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The history books record that MADISON, just over an hour west of Milwaukee, was little more than a wooded, mosquito-infested swamp when it was selected to be the political nucleus of the Wisconsin Territory in 1836. The University of Wisconsin was chartered shortly thereafter in 1848, and today this stimulating, youthful metropolis is one of the most beautifully set cities in the US, with a handful of diverting museums, great restaurants and a student-fuelled nightlife scene.