Risotto and more specifically Il Risotto alla milanese, with saffron, is the symbol of Milano.
(Risotto and ossobuco)
Rice was introduced in Europe in the XIV century, the House of Aragona ruled southern Italy at that time, and apparently they brought rice in Napoli.
Only later on it became popular in Northern Italy.
Saffron was used by painters, and, according to the legend, a flamish artist working in the Duomo di Milano, one day was eating his lunch at work, and by mistake pour some saffron in the bowl of rice he was eating. The yellow rice looked so yummy, he tasted it and… et voilà.
A different version says that rice with saffron was common among the Jewish community.
Whatever is the truth, in the XVI century, official documents describe risotto as the most traditional milanese dish.
(See also “I miss risotto – 1” https://misshome.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/230-i-miss-risotto-1/ )