The Punic Wars were a series of three wars fought between Rome and Carthage from 264 BC to 146 BC. At the time, they were some of the largest wars that had taken place; the term Punic comes from the Latin word Punicus, meaning "Carthaginian", with reference to the Carthaginians' Phoenician ancestry. The main cause of the Punic Wars was the conflicts of interest between the existing Carthaginian Empire and the expanding Roman Republic; the Romans were interested in expansion via Sicily, part of which lay under Carthaginian control. At the start of the First Punic War, Carthage was the dominant power of the Western Mediterranean, with an extensive maritime empire. Rome was a ascending power in Italy, but it lacked the naval power of Carthage; the Second Punic War witnessed Hannibal's crossing of the Alps in 218 BC, followed by a prolonged but failed campaign of Carthage's Hannibal in mainland Italy. By the end of the Third Punic War, after more than a hundred years and the loss of many hundreds of thousands of soldiers from both sides, Rome had conquered Carthage's empire destroyed the city, became the most powerful state of the Western Mediterranean.
With the end of the Macedonian Wars – which ran concurrently with the Punic Wars – and the defeat of the Seleucid King Antiochus III the Great in the Roman–Seleucid War in the eastern sea, Rome emerged as the dominant Mediterranean power and one of the most powerful cities in classical antiquity. The Roman victories over Carthage in these wars gave Rome a preeminent status it would retain until the 5th century AD. During the mid-3rd century BC, Carthage was a large city located on the coast of modern Tunisia. Founded by the Phoenicians in the mid-9th century BC, it was a powerful thalassocratic city-state with a vast commercial network. Of the great city-states in the western Mediterranean, only Rome rivaled it in power and population. While Carthage's navy was the largest in the ancient world at the time, it did not maintain a large, standing army. Instead, Carthage relied on mercenaries the indigenous Numidians, to fight its wars; these mercenaries were led by officers who were Carthaginian citizens.
The Carthaginians were famed for their abilities as sailors, many Carthaginians from the lower classes served in their navy, which provided them with a stable income and career. In 200 BC, the Roman Republic had gained control of the Italian peninsula south of the Po River. Unlike Carthage, Rome had a large and disciplined army, but lacked a navy at the start of the First Punic War; this left the Romans at a disadvantage until the construction of large fleets during the war. The First Punic War was fought on land in Sicily and Africa, but was a naval war, it began as a local conflict in Sicily between Hiero II of Syracuse and the Mamertines of Messina. The Mamertines enlisted the aid of the Carthaginian navy, subsequently betrayed them by entreating the Roman Senate for aid against Carthage; the Romans sent a garrison to secure Messina, so the outraged Carthaginians lent aid to Syracuse. Tensions escalated into a full-scale war between Carthage and Rome for the control of Sicily. After a harsh defeat at the Battle of Agrigentum in 262 BC, the Carthaginian leadership resolved to avoid further direct land-based engagements with the powerful Roman legions, concentrate on the sea where they believed Carthage's large navy had the advantage.
The Carthaginian navy prevailed. In 260 BC, they defeated the fledgling Roman navy at the Battle of the Lipari Islands. Rome responded by drastically expanding its navy in a short time. Within two months, the Romans had a fleet of over one hundred warships. Aware that they could not defeat the Carthaginians in traditional ramming combat, the Romans used the corvus, an assault bridge, to leverage their superior infantry; the hinged bridge would be swung down onto enemy vessels with a sharp spike to secure the two ships together. Roman legionaries could board and capture Carthaginian ships; this innovative Roman tactic reduced the Carthaginian navy's advantage in ship-to-ship engagements. However, the corvus was cumbersome and dangerous, was phased out as the Roman navy became more experienced and tactically proficient. Save for the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Tunis in Africa, the early naval defeats, the First Punic War was a nearly unbroken string of Roman victories. In 241 BC, Carthage signed a peace treaty under the terms of which they evacuated Sicily and paid Rome a large war indemnity.
The long war was costly to both powers, but Carthage was more destabilized. According to Polybius, there had been several trade agreements between Rome and Carthage a mutual alliance against king Pyrrhus of Epirus; when Rome and Carthage made peace in 241 BC, Rome secured the release of all 8,000 prisoners of war without ransom and, received a considerable amount of silver as a war indemnity. However, Carthage refused to deliver to Rome the Roman deserters serving among their troops. A first issue for dispute was that the initial treaty, agreed upon by Hamilcar Barca and the Roman commander in Sicily, had a clause stipulating that the Roman popular assembly had to accept the treaty in order for it to be valid; the assembly not only increased the indemnity Carthage had to pay. Carthage had a liquidity problem and attempted to gain financial help from Egypt, a mutual ally of Rome and Carthage, but failed; this resulted in delay of payments owed to the mercenary troops that had served Carthage in Sicily, leading to a climate of mutual mistrust and, final
The Italian Renaissance was a period of Italian history that began in the 14th century and lasted until the 17th century. It peaked during the 15th and 16th centuries, spreading across Europe and marking the transition from the Middle Ages to Modernity; the French word renaissance means "Rebirth" and defines the period as one of cultural revival and renewed interest in classical antiquity after the centuries labeled the Dark Ages by Renaissance humanists. The Renaissance author Giorgio Vasari used the term "Rebirth" in his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters and Architects but the concept became widespread only in the 19th century, after the works of scholars such as Jules Michelet and Jacob Burckhardt; the Renaissance began in Tuscany, was centred in the city of Florence. Florence, one of the several city-states of the peninsula, rose to economic prominence by providing credit for European monarchs and laying down the groundwork for capitalism and banking; the Renaissance spread to Venice, heart of a mediterranean empire and in control of the trade routes with the east since the participation in the crusades and the voyages of Marco Polo, where the remains of ancient Greek culture were brought together and provided humanist scholars with new texts.
The Renaissance had a significant effect on the Papal States and Rome rebuilt by Humanist and Renaissance popes, who were involved in Italian politics, in arbitrating disputes between competing colonial powers and in opposing the Reformation. The Italian Renaissance is best known for its achievements in painting, sculpture, music, philosophy and exploration. Italy became the recognized European leader in all these areas by the late 15th century, during the Peace of Lodi agreed between Italian states; the Italian Renaissance peaked in the mid-16th century as domestic disputes and foreign invasions plunged the region into the turmoil of the Italian Wars. However, the ideas and ideals of the Italian Renaissance endured and spread into the rest of Europe, setting off the Northern Renaissance. Italian explorers from the maritime republics served under the auspices of European monarchs, ushering the Age of discovery; the most famous among them are Christopher Columbus who sailed for Spain, Giovanni da Verrazzano for France, Amerigo Vespucci for Portugal, John Cabot for England.
Italian scientists such as Falloppio, Galileo, played a key role in the scientific revolution and foreigners such as Copernicus and Vesalius worked in Italian universities. Various events and dates of the 17th century, such as the conclusion of the European Wars of Religion in 1648, have been proposed for the end of the Renaissance. Accounts of Renaissance literature begin with the three great poets of the 14th century: Dante Alighieri and Boccaccio. Famous vernacular poets of the Renaissance include the renaissance epic authors Luigi Pulci, Matteo Maria Boiardo, Ludovico Ariosto and Torquato Tasso. 15th-century writers such as the poet Poliziano and the Platonist philosopher Marsilio Ficino made extensive translations from both Latin and Greek. In the early 16th century, Castiglione laid out his vision of the ideal gentleman and lady in The Book of the Courtier, while Machiavelli cast a jaundiced eye on "la verità effettuale della cosa"—the actual truth of things—in The Prince, composed, in humanistic style, chiefly of parallel ancient and modern examples of Virtù.
Historians of the period include Machiavelli himself, his friend and critic Francesco Guicciardini and Giovanni Botero. The Aldine Press, founded by the printer Aldo Manuzio, active in Venice, developed Italic type and portable printed books that could be carried in one's pocket, as well as being the first to publish editions of books in Ancient Greek. Venice became the birthplace of the Commedia dell'Arte. Italian Renaissance art exercised a dominant influence on subsequent European painting and sculpture for centuries afterwards, with artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Giotto di Bondone, Fra Angelico, Piero della Francesca, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Perugino and Titian; the same is true for architecture, as practiced by Brunelleschi, Leon Battista Alberti, Andrea Palladio, Bramante. Their works include, to name only a few, the Florence Cathedral, St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Tempio Malatestiano in Rimini, as well as several private residences; the musical era of the Italian Renaissance was defined by the Roman School and by the Venetian School and the birth of Opera in Florence.
In philosophy, thinkers such as Galileo, Giordano Bruno and Pico della Mirandola, emphasized naturalism and humanism, thus rejecting dogma and scholasticism. By the Late Middle Ages, the former heartland of the Roman Empire, southern Italy were poorer than the North. Rome was a city of ancient ruins, the Papal States were loosely administered, vulnerable to external interference such as that of France, Spain; the Papacy was affronted when the Avignon Papacy was created in southern France as a consequence of pressure from King Philip the Fair of France. In the south, Sicily had for some time been under foreign domination, by the Arabs and the Normans. Sicily had prospered for 150 years during the Emirate of Sicily and for two centuries during the Norman Kingdom and the Hohenstaufen Kingdom, but had declined by the late
Lecce is a historic city of 95,766 inhabitants in southern Italy, the capital of the province of Lecce, the second province in the region by population, as well as one of the most important cities of Apulia. It is the main city of the Salentine Peninsula, a sub-peninsula at the heel of the Italian Peninsula and is over 2,000 years old; because of the rich Baroque architectural monuments found in the city, Lecce is nicknamed "The Florence of the South". The city has a long traditional affinity with Greek culture going back to its foundation. To this day, in the Grecìa Salentina, a group of towns not far from Lecce, the griko language is still spoken. In terms of industry, the "Lecce stone"—a particular kind of limestone—is one of the city's main exports, because it is soft and workable, thus suitable for sculptures. Lecce is an important agricultural centre, chiefly for its olive oil and wine production, as well as an industrial centre specializing in ceramic production. Vito Fazzi Medical Center is the biggest medical center in Apulia.
According to legend, a city called Sybar existed at the time of the Trojan War, founded by the Messapii. It was conquered by the Romans in the 3rd century BC. Under the emperor Hadrian the city was moved 3 kilometres to the northeast, taking the name of Licea or Litium. Lecce was connected to the Hadrian Port. Orontius of Lecce, locally called Sant'Oronzo, is considered to have served as the city's first Christian bishop and is Lecce's patron saint. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Lecce was sacked by the Ostrogoth king Totila in the Gothic Wars, it was restored to Roman rule in 549, remained part of the Eastern Empire for five centuries, with brief conquests by Saracens, Lombards and Slavs. After the Norman conquest in the 11th century, Lecce regained commercial and political importance, flourishing in the subsequent Hohenstaufen and Angevine rule; the County of Lecce was one of the largest and most important fiefs in the Kingdom of Sicily from 1053 to 1463, when it was annexed directly to the crown.
From the 15th century, Lecce was one of the most important cities of southern Italy, starting in 1630, it was enriched with precious Baroque monuments. To avert invasion by the Ottomans, a new line of walls and a castle were built by Charles V, in the first part of the 16th century. In 1656, a plague broke out in the city. In 1943, fighter aircraft based in Lecce helped support isolated Italian garrisons in the Aegean Sea during World War 2; because they were delayed by the Allies, they couldn't prevent a defeat. In 1944 and 1945, B-24 long-range bombers of the 98th Heavy Bomber Group attached to the 15th U. S. Army Air Force were based in Lecce, from where the crews flew missions over Italy, the Balkans, Austria and France. Church of the Holy Cross: Construction of the Chiesa di Santa Croce) was begun in 1353, but work halted until 1549, it was completed only by 1695; the church has a richly decorated façade with animals, grotesque figures and vegetables, a large rose window. Next to the church is the Government Palace, a former convent.
Lecce Cathedral: The church was built in 1144, rebuilt in 1230 totally restored in the 1659–70 by Giuseppe Zimbalo, who built the five storey 70-metre high bell tower, with an octagonal loggia. San Niccolò and Cataldo The church is an example of Italo-Norman architecture, it was founded by Tancred of Sicily in 1180. In 1716 the façade was rebuilt, with the addition of numerous statues, but maintaining the original Romanesque portal; the walls were frescoed during the 15th-17th centuries. Celestine Convent: Built in Baroque-style by Giuseppe Zimbalo; the courtyard was designed by Gabriele Riccardi. Santa Irene: This church was commissioned in 1591 by the Theatines and dedicated to Saint Irene; the architect was Francesco Grimaldi). It has a large façade showing different styles in lower parts. Above the portal stands a statue of Ste Irene by Mauro Manieri; the interior is rather sober. The main altarpiece is a copy of the St Michael the Archangel by Guido Reni; the high altar has a Transport of the Holy Ark by Oronzo Tiso.
In the right transept is one of the largest altars in Lecce, dedicated to Saint Cajetan. Nearby is the Rococo altar of Saint Andrew Avellino. From the mid-17th century is the Altar of St Orontius by Francesco Antonio Zimbalo, followed by the altar of Saint Irene with a canvas by Giuseppe Verrio, nine busts of saints housing relics and a large statue of the saint; the altar of Saint Stephen has the Stoning of St. Stephen by Verrio. San Matteo: This church was built in 1667, it has a typical central Italy Baroque style. It has two columns on the façade, only one of, decorated, though only partially. According to a local legend, the jealous devil killed the sculptor. Santa Maria degli Angeli Santa Chiara: This church was built in 1429–1438, rebuilt in 1687. San Francesco della Scarpa: Known as the "church without façade" as the latter has been demolished in the 19th century restorations; the most ancient section dates to the 13th-14th centuries. Notable are a large statue of Saint Joseph. Column of statue of St Oronzo: wa
Poland the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With a population of 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north and Ukraine to the east and Czech Republic, to the south, Germany to the west; the establishment of the Polish state can be traced back to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin; this union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791.
More than a century after the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. More than six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war. In 1947, the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic. Poland is regional power, it has the fifth largest economy by GDP in the European Union and one of the most dynamic economies in the world achieving a high rank on the Human Development Index. Additionally, the Polish Stock Exchange in Warsaw is the largest and most important in Central Europe. Poland is a developed country, which maintains a high-income economy along with high standards of living, life quality, safety and economic freedom.
Having a developed school educational system, the country provides free university education, state-funded social security, a universal health care system for all citizens. Poland has 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Poland is a member state of the European Union, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrád Group; the origin of the name "Poland" derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta river basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century. The origin of the name "Polanie" itself derives from the early Slavic word "pole". In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites, which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I. Early Bronze Age in Poland begun around 2400 BC, while the Iron Age commenced in 750 BC. During this time, the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prominent; the most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, around 700 BC.
Throughout the Antiquity period, many distinct ancient ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland in an era that dates from about 400 BC to 500 AD. These groups are identified as Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes. Recent archeological findings in the Kujawy region, confirmed the presence of the Roman Legions on the territory of Poland; these were most expeditionary missions sent out to protect the amber trade. The exact time and routes of the original migration and settlement of Slavic peoples lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented; the Slavic tribes who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD. Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism. With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church.
However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s. Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty. Poland's first documented ruler, Mieszko I, accepted Christianity with the Baptism of Poland in 966, as the new official religion of his subjects; the bulk of the population converted in the course of the next few centuries. In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, Wrocław. However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer. In 1109, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the Ge
Brindisi is a city in the region of Apulia in southern Italy, the capital of the province of Brindisi, on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The city has played an important role in trade and culture, due to its strategic position on the Italian Peninsula and its natural port on the Adriatic Sea; the city remains a major port for trade with the Middle East. Its industries include agriculture, chemical works, the generation of electricity; the city of Brindisi was the provisional government seat of the Kingdom of Italy from September 1943 to February 1944. Brindisi is situated on a natural harbour, that penetrates into the Adriatic coast of Apulia. Within the arms of the outer harbour islands are Pedagne, a tiny archipelago not open and in use for military purposes; the entire municipality is part of the Brindisi Plain, characterised by high agricultural uses of its land. It is located in the northeastern part of the Salento plains, about 40 kilometres from the Itria Valley, the low Murge. Not far from the city is the Natural Marine Reserve of the World Wide Fund for Nature of Torre Guaceto.
The Ionian Sea is about 45 kilometres away. The territory of Brindisi is characterised by a wide flat area from which emerge sub deposits of limestone and sand of marine origin, which in turn have a deeper level clay of the Pleistocene era, an later Mesozoic carbonate composed of limestone and soils; the development of agriculture, has caused an increase in the use of water resources resulting in an increase of indiscriminate use. Brindisi enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Summers are sometimes humid with abundant sunshine. Summer heat indexes can be over 30 °C and as high as 37 °C during July and August. Winters are mild with frequent rain. Brindisi and the topographically flat Salento peninsula is subject to light winds during the majority of the year; the two main winds in Salento are the Sirocco. The northerly Bora wind from the Adriatic sea is cooling, moderating summer heat and increasing winter wind chill; the southerly Sirocco wind from the Sahara, brings higher temperatures and humidity to Salento.
During spring and autumn, Sirocco winds can bring thunderstorms dropping red sand from the Sahara in the region. Snow is rare in Brindisi but occurred during the January 2017 cold spell which brought snow and ice to much of southern Italy. There are several traditions concerning its founders; the geographer Strabo says. Brindisi was an Ancient Greek settlement predating the Roman expansion; the Latin name Brundisium comes from the Greek Brentesion meaning "deer's head", which refers to the shape of the natural harbor. In 267 BC it was conquered by the Romans. In the promontory of the Punta lands, located in the outer harbor have been identified as a Bronze Age village where a group of huts, protected by an embankment of stones, yielded fragments of Mycenaean pottery. Herodotus spoke of the Mycenaean origin for these populations; the necropolis of Tor Pisana returned Corinthian jars in the first half of the 7th century BC. The Brindisi Messapia entertained strong business relationships with the opposite side of the Adriatic and the Greek populations of the Aegean Sea.
After the Punic Wars it became a major center of Roman maritime trade. In the Social War it received Roman citizenship, was made a free port by Sulla, it suffered, from a siege conducted by Caesar in 49 BC and was again attacked in 42 and 40 BC. The poet Pacuvius was born here about 220 BC, here the famous poet Virgil died in 19 BC. Under the Romans, Brundisium – a large city in its day with some 100,000 inhabitants – was an active port, the chief point of embarkation for Greece and the East, via Dyrrachium or Corcyra, it was connected with Rome by the Via Traiana. The termination of the Via Appia, at the water's edge, was flanked by two fine pillars. Only one remains, the second having been misappropriated and removed to the neighbouring town of Lecce. Brindisi was conquered by Ostrogoths, reconquered by the Byzantine Empire in the 6th century AD. In 674 it was destroyed by the Lombards led by Romuald I of Benevento, but such a fine natural harbor meant that the city was soon rebuilt. In the 9th century, a Saracen settlement existed in the neighborhood of the city, stormed in 836 by pirates.
In 1070, it was conquered by the Normans and became part of the Principality of Taranto and the Duchy of Apulia, was the first rule of the Counts of Conversano and after the baronial revolt of 1132, city-owned by the will of Roger II of Sicily, the city recovered some of the splendor of the past during the period of the Crusades, when it regained the Episcopal See, saw the construction of the new cathedral and a castle with an important new arsenal, became a privileged port for the Holy Land. It was in the cathedral of Brindisi that the wedding of Norman Prince Roger III of Sicily took place, son of King Tancred of Sicily. Emperor Frederick II, the heir to the crown of Jerusalem and Isabella of Brienne started from the port of Brindisi in 1227 for the Sixth Crusade Frederick II erected a castle, with huge round towers, to guard the inner harbour. Like other Pugliese ports, Brindisi for
Carovigno is a town and comune in the province of Brindisi and region of Apulia, in southern Italy. The country around, in the Upper Salento, is renowned for the production of high quality olive oil. Carovigno is on the northern part of Salento It is 161 metres above sea level, 7 kilometres from the Adriatic and 30 kilometres from Brindisi. Nearest towns are Ostuni, 5 kilometres away, San Vito dei Normanni at 6 kilometres and San Michele Salentino at 10 kilometres; the Dentice di Frasso Castle. It was built in the 14th-15th century. Castle of Serranova Santa Sabina Tower and Guaceto Tower, two coastal watchtowers built in the 16th century Home of the renowned Cavaliere della Republica Teodosio Iaia, the author of the book "Vi racconto una storia" Carovigno is twinned with: Corfu, Greece Carovigno - Salento high coast of the trulli
Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,372,810 while its metropolitan city has a population of 3,245,308. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres; 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 and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age. Milan is considered a leading alpha global city, with strengths in the field of the art, design, entertainment, finance, media, services and tourism, its business district hosts Italy's stock exchange and the headquarters of national and international banks and companies.
In terms of GDP, it has the third-largest economy among European cities after Paris and London, but the fastest in growth among the three, is the wealthiest among European non-capital cities. Milan is considered part of the Blue Banana and one of the "Four Motors for Europe"; the city has been recognized as one of the world's four fashion capitals thanks to several international events and fairs, including Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair, which are among the world's biggest in terms of revenue and growth. It hosted the Universal Exposition in 1906 and 2015; the city hosts numerous cultural institutions and universities, with 11% of the national total enrolled students. 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; the city is served by a large number of luxury hotels and is the fifth-most starred in the world by Michelin Guide.
The city is home to two of Europe's most successful football teams, A. C. Milan and F. C. Internazionale, one of Italy's main basketball teams, Olimpia Milano; the etymology of the name Milan remains uncertain. One theory holds that the Latin name Mediolanum planus. However, some scholars believe that lanum comes from the Celtic root lan, meaning an enclosure or demarcated territory in which Celtic communities used to build shrines. Hence Mediolanum could signify the central sanctuary of a Celtic tribe. Indeed, about sixty Gallo-Roman sites in France bore the name "Mediolanum", for example: Saintes and Évreux. In addition, another theory links the name to the boar sow an ancient emblem of the city, fancifully accounted for in Andrea Alciato's Emblemata, beneath a woodcut of the first raising of the city walls, where a boar is seen lifted from the excavation, the etymology of Mediolanum given as "half-wool", explained in Latin and in French; the foundation of Milan is credited to two Celtic peoples, the Bituriges and the Aedui, having as their emblems a ram and a boar.
Alciato credits Ambrose for his account. The Celtic Insubres, the inhabitants of the region of northern Italy called Insubria, appear to have founded Milan around 600 BC. According to the legend reported by Livy, the Gaulish king Ambicatus sent his nephew Bellovesus into northern Italy at the head of a party drawn from various Gaulish tribes; the Romans, led by consul Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, fought the Insubres and captured the city in 222 BC. They conquered the entirety of the region, calling the new province "Cisalpine Gaul" – "Gaul this side of the Alps" – and may have given the site its Latinized Celtic name of Mediolanum: in Gaulish *medio- meant "middle, center" and the name element -lanon is the Celtic equivalent of Latin -planum "plain", thus *Mediolanon meant " in the midst of the plain". In 286 the Roman Emperor Diocletian moved the capital of the Western Roman Empire from Rome to Mediolanum. Diocletian himself chose to reside at Nicomedia in the Eastern Empire, leaving his colleague Maximian at Milan.
Maximian built several gigantic monuments, the large circus, the thermae or "Baths of Hercules", a large complex of imperial palaces and other services and buildings of which fewer visible traces remain. Maximian increased the city area surrounded by a new, larger stone wall encompassing an area of 375 acres with many 24-sided towers; the monumental area had twin towers. From Mediolanum the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 313 AD, granting tolerance to all religions within the Empire, thus paving the way for Christianity to become the dominant religion of Roman Europe. Constantine had come to Mediolanum to celebrate the wedding of his sister