many tourists and experts of the sector. Many exhibitions are also organised in the Royal Palace. Hotel reservation in Milan and other Italian cities. As far as the green areas are concerned, the most important park is Parco Nord (North Park) in the Northern outskirts of the City, covering an area of 600 ha. In the park, designed in the 1960s and finally built in 1975, live many animal species who have found their natural habitat. Among the bird species living in the park there are also small predatory birds such as sparrowhawks and owls. Other animal and bird species include: robins, greater spotted woodpeckers, voles, hedgehogs, foxes and wild rabbits.

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