Milan is the capital of Lombardy and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,366,037 while its province-level municipality has a population of 3,235,000. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy.
While Rome is Italy's political capital, Milan is the country's industrial and financial heart.
It has in strengths in the arts, commerce, design, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, services, research, and tourism. Its business district hosts Italy's Stock Exchange and the headquarters of the largest national and international banks and companies.
The city has long been named fashion capital of the world and the world's design capital, thanks to several international events and fairs, including Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair.
Milan is, since the late 1800s, an important industrial and manufacturing centre, especially for the automotive industry, with companies such as Alfa Romeo, Pirelli and Techint having a significant presence in the city. Other important products manufactured in Milan include chemicals, machinery, pharmaceuticals and plastics, health and biotechnologie and food & beverage.
The city hosts numerous cultural institutions, academies and universities, with 11% of the national total enrolled students.
Tourism is an increasingly important part of the city's economy. Milan is the destination of 8 million overseas visitors every year, attracted by its museums and art galleries that boast some of the most important collections in the world, including major works by Leonardo da Vinci.