City Guide: Milan
It’s no wonder that so many expats choose to move from London to Italy. This is a country of intense beauty, both of the man-made and the natural kind. Awe-inspiring historical monuments and beautiful artworks stand alongside romantic, scenic landscapes that can’t help but capture your heart. And that’s not to mention the universally adored cuisine – trust us, you haven’t tried pizza and ice-cream until you’ve tried authentic Italian pizza and ice-cream, along with the seasonal salads, wines, cheeses and extensive menu of national dishes on offer.
As the second largest city in Italy, Milan makes a natural choice for many professionals looking to make their mark in a new country. The city combines a glamorous, business-focused feel with the sort of traditional cultural treasures you would expect from a country that was the seat of the Renaissance artists and the mighty Roman Empire.
Milan is the commercial hub of Italy, with the highest per capita income in the country. It paves the way in terms of chemical and textile manufacturing as well as maintaining a strong presence in the glass, leather, silk, pharmaceutical, clothing, publishing and aircraft industries. Milan is also a key city for the stock exchange. However, it is also undoubtedly a pricey city to live in – many expats choose to base themselves outside of the city centre, settling in the Greater Milan area instead.
Based in the north, the climate of the city is different to the Mediterranean heat that takes hold the further you journey south. Expect warm summers but cool winters, with plenty of rainfall in between.
What to do in Milan
Although the streets of Milan are not paved with the same sort of nostalgic beauty as Rome or Venice, it exhibits touches of culture and history that take sophistication to new levels. The Pinacoteca de Brera offers enough Italian art treasures to satisfy the soul of any culture vulture, while the magnificent Gothic cathedral, the Duomo, dominates the spectacular skyline of the city.
The name Milan is synonymous with the fashion industry and, as you can imagine, this is a city where your credit card can expect a thorough work-out. Visit Via Monte Napoleone for the crème de la crème of shopping – Gucci, Versace, Armani and Prada all have stores here.
Additionally, this elegant city offers a bustling nightlife with sophisticated bars, stylish coffeehouses and plenty of opportunities to indulge in all genres of music, from opera at the world-famous La Scala to jazz bars tucked away in the backstreets.
Milan doesn’t just attract lovers of the city life, though; its close proximity to the stunning Italian lake district means that a weekend away at Lake Garda, Como or Maggiore – with their resorts and opportunities for family-friendly fun – are just round the corner.
Living in Milan
The education system in Milan offers free academic and vocational training options, but the majority of expats choose international schools for their children – this is particularly advisable for those with no Italian language skills. These institutions come with a price-tag but cater to a wider range of international students.
Although there is a substantial expat population in the city, picking up some Italian is most definitely a good idea. Italians are a friendly bunch and a little language goes a long way – classes for you and your family can help you to fully immerse in Italian life and begin to live like a local.
If you are considering moving to Italy, Cadogan Tate will assist you every step of the way – from your first enquiry to unpacking at your new home, we are here to help and advise you. For more details about Cadogan Tate’s specialist international removals services from London, click here.
Information correct at time of publication.