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“Franza o Spagna purche se magna” is a cynical saying that translates as “France or Spain, it doesn’t matter, just as long as we get to eat”. From the 16th to the 19th century, Milan has alternately been in the hands of the Spaniards, Austrians and French. Many buildings and squares still recall that domination.
The Spaniards, who ruled the city from 1535-1706, built new walls in the early years of which only the Porta Romana gate is left. While the Spanish wall may no longer stand, the gate can still be visited. Porta Romana stands at the crossroads of the Piazza Medaglie d'Oro, about 2 kilometres southeast of the city centre.