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The city proper has about 1,308,500 inhabitants (2004), but the population of the urban area including the hinterland is about 4 million and is called La Grande Milano (Greater Milan, 1,981 square kilometres). Milan is Italy's most populous and prosperous city, serving as the capital of commerce, finance, fashion, and media. It's also Italy's transport hub, with the biggest international airport, most rail connections, and best subway system. Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper and other great works of art are here, as well as a spectacular Gothic Duomo.

Milan's name has for many centuries been recorded as Mailand, which is still the German name of the city today. It comes from the Celtic Mid-lan (meaning "in the middle of the plain") and was known as Mediolanum by the Romans. 

The town is famous for fashion firms and shops (via Montenapoleone) and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele on the Piazza Duomo, reputed to be the world's oldest shopping mall. Milan is one of the world capitals of fashion, like New York City, Paris, London and Rome, and design. Indeed the English word milliner is derived from the name of the city. Another famed product of the city is the traditional Christmas sweet cake called Panettone. Milan is also famous for the Alfa Romeo motorcar and for its silk production. 

Not to be missed are the many splendid and unforgettable lakes nearby Milan, offering superb facilities for visitors, with shops, restaurants and cafes lining the lake fronts. Some of the most popular lakes in the Milan region include Lake Maggiore, Lake Como and Lake Garda, the three largest lakes in Italy.

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