Milan is the main industrial, commercial and financial centre of Italy and a leading global city. Its business district hosts the Italian Stock Exchange and the headquarters of the largest national banks and companies. The city is a major world fashion and designcapital. Thanks to its important museums, theatres and landmarks (including the Milan Cathedral, the fourth largestcathedral in the world, and Santa Maria delle Grazie, decorated with Leonardo da Vinci paintings, a UNESCO World Heritage Site) Milan attracts more than two million annual visitors. It hosts numerous cultural institutions and universities, with 185,000 enrolled students in 2011, i.e. 11 percent of the national total. The city is also well known for several international events and fairs, includingMilan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair, the largest of its kind in the world, and will host the 2015 Universal Exposition. Milan is home to two of the world's major football teams, A.C. Milan and F.C. Internazionale Milano.
Naples is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the region in the 2nd millennium BC,with a larger mainland colony – initially known as Parthenope – developing around the 9th–8th centuries BC, at the end of the Greek Dark Ages.
Naples' historic city centre is the largest in Europe, covering 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres), and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Over the course of its long history, Naples has been the capital of duchies, kingdoms, and one Empire,and has consistently been a major cultural centre with a global sphere of influence, particularly during the Renaissance and Enlightenment eras.
Naples has the fourth-largest urban economy in Italy, after Milan, Rome and Turin. It is the world's 103rd-richest city by purchasing power, with an estimated 2008 GDP of $51 billion, surpassing the economies of Prague and Copenhagen.
Venice is oneof the most important tourist destinations in the world for its celebrated art and architecture. The city has an average of 50,000 tourists a day (2007 estimate). In 2006, it was the world's 28th most internationally visited city, with 2.927 million international arrivals that year. Today, there are numerous attractions in Venice, such as St Mark's Basilica, the Grand Canal, and thePiazza San Marco. The Lido di Venezia is also a popular international luxury destination, attracting thousands of actors, critics, celebrities, and mainly people in the cinematic industry. The city also relies heavily on the cruise business.
However, Venice's popularity as a major worldwide tourist destination has caused several problems, including the fact that the city can be veryovercrowded at some points of the year. It is regarded by some as a tourist trap, and by others as a 'living museum'. Unlike most other places in Western Europe, and the world, Venice has become widely known for its element ofelegant decay. The competition for foreigners to buy homes in Venice has made prices rise so highly that numerous inhabitants are forced to move to more affordable areas of Venetoand Italy, the most notable being Mestre.
Vatican City in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of just over 800. This makes Vatican City the smallest independent state in the world by both areaand population. Vatican City contains many interesting historical buildings and museums that art enthusiasts and history buffs will find appealing. St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel are two of the city’s most popular buildings that are home to some of the most famous art in the world. They include works by artists such as Berninii, Botticellii, Raphael and Michelangelo. The Vatican...
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