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Rick Steves Classroom Europe® is a free resource allowing teachers to share the best of European art, history, and culture with their students and fellow educators.

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Milan 13:14

Published by: Zoe (Rick Steves' Europe) | School: Rick Steves' Europe

For some armchair traveling in Milan, join Rick as he explores Italy's second city with a visit to its magnificent Duomo, Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper," La Scala Opera House, and the Risorgimento Museum, which tells the story of Italy's unification movement.

Notes to Viewers

Milan is an economic powerhouse with a sense of fashion. Progressive Milan spearheaded the movement for Italian unification in the 19th century. Its main square is anchored by the grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade and the huge cathedral — walk on the rooftop amid the spires.

Leonardo, the Renaissance genius, created "The Last Supper," much admired for its use of perspective and emotional depth. Although the fresco is deteriorating, it remains vibrant and compelling.

Milan’s famed opera house hosts grand operas in all their glory, including works by Giuseppe Verdi, the greatest of Italy’s romantic composers. An on-site museum displays memorabilia of composers and conductors, and gives visitors a view of the plush theater.

Milan’s Risorgimento Museum tells the story of Italy's unification, when a cluster of colonies and small states in 1850 became one united country by 1870, thanks to patriotic heroes — their George Washingtons and Thomas Jeffersons — leading the way.