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Milan is the capital of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The urban area of the city is the fifth largest in the European Union with an estimated population of 4,300,000. Milan was a major cultural centre in Europe, attracting several artists, composers and important literary figures. Nowdays the city remains one of Europe's main transportation and industrial hubs and is recognised as a world fashion and design capital, with a major global influence in commerce, industry, music, sport, literature, art and media.
There are few remains of the ancient Roman colony that later became a capital of the Western Roman Empire but Milan hosts the largest and most important example of Gothic architecture in Italy the Milan Cathedral which is the fourth largest cathedral in the world. As a result that Milan was major artistic centre throughout the centuries numerous art institutes, academies and galleries exist in the city (such as Brera Academy and the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana). Milan's art flourished in the Middle-Ages, and with the Visconti family being major patrons of the arts, the city became an important centre of Gothic art and architecture.
Milan is one of the international capitals of industrial and modern design, and is regarded as one of the world's most influential cities in such fields. The city is particularly well-known for its high-quality ancient and modern furniture and industrial goods. Also is regarded as one of the fashion capitals of the world. Most of the major Italian fashion brands, such as Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Prada, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana, are currently headquartered in the city. The city hosts a fashion week twice a year, just like other international centres such as Paris, London, Tokyo, and New York. Milan's main upscale fashion district is the quadrilatero della moda (literally, "fashion quadrilateral"), where the city's most prestigious shopping streets (Via Monte Napoleone, Via della Spiga) are held. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the Piazza del Duomo, Via Dante and Corso Buenos Aires are other important shopping streets and squares.