Sophistication reaches new levels in Milan. The financial and commercial centre of Italy attracts fashion fundis, opera lovers, the young, the beautiful and the bold. Shopping, eating and clubbing is serious business here and it is no surprise that the city boasts the world's most beautiful shopping mall, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Equally vying for admiration are the Milanese icons of La Scala Theatre (Teatro della Scala) and the Gothic Duomo, one of the world's largest churches.
Milan's frenetic pace surges ahead in its drive towards progress, forsaking the lengthy siestas enjoyed in other parts of the country. The city's urban tentacles stretch for miles, although the significant historical attractions are contained between the two landmark sites - the Duomo and the Sforzesco Castle.
These reside within the inner loop of the city's concentric design, which is split into four squares: Piazza Duomo, Piazza Cairoli, Piazza Cordusio and Piazza san Babila. The modern civic centre lies to the northwest, around Mussolini's colossal train station built in 1931.
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