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Milan stands 122 meters above sea level on the edge of the upper and lower plains, in a long privileged position on the main lines of communication linking the Mediterranean area to Central Europe. One of the most important industrial and commercial centers in Europe, Milan is a large metropolis extending over an area consisting of almost thirty municipalities.
Despite its prevalently modern appearance, the city has a heritage of artistic treasures and famous monuments. Prominent is the Duomo in the city center, a magnificent building which took five centuries to finish (14th-19th century) without ever betraying the dictates of Gothic architecture, with its 135 spires and the famous gilt statue of the "Madonnina", the real symbol of Milan. Not to be forgotten are the Romanesque Basilica of Sant’ Ambrogio (4th-12th century), the church of Sant’ Eustorgio, also Romanesque, the Castello Sforzesco (15th century castle), Ospedale Maggiore (15th century hospital), the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (15th century) with Leonardo da Vinci’s "Last Supper" in the adjoining monastery, the Baroque building of Brera and the Neoclassic La Scala theater.