Milan, capital of Lombardy, is heaven on earth for opera buffs, art lovers, fashionistas and gourmands. Headquarters to Italy’s largest banks and multinational companies, also the main industrial, commercial and financial center of Italy.

With one of the highest population and industrial densities in Europe, Milan is home to roughly 9.3 million people. Even so, its health care and education systems rank among the best.

Local sandwich bars in the business district have made paninis an art form, with some offering over 100 variations of delectable toppings.

From opera at La Scala, Milan’s haute couture powerhouse the Quadrilatero d'Oro (golden rectangle), viewing Da Vinci’s Last Supper, or  Pinacoteca di Brera art museum’s exquisite collection of works, you will find no shortage of distractions in this alpha-European city.

Just near Linate airport on the city’s outskirts, you can find Mussolini’s man-made Lake Idroscalo. Evocative of a Mediterranean resort there are beach clubs, barbecue areas, shores lined with pedalos (pedal-powered paddleboats) and three open-air swimming pools. There is truly something for everyone in Milan.

What is special or unique about your city?

With two international airports, train lines and a motorway, Milan has a great connection network to the world. Once there, it offers convenient access to mountains, lakes and the seaside.

What is the local language?

The local language is Italian but people - especially younger people - understand English.

Furthermore, Italian people are generally helpful and will go out of their way to help newcomers who do not speak Italian.

How easily could I live in this city without knowing this language?

You could manage fairly easily without knowing Italian, as people will try to help you out. However, when dealing with bureaucratic tasks involving the Italian Government, such as immigration, knowledge of Italian is absolutely necessary. In addition, many day-to-day documents, such as banking forms, are usually available in Italian only.

What are good things to remember in order to avoid offending the other residents of this city?

Italian people are friendly and easy going. 

How might the local weather affect my daily life?

Summers can be very hot and humid so, when walking around the city, it is a good idea to bring a bottle of water and wear a hat. Autumn and winter are quite rainy and, therefore, it is a good idea to carry a small umbrella in your bag.

Is there anything else I should know about the overall character of your city or its people?

People in Milan work quite long hours, especially compared to the southern parts of Italy, and are very proud of this work ethic.