What Is Expat Life in Milan Like?
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to move to and live in Milan?
Or are you planning to spend some time in this fashion capital and are you looking for tips to make your stay in Milan more enjoyable?
In this Ask an Expat series I interview people living all over the world but outside of their home country.
I try to help paint an honest picture of the ups and downs of life abroad, share tips for anyone thinking about moving abroad and information about the city, town or country the expat lives in.
Living in Milan, Italy
Name: Rakelle Maurici
Home town: Buckinghamshire, UK
“My family is Italian but I was born and raised in the UK. They decided to move to central Italy (Umbria) 3 years ago and I took the opportunity to come over shortly after.
My intention was to stay in Italy only temporarily.
I knew I always wanted to live in Italy at some stage, and after a few months in Umbria I came to Milan to excel my career. Because I work in the fashion industry as a journalist it was an ideal home for where I was heading.
And now, two and a half years later, I am still here!”
What Do You Like About Living in Milan?
“I love that Milan is extremely walkable.
I try to walk here as much as possible so I can discover new streets, palazzos and courtyards.”
What Do You Dislike About Living in Milan?
“The international scene in Milan isn’t quite big enough for my liking.
I miss eating great Thai food and watching American films, any night of the week!”
Is Milan a Safe City to Live In?
”Milan is generally a safe city to live in, with a relatively low crime rate compared to other large cities in Italy.
I definitely feel safe Living in Milan, including when I walk around alone.
But of course, like in any big city, it is important to take certain precautions and use common sense.
Petty theft, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, does occur in crowded areas such as on public transport, around popular tourist attractions, and in busy shopping areas.
Keep your belongings close to you, especially in crowded places, and be aware of your surroundings.
There are certain neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city that are known to be less safe to walk around in, especially at night. But you won’t generally have a reason to go there anywhere.”
What Is Your Favorite Thing to Do in Milan?
“Dinner, dinner and more dinner!
I am a big foodie so eating out with friends and discovering new restaurants is my favorite thing to do in Milan.”
What Is Your Favorite Place to Hang Out in Milan?
“Marghe does the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life!
They have two locations: one on Via Plinio 6 and one on Via Cadore 26.”
What Is the Expat / International Community like in Milan?
“There are more and more expats living in Milan these days.
We’re generally from similar backgrounds and of a similar age – either creatives or here to teach English.
So we all have a lot in common, which makes it a nice international community.”
Any Tips for Moving to / Living in Milan?
“Don’t expect your life to fall into place right away. I find Milan to be quite oppressive at times.
There is an expat community here, but you don’t want to move to a place just for its foreign scene. However, mingling with locals in Milan can be hard so I’d recommend learning Italian.
Join expat groups but also try to integrate into what locals are getting up to. This way you’ll really experience life in Milan at its best!
Italy, in general, is a beautiful place but it comes with a lot of red tape, which is extremely detrimental when you’re starting a life here.
Research as much as possible before signing legal documents or housing contracts.
If you’re going to the council offices to sign up as a resident, take every document possible!”
Any Resources You Found Useful During the Process of Moving to And/Or Building a Life in Milan?
These groups were my bibles when I was looking for places to live in Milan, events going on, and places to meet new people.
There is also Internations.org which offers some useful forums. I found these particularly helpful when I was dealing with governmental issues.”
Is There Something You Just Have to See or Do When You Are in Milan?
“Rent a bike and cycle around the city!
You’ll discover so many nooks and cafes along the way, which Italy is famed for.”
Rakelle is a British-Italian writer and editor currently living in Milan, having relocated from the UK to live ‘la dolce vita’.
With over 5 years of menswear journalism experience, Italian tailoring and sartorialism peak her interest in not only her work but in her personal wardrobe too.
When she’s not telling stories about menswear, people, and places, she can be found exploring Italy and beyond.
About Milan, Italy
What makes Milan interesting compared to other places is that the city is truly more about the lifestyle of enjoying worldly pleasures: a paradise for shopping, football, opera, and nightlife.
Milan remains the marketplace for Italian fashion. Designers, artists, photographers, and models are drawn to this city.
And don’t get fooled by the modern aspect of the city. Milan is one of the most ancient cities in Europe with more than 26 centuries of history and heritage!
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- Living in Puglia, Southern Italy – Interview With an Expat
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