The Historical Background of Milan

The Historical background of Milan will tell the story of an amazing culture that knew how to fight for its independence and freedom despite the cruel odds. The city’s geographical position influenced its agitated past, due to the flow of different nations that chose this beautiful place as their final destination.

It is thus important to take a brief look at the etymology of the name ‘Milan’ that will reveal important aspects of the city’s past. The origin of this denomination stems from the Latin “Mediolanum”, referring to the old city of a Celtic tribe that lived in the area until the Romans conquered it in the 2nd century BC. It could stand for a central town or a sanctuary revealing thus the importance of this amazing city even from its early ages.

Early times

The first traces that we have about this city dates back to year 400 BC when the Celts moved to this region. They were soon conquered by the Romans who declared Milan the capital of the Western Roman Empire. It is during this period that important gigantic monuments have been built, such as enormous circus and a large complex of imperial palaces. The beauty and richness of this city attracted many enemies that besieged it, to mention just a few: the Visigoths, the Huns, the Ostrogoths, the Longobards (which explains the name of the region Lombardy whose capital Milan is) and the Franks.

Middle Ages and Early Modern

Milan met a period of development and prosperity becoming one of the most important trading centers in the country. It soon turned into a duchy and become the stage of numerous religious plays and of an agitated political life.

The French king Louis XII claimed this duchy, fighting against the Swiss mercenaries for it. One century later Milan was included in the House of Habsburg and then passed to the Spanish line of the Habsburgs. Napoleon himself invaded this amazing city, declaring it capital of the Kingdom of Italy, but once with the end of his occupation, Milan was restored to Austria, becoming an important center of lyric opera.

On March 18th 1848 the locals rebelled against Austrian rule helping their city to be incorporated into the Kingdom of Sardinia.

Late modern and Nowadays

The 20th and 21st centuries have been as agitated and dynamic as the city’s early times. Milan suffered a great deal after the Second World War, having been badly destroyed by the American and British bombing. This place soon turned into a refugee camp for Jewish leaving Austria. However the 50’s and the 60’s represent the golden year of the historical background of Milan, characterized by a huge large of immigration especially from Southern Italy.  By the early 21st century Milan’s economy began to re-grow , turning the textile and clothing industry into a serious global competitor. This has also attracted a large number of immigrants, especially from the Far-Eastern countries, contributing to the development and prosperity Milan enjoys nowadays.

Leave a Reply