Milan is Italy’s first metro area and Lombardy’s capital, with 1.3 million inhabitants. The suggestion has been made that the metro region is part of the so-called Blue Banana, meaning it is a part of the most industrially dense and populous area of Europe. The Celtic Insubres people established Milan but were later conquered by the Romans and the city became the capital of the western Roman Empire. Milan excelled as a commercial and banking centre in the Middle Ages and has been controlled by France, Hasburg Spain and Austria until 1859, when the Kingdom of Italy annexed it. In recent decades Milan has seen a significant increase in international migrants and one sixth of the city is foreign born today. It is the financial, industrial and commercial heart of Italy and a top city on the world stage.
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