Adjusting to the Milanese lifestyle

Adapting to the culture in Milan
Updated 2019-05-29 09:28

How a person might perceive Milan depends on their personal background and aspirations. For those who come from smaller cities, it may seem large and chaotic, while those who come from other large metropolises believe it to be a light experience. The reality is that Milan is a mix of both worlds; it offers both comfort and excitement simultaneously.

Roaming around the city

Overall, Milan is a fast-paced city and leaves a feeling that everyone is on a constant rush, especially during the commuting hours. The continuous influx of people and large noises mix the daily lives of the different characters that cross it. One thing is for sure, a café and a cornetto al pistachio are a must for a good beginning of the day. Everything else after comes easy.

ATM- Azienda Trasporti Milanesi

Transport is an option of choice, as it offers a well organized and reachable metro that has four active lines (M1 Red, M2 Green, M3 Yellow, M5 Purple), while there is a fifth Blue line under construction. Other public transport alternatives are buses and trolleys. The tickets cost ⬠1.50 in one direction, with the possibility to buy a daily, weekly or monthly pass. The only exceptions are the extra-urban areas that cost ⬠2.50. Tickets can be purchased at the metro stations or in small shops called tabaccherie.


For those who want to escape the rush, there are many public and private bike sharing options: BikeMi, Ofo, and Mobike. Buying a bike is also an easy and convenient option. However, bike theft is very high, so it is important to get a second-hand bike with a secure lock. The city offers some bike tracks, and while it is not as bike-friendly as the North European, it still has plenty of cyclists all year round.

Driving in Milan

Driving in Milan, for those who live in the central areas is not the most comfortable option. Also, you have to be careful about the Zone a traffico limitato (areas of limited mobility), known as ZTL and the Area C, as these are areas where access and the free circulation of vehicles are allowed at scheduled times and is otherwise paid. There are also preferential lines reserved for the transit of public transport and mopeds, so it is wise to check beforehand where one is heading. The city offers car-sharing options such as DriveNow, Car2go, and Enjoy.

Student options

Milan is a student city, and there are plenty of private and public universities that offer international curricula like Bocconi University, the Catholic University Sacred Heart, and the Polytechnic University. Some universities provide student housing, but it is limited, and plenty of students decide to find their own shared room or apartment in the university area. The cost of living is significantly higher than in the other cities in Italy. However, it does offer possibilities even for those on a tight budget. It has cheap supermarkets gyms that cost around ⬠20 per month, and restaurants that offer 50% discounted menus for students. Working part-time while studying is manageable, and there are plenty of possibilities such as English or Math lessons, or babysitting.

Finding a job

Looking for a job in Milan is a job itself and requires great dedication and constant curiosity. The city offers plenty of options and multinational companies, but it also has a lot of demand, so it is important to do continuous networking and to follow the job fairs and the latest trends of the industry of interest. The best places to search for a job are the job-related social networks like LinkedIn and Monster, but job agencies can also be very helpful in finding the right opportunities.

Creating friendships

Socializing is very easy in Milan, mainly because of its international character. Many international groups offer language exchange, sports and aperitivos that make it easy for like-minded people to meet. Creating a local connection might seem like a more difficult task, especially without knowledge of the language, which is the main prerequisite for making Italian friends. The Milanese, in particular, are perceived as cold, reserved and only interested in business. This stereotype, however, is not true as the diversity of the city makes the real Milanese almost extinct. Milan is a very pet-friendly city, and the people adore their dogs, so there is virtually no area where dogs are not allowed.

Enjoying the opportunities

Milan is known as an event-city, and there are periods of the year in which the city turns into a big widespread event that one cannot miss. These are the days of the Fuorisalone (The Design Week) and the fashion weeks, but even ordinary days and Sundays are characterised by events, exhibitions and concerts that make the risk of getting bored impossible. Finally, it is important to understand that those who choose to live in Milan often do so for the culture that distinguishes the city by being open, fun and inclusive.

Useful links:

Linkiesta ' Living in Milan
Fringe in Travel
Esperienze Viaggi Mondo

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