Separated by economic disparity and decades of inequality, Italy’s Mezzogiorno region finds itself in the crossfire of an unyielding national divide.
Milano is believed to be guarded by the Madonnina, her statue can be seen on top of the Duomo (Milan Cathedral).
Italy is on Central European Time (CET) during most of the year, and Central European Summer Time (CET+1) during daylight savings time/the summer.
Italy is part of the Schengen Agreement, meaning that entering Italy from most other parts of the EU is pretty easy. There are no border checkpoints or customs. Document and customs checks remain standard if arriving from (or departing to) a non-Schengen country.
If you are an EU or Swiss citizen, you can travel to Italy with your national identity card alone. All other nationalities need a valid passport. Visas are not generally required if you are staying less than 90 days (or at all for EU citizens), for citizens of countries including, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and the USA.
If you are entering Italy for more than 90 days or for any reason other than tourism (such as study or work) you may need a specific visa. Click here or contact an Italian consulate for details.
Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your departure date from Italy.
The Linate Bus Service
The bus service runs from the airport to the city center. It is required to purchase tickets from the machine before boarding, and the flat rate is 1.50 Euros (USD $1.68). The bust stop is outside the airport exit. The 73 and 73X runs to the city center. The 73X is an express service and has one stop before the city center. The express ride runs from Monday to Friday. The regular bus service takes 20 minutes to reach the city center.
The Air Bus runs from Linate to Central Station. The ride costs 5 Euros (USD $5.58) and it is allowed to purchase tickets on the bus.
Taxis will cost 15-20 Euros (USD $16.75-$22.33) to the center of the city.
The train service runs from Terminal 1 of the airport to Piazza Cadorna (the center of the city), or to Central Station. The Piazza Cadorna takes 30 minutes, while the ride to Central Station will take 52 minutes.
The ride to Cadorna will cost 11 Euros (USD $12.28) and the ride to Central Station will cost 10 Euros (USD $11.17). The train operates between 5:26 AM and 12:26 AM. The train to the Central Station runs every 50-90 minutes.
Malpensa Bus Shuttle
The bus service runs from Terminal 2 to Central Milan. The ride costs 10 Euros (USD $11.17) and it is allowed to purchase tickets on the bus. The Malpensa Bus Express runs every 20 minutes and operates from 6:00 AM to 12:30 AM. The express takes 50 minutes. The regular shuttle also takes 50 minutes and runs every 20 minutes.
A taxi ride will cost 90 Euros (USD $100.51) and will take more than an hour. The taxi queue is located outside Terminal 1 on the ground level at Gate 6.
Orio al Serio (Bergamo) Airport
Shuttles are located on the right side of the airport and will cost 5 Euros (USD $5.58). Shuttles run every 30 minutes and operate between the hours of 3 AM and 12 AM.
A ride will cost 100 Euros (USD $111.67) and will take an hour.
The Milan metro is comprised of four lines and 111 stations. The lines are numbered and are labeled with different colors:
- Line M1 (red) is often used to reach the Fiera Milano.
- Line M2 (green) stops at Milano Centrale.
- Line M3 (yellow) stops at Duomo and Milano Centrale (two hotspots for tourism).
- Line M5 (purple) stops at Garibaldi station and Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
The Milan tram is composed of 18 lines and are numbered 1-33. The tram runs until 12am and are the fastest way of transportation in Milan. They only stop if people are waiting at the station and they cover more grounds than the Milan busses do. Tip: Busses follow the same number system as the tram but higher numbers than 33. So if you see a tram that has a number of 34 or higher it is not a tram it is actually a bus, the only exception is Line 18, which is a bus.
Milan is generally known as a safe city, and is safe for female solo travelers. However, pickpocketing and scamming risks are prevalent. Here are a few safety tips:
- Keep your purse close and secured in areas such as Central Station and Piazza Duca D’Aosta, places that attract many tourists.
- Locals suggest to avoid walking through Parco Sempione at night.
- People may come up to you with braceletes and begin placing them on you, while someone else will be trying to pickpocket behind you.
- Stay vigilant of your belongings.
- Lock your rental cars when parking them.
Milan is known for its humid summers, while the winters are very cold and produce many overcast days. The best time to visit is from April to May or September to October. You can avoid the extreme heat of summer during these months, while walk around the city without crowds of people surrounding you.
Italian is the main language of Italy, although many Italians also understand and speak English well, especially in restaurants, shops, and hotels in large cities. Here are a few words to get you through a trip.
Hello/Goodbye = Ciao (informal)
Good morning/Hello = Buongiorno
Good afternoon/Good evening = Buonasera
Goodbye = Arriverderci
Goodnight = Buonanotte
Yes = Sì
No = No
Please = Per favore
Thank you = Grazie (grah-tsee-eh)
You’re welcome = Prego
I’m sorry = Mi dispiace
Excuse me/I’m sorry = Scusa
Do you speak English? = Parla inglese?
I don’t speak Italian = Non parlo italiano
Milan is the city of design and fashion. It’s easy to fall in love with the people, scenery, and food. Here are a few tips to make the best of your time here while avoiding secret scowls from the locals:
- Don’t drink coffee during a meal. Locals see coffee as a means to digest your meal, or as another form of a past-time, so don’t be that tourist who neglects this unspoken rule.
- Try not to eat while walking. Eating meals on-the-go are frowned upon by locals as they think of meals as something to be experienced with loved ones.
- It’s not necessary to tip, nor is it expected.
- Say “Mi scusi” (excuse me) to get attention, and say “Use permesso” (permission) when you are passing people in a crowded area.
- If your invited to someone’s home, it’s recommended to bring some pastries or chocolates to make a good impression.
- Dress modestly when visiting religious areas, and wear clothing that covers the shoulders and thighs.
- Don’t drink cappuccinos after 11 AM. The rest of the day should consist of espresso or macchiattos.
- When ordering at a cafe, place your order and pay the bill at the register. Bring your receipt to the barman for drinks.
- Don’t wear gym clothes outside of the gym. The Milanese will stare at you.
- Restaurants generally don’t have options for takeaway, so savor the food there.
Italy uses Euros (€) as their currency. You’ll be able to find ATMs everywhere throughout the country. Most places will accept credit cards but prefer you pay with cash. They also don’t like splitting the bill with multiple cards so keep that in mind if you’re with a group.
Tipping! It’s not necessary, as many places have a service charge already included in the bill.
Like the rest of Europe, Italy uses one of the two European standard electrical socket types, with voltage of 220-240 Volts (U.S./Canada are 110-120 Volts.) Your converter should look like this:
Drinking water from the faucet is relatively safe in Milan. The Milanese get their supply from wells which are located near the city. The water goes through five filtration-quality tests, which further secures its drinkable quality.
Sign up for OpenWifi Milano which consists of 500 hotspots throughout the city. Free hotspots includes areas such as public libraries and museums. The program allows the user unlimited access to wifi and is continually installing more hotspots throughout the city.
You can buy SIM cards at the airport or at main train stations. The most popular brands for SIM cards are TIM and Wind. When arriving to Milan Central Station, visit the TIM or WIND store. The TIM store is on the ground level, while WIND is on floor -1.
The Milanese use taxi apps such as MyTaxi (which is now referred to as FreeNow) and ItTaxi. The functions of both apps are similar to Uber and Lyft, and cost the same as street taxis. With MyTaxi, you are allowed to schedule 3 rides at the same time, and the “Taxi Radar” shows you taxis nearby.
Ubers are not as popular as regular taxis as they are known to be more expensive in Milan (A taxi ride from Malpensa Airport to Central Milan costs 90 Euros, while an Uber ride costs 164 Euros).
Street taxis are also prevalent in the streets of Milan. Here are a few tips when trying to get a ride:
- Walk to a taxi stop or call to schedule a ride. The most popular taxi services are Autoradiotaxi (+39-02-8585), Yellowtaxi Multiservice (+39-02-6969), and Taxi Blue (+39-02-4040).
Milan has an open-minded community as Italy is regarded as an LGBT-welcoming nation. Couples are allowed to hold hands and show public acts of affection. Porta Venezia consists of the city’s most welcoming LGBT bars. Check out the area around Via Lecco, the heart of Milan’s LGBT district. The area around Via Lecco is full of energy and draws people from all over the world.
Visit Milan in June to participate in the annual Pride Parade, and take in the lively atmosphere of the LGBT community.
Milan is one of the most eco-friendly cities in Europe. The city is comprised of smart bins, areas full of wet waste beside markets, and locals who practice many eco-friendly methods.
The locals put out their garbage and recycling on two days of the week. Residual waste, glass and organic waste is gathered up on one day, while plastic, metal and paper is collected the next day. Residual waste is to be placed in clear bags, while other types of waste is assigned to different colored bins. Failure to put specific waste to the assigned bin will result in a 50 Euro (USD $55.84) fine.