Milan is the second-most populous city in Italy, the first considering the metro area, and the capital of the Lombardy Region. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, whilst the Milan metropolitan area has a population of over 4 million.
Milan was founded by the Insubres, a Celtic people. The city was later conquered by the Romans, becoming the capital of the Western Roman Empire. During the Middle Ages, Milan flourished as a commercial and banking center. In the course of centuries, it has been alternatively dominated by France, Habsburg Spain, and Austria, until when in 1859 the city was eventually annexed by the new Kingdom of Italy. During the early 1900s, Milan led the industrialization process of the young nation, being at the very center of the economic, social and political debate. In post-war years, the city enjoyed a prolonged economic boom, attracting large flows of workers from Southern Italy.
Milan is the main industrial, commercial and financial centre of Italy and a leading global city. Its business district hosts the Borsa Italiana (Italy's main stock exchange) and the headquarters of the largest national banks and companies. The city is a major world fashion and design capital. Thanks to its important museums, theatres (La Scala) and landmarks (including the Milan Cathedral, the fifth largest cathedral in the world, and Santa Maria delle Grazie, decorated with Leonardo da Vinci paintings, a UNESCO World Heritage Site) Milan attracts over 6 million annual visitors. It hosts numerous cultural institutions and universities. The city is also well known for several international events and fairs, including Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair, the largest of its kind in the world, and will host the 2015 Universal Exposition.