The city of Milan was founded under the name of Medhlan, by the Insubres , Celtic people. It was later captured by the Romans in 222 BC, and the city became very successful under the Roman Empire. Later Milan was ruled by the Spanish in the 16th century and the Austrians in the 18th century. In 1796, Milan was conquered by Napoleon I and he made it the capital of his Kingdom of Italy in 1805.
In 1919, Benito Mussolini organized the Blackshirts, who formed the core of the Facist movement, in Milan and, in 1922, the March on Rome began from the city. During WW II, the city was badly affected by Allied bombings, and after German occupation in 1943, Milan became the main hub of the Italian resistance.
The original construction on the site began in the 14th century. In 1450, Francesco Sforza began reconstruction of the castle, and it was further modified by later generations. A number of these rooms originally had elaborate internal decoration - the best known of these being the Sala Delle Asse with surviving ceiling paintings by Leonardo Da Vinci.
Under the Spanish domination, the castle was developed: between 15th and 16th century, was protected by 1000 to 3000 men, and was one of the biggest citadels in Europe; a huge star fort was built, with 12 bastions.
The Moorish influence.
Milan Cathedral is dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente (Saint Mary Nascent), it is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan. The Gothic cathedral took five centuries to complete. It is the largest Gothic cathedral and the second largest Catholic cathedral in the world.
Napoleon was crowned King of Italy at the Duomo.
The original 14th century floor.
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a covered double arcade formed of two glass-vaulted arcades at right angles intersecting in an octagon, prominently sited on the northern side of the Piazza del Duomo, and connects to the Piazza della Scala. Named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of united Italy, it was originally designed in 1861 and built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877.
La Scala is a world renowned opera house. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the New Royal-Ducal Theatre at La Scala. The premiere performance was Antonio Salleri's Europa riconosciuta. We had a chance to tour the opera house and have a grand view from one of the boxes. (see picture below. The arrow indicates where we were)
To see the posters of all the operas that premiered at La Scala was amazing. There is also a museum that had the costumes from the various operas and a piano used by Verdi.
A 1983 presentation of Turando.
On the cruise... Celebrity Cruise