Milan, with a population of nearly one and a half million, is Italy’s second largest city after Rome, and its metropolitan area is one of the largest in Europe. There are not a few foreigners who currently are living in Milan. The location is not the best, Milan is neither at the foot of the mountains nor at the sea. It takes 2/3 hours by car to reach both. Although the city is well connected to the main Italian cities, Rome can be reached at high speed in less than three hours. The two airports connect the city with the main cities of Europe and the world.
Compared to other major Italian cities, the city is characterized by an extremely efficient public transportation system. Although there are only a few subway lines, there is a dense network of buses and streetcars that connect the entire city. There are few bike lanes in Milan, although the city government plans to expand them in the future.
Although Milan is the financial and commercial center of the country, bureaucracy is also a problem here, although to a lesser extent than in other parts of the country due to its slowness.
The city is quite safe, acts of violence or armed robbery are quite rare, but assaults, thefts and burglaries are commonplace, and there are whole neighborhoods or even central areas of the city that are better not visited at night.
Speaking of climate, when you think of the Italian climate, you certainly do not think of the Milan climate. Winters can be very cold and temperatures can even drop below freezing, while summer temperatures can easily reach 35 °C and above.
The best solution is to stay indoors and turn on the air conditioning. Spring, on the other hand, with its 15-20 °C, is the perfect season to enjoy the city to the fullest. Autumn is characterized by abundant rains.
Milan is undoubtedly the most expensive city in Italy. It starts with housing, which is prohibitively expensive in the city center, and ends with the cost of services, entertainment and leisure, which is much higher than in any other city in the country.
Since you eat well everywhere in Italy, Milan’s cuisine is certainly not among the top cuisines in Italy, but there is no shortage of restaurants of all kinds, including many with stars.
The Milanese are known as stressed people, always on the go and constantly talking about work and business. But although Milan is undoubtedly the most hectic and stressful city in Italy, people also try to enjoy life, and at the end of the working day, an evening aperitif with friends marks the beginning of social life. In any case, the Milanese does not conform to the stereotype of the typical Italian, like the Roman, to put it bluntly. People are more reserved, minding their own business and less interested in making new contacts, preferring to hang out with their old circle of friends.
The city offers a lively cultural scene, it is full of museums, exhibitions and concerts, without forgetting La Scala theater, which is undoubtedly the most important Italian theater. There are endless opportunities to have fun and thanks to the numerous events that take place throughout the year, there is always something new to experience.
When it comes to work, Milan is undoubtedly the city that offers the most job opportunities. Most of the multinational companies present in Italy are based here, the most important financial, legal, technological, design and commercial companies are located in Milan, not to mention the fashion sector and all the related industries. Milan is the only Italian city that offers real professional opportunities in many sectors.
For those who want to start a business, the city also offers many opportunities. Its efficiency, its excellent infrastructures and its costs, which are lower than those of other major European capitals, make it attractive for the creation of new businesses.
Living and working in Milan pros and cons
Living and in Milan, pros
- Best Italian city in terms of job opportunities
- Good cultural scene
- Good transport system
- Well organized and international city
Living in Milan, cons
- High pollution
- People colder than the Italian average
- Cold weather in winter and very hot/humid weather in summer
- Typical Italian bureaucracy
- It is hard to survive with only English, you have to know at least a little Italian
- The most expensive Italian city
- Crowded, chaotic and stressful city
- Much less nice than other Italian cities
Living and working in Milan, conclusion
Milan is undoubtedly the most international city in the country, visited by businessmen from all over the world. It has some of the best universities in Italy (Bocconi). It offers an enviable cultural panorama. Services are generally of good quality (education, transport, public offices, health, etc.) and here you will find the best job opportunities in many fields, from marketing to finance and from IT to research. So if you like a hectic life with daily time trials, Milan could be the right place for you.
If you are interested in finding a job in Milan, I recommend you read the article: Finding jobs in Italy