Because of its strategical position, Milan has always been during the past centuries the centre of numerous conflicts which involved Celts, Romans, Goths, Lombards, Spaniards and Austrians.
According to historical documents, in origin this modern city was a Celtic village founded aroung 400 BC which remained under Celts influence until the 222BC when Romans conquered and renaming it Mediolamun. After being annexed to Roman Empire and the reorganisation of the italian territory made by emperor Augustus, it was declared the capital of a big area including Como, Bergamo, Pavia and Turin: its name was “Roma Secunda” in consideration that the city became a fundamental and prestigious centre of social, politic and religious life. The 313AC was an important historical date: Constantine issued the Edict with which ended all persecutions against Christian and after this a lot of churches were built such as the famour Basilica of St. Ambrose.
Currently in Milan there are not many traces about that period, except a place that you can see with your escort called the “columns of San Lorenzo”.
The decline of the Roman Empire started around the 5th century because of the barbaric invasion from North Europe and Asia: the city faced a difficult period suffering initially the presence of Visigoths in 402, the Huns which king Attila devasted the city in 452AD, the Ostrogoths in 539, and then a Teutonic tribe called Lombards conquered the city in 569.
In 774 arrived the Franks with the famous Charlemagne, who took the title of King of Lombards, and many members of the elite society and their escorts, nobles and ecclesiastics were forced to leave Milan and ask exile in Genoa: during this period the city faced a big decline and impoverishment.
Around the 1000 the power of the Church increased a lot while the nobles saw their influence reduced so that the ecclesiastic were the effective rules of the city and the archbishop the more important and powerful people in Lombardy: in that period was built the Palazzo della Regione. During the 1176 Federico Barbarossa, after his numerous attempts to conquer it, was forced to surrender during the famous Battle of Legnano. From the 13th century there was a period of peace and the city became a prosperous centre of trade and thanks to the Peace of Constance it became an independent duchy.
From 1277 to 1447 the Visconti family took the power and this meant the end of the democraticy as the “comune system” was replaced by a family-rule system. This event was not so negative as from 1300 the Visconti were able to transform the city in a prestigious place bringing peace and wealth, political and cultural supremacy: under their power began the building of two magnificent monuments - the Duomo and the Sforza Castle – which are open to visit if you and your escort like history. After the Visconti era, in 1450 Francesco Sforza took the power and its “era” coincided with the Renaissance period: during those years the city was a great centre of art and culture – thanks to the presence of important achitects like Da Vinci e Bramante - and there was also a development in agriculture and industry.
Between the end of 15th century and the middle of 16th century there were conflicts called “Italian Wars” involved French and Spanish monarchies, Papal State, the Republic of Venice and various city-states of Italy and at the end Milan was under Spanish domination for almost two centuries: during this period the independent Duchy became an oppressed and humiliated place dominated by foreigners without any development and in 1600 there was also The Scourge of Plague which killed around 60,000 people.
That situation of decline changed after the middle of 17th century thanks to cardinals Carlo and Federico Borromeo who promoted various initiatives and events transforming the city in a vigorous cultural and religious centre. In addiction in the beginning of 18th century there was the Austrian domination with the Habsburg dynasty who brought development and improvement in the Milanese society: in that period were founded the Brera Academy, the Scala Theater, the Arco della Pace and many others important buildings in neoclassical style that you can admire in company with your classy escort.
In the end of 18th century Napoleon arrived and declared the city capital of the Cisalpine Republic: he was received with enthusiams as the symbol of democracy and he was crowned in Duomo. After Napoleon’s occupation, the city – as well as Veneto and Lombardy - returned to Austrian with the Congress of Vienna of 1815 and in those years it became an important reference of lyric opera in the world: in the Scala Theatre there were wonderful concerts and performance of Mozart, Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini and Verdi.
The Milanese society didn’t accept the presence of Austrian and the people were very hostile so that in 1848 there was the famous rebellion called “le cinque giornate” the Five Days. After the Austrian occupation Milan became part of Kingdom of Piedmont which later was transformed to Kingdom of Italy and the process of liberation saw the important presence of Giuseppe Garibaldi.
Under the Kingdom of Italy, the city was declared the capital of italian culture and economy becaming a prosperous financial and industrial centre: there were the presence of important banks and insurance companies as well as the construction of beautiful buildings such as the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele full of shops where your escort will be very happy to accompany you to shopping.