Milan, located in northern Italy, is the country’s second-largest city. It is the centre of the wealthy Lombardy region and is home to a large expat population.
While Rome is the political and historical heart of Italy, Milan is its financial leader and cultural trendsetter. Home to the country’s stock exchange and the offices of many multinational corporations, modern Milan is a buzzing commercial centre that’s best known as one of the world’s fashion capitals.
The city has a reputation for being incredibly work-orientated, but the work-life balance remains favourable thanks to its many annual events and varied social opportunities, especially those related to design.
As a key element of the lifestyle in Milan, fashion is a top priority for many residents and the Milanese people seem to do everything with style. They are also passionate about food and sports. As such, there are plenty of restaurants, shops and cultural attractions, and watching one of the city’s top two football teams, the globally renowned AC Milan and FC Internazionale, in action at the local stadium is a must.
Properties in Milan are some of the most expensive in Italy, but the choices are varied and include everything from inner-city apartments to spacious suburban villas and beyond. An extensive public transport system makes it easy to get from home to work and school.
Milan also has a good selection of public schools, but expats who don’t intend on staying too long might prefer to send their children to one of the city's several international schools.
Despite being known for its man-made attractions such as Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Last Supper and the Duomo, Milan's central Gothic cathedral, natural beauty is within easy reach. Milan is near the Italian northern lakes, the Alps and the Dolomites – a breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The climate isn’t typically Mediterranean, but summers are hot and humid, with temperatures rising above 30°C (86°F). Winters are cold and wet with temperatures occasionally dropping below freezing.
Expats who enjoy working in Italy's commercial centre while bathing in the splendour of one of the most fashionable cities in the world will find Milan to be a glorious expat destination.
►Get a sense of the culture and way of life in the city by reading about Lifestyle in Milan
"I enjoy the diversity of the people in Milan. It is a very international and open city." Get some insights into life in Milan from Diana's interivew.
"The quality of life is very different to what I’m used to – there are many upsides and some downsides..." Read Alice's experiences to get a feel of the pros and cons of moving to Milan.
Are you an expat living in Milan?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Milan. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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