Milan

Milan is still the heart of Italian fashion, design and finance, the gateway to Italy's industrial north. However, in recent years the city has lost some of its lustre and organisational flair. Anyone who has not visited Milan for several years will notice the difference; there is now a weary air about the city, instead of the bustling confidence of even a decade ago. The restoration of buildings and art treasures has fallen behind that in Rome.
The traffic is just as chaotic as in Italy's capital city and even with two airports and several train stations, travel in and out of the city can be difficult, especially in winter. However public transport within the city is excellent, thanks to the efficient metro and bus services.
There are few parks and sports facilities, perhaps because the Alps and the Italian lakes, with their winter and water sports, are only a couple of hours away. The choice of facilities for English-speaking expatriates is not as good as it is in Rome, with only four international schools, two English-speaking churches (one Roman Catholic and one Anglican) and two bookshops (see resources for addresses and telephone numbers). However, most north Europeans will feel more at home in Milan than in Rome. The city is within an easy drive of France, Switzerland, Austria and Germany and the history and efficiency of its neighbours is reflected in the way Milan goes about its business. The magnificent restoration of its cathedral (the duomo) and the on-going remodernisation of the central railway station in addition to two new major property developments, one in the heart of the city (between Porta Garibaldi railway station and Porta Nuova) and the other by the British architect Sir Norman Foster on the south eastern outskirts (Milano S. Giulia), could give this proud old city a new sense of purpose.

Arco della Pace
Arco della Pace

This is a very elegant, neat and rather characterless part of the city. It is northwest of the cathe...

Bicocca
Bicocca

Once an old industrial area, Bicocca was redeveloped in the 1990s and is the centre for both the cit...

Brera
Brera

This is the most elegant part of the city. In the winding streets north of the cathedral (Il Duomo)...

Chinatown
Chinatown

A few streets north of Arco della Pace is the centre of Chinatown, in Via Paolo Sarpi. The first Chi...

Corso Como
Corso Como

This has become one of the city’s fashionable nightlife centres. Here there are clubs, restaur...

Fiera
Fiera

A complete contrast to nearby Arco della Pace, this is a solid no-nonsense commercial area centred a...

Isola
Isola

West of Milan's Central Station and North of the City center, you find the 19th Century quarters of...

Milan 2
Milan 2

Also known as Segrate, this is a self-contained community which came into existence thanks to ex-pri...

Milano S. Giulia project
Milano S. Giulia project

Designed by British architect Sir Norman Foster, this new area on the southeast outskirts of Milan w...

Montenapoleone, Duomo
Montenapoleone, Duomo

This is the smart shopping zone of the city, one of the world’s most sought-after and famous f...

Navigli
Navigli

This is the charming area built around the city’s once vital system of canals. It is now a trendy pl...

Porta Magenta
Porta Magenta

There is a quiet orderliness about this area of the city. Here the streets are much wider than in th...

Porta Nuova
Porta Nuova

Sandwiched between Corso Como and Porta Venezia and bordering Montenapoleone, Porta Nuova is quite d...

Porta Romana
Porta Romana

This is a mainly residential area with several important thoroughfares running across it and into th...

Porta Ticinese, S. Ambrogio
Porta Ticinese, S. Ambrogio

To the southwest of the centrally located cathedral (Il Duomo), this area is characterised by mediae...

Porta Venezia, Corso Buenos Aires
Porta Venezia, Corso Buenos Aires

This is a prime shopping area without the elegance, or the prices, of Montenapoleone. Porta Venezia...

Tortona, Solari
Tortona, Solari

Tortona or Solari (both names are used) is one of the up-and-coming areas of Milan. It hit the headl...