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Milan -- or Milano, as the Italians say it -- is elegant, chaotic, and utterly beguiling. Traffic chokes the streets, and it can be bitterly cold in winter and stiflingly hot in summer, but it more than compensates with majestic architecture and robust Northern Italian cuisine. It’s a world-class stop on the international fashion stage, the banking capital of Italy, and a wealthy city of glamorous people and stylish shopping streets. Milan also is rich in history, from its Roman ruins and soaring Duomo to a host of ancient churches, medieval castles, and Renaissance palaces.

Massive changes were made to the city in preparation for 2015’s World’s Fair, known as Expo Milano. The city still continues to undergo somewhat of an urban and cultural Renaissance. A whole new skyline boasts innovative towers by international starchitects, the already efficient public transportation system continues to expand, new museums continue to crop up, and the city has an overall sense of renewed vitality.