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An Expat Talks about Living in Milan, Italy

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Milan

How long have you lived there?

15 years

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

The Benvenuto Club, Professional Women's Association, Democrats Abroad, American Business Group and many other organizations as well as activities created for the expat community listed in EasyMilano, a bi-weekly free publication for the English speaking community here.

Expats in Italy may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, whose plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Get a Quote

Expats in Italy may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, a leader in international insurance for expatriates. Allianz's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Their flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget..

In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

Although Milan's population is very diverse,there is still very little integration of other cultures and very little is known of other religions, customs, beliefs,etc... Most Philipinos, South Americans, Sri Lankans and Indians are employed as domestics and Africans and Arabs are very rarely employed by Italians at all. The Chinese population is self employed in either retail or restaurants. Other Europeans and Americans are generally accepted as equals, but never as a real part of the Milanese community.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Selling wholesale fashion is a very good possibility for multi-lingual residents as well as teaching English in the various language schools. Some expats have begun their own small businesses, such as an American bakery, but one never finds a job through classifieds (unless in EasyMilano) or by sending out a resumé. Personal contacts are the only way to get one's foot through the door for an interview.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

All of the above, but Milan is generally known for it's work opportunities and faster paced lifestyle compared to the rest of the country.

If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

Learn Italian! The vast majority of Milanese do not speak English. Bring traditional yet elegant clothing (the Milanese frown on anything flashy or ostentatious) and expect the mentality to be conservative and somewhat behind what one would expect from a city as well known for it's industry, fashion business and financial center as Milan.

On the Italy Expat Forum

Join our Italy Forum and talk with other expats in Italy who can offer you insight and tips about living in Italy. Here are a few of the latest discussions on the Italy Expat Forum:

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Twenty-two years ago Tracey Gambarotta generously gave her time to help with the repair of a family tomb in Genoa's Staglieno Cemetery. I would like to re-establish contact with her but don't know how. She was interviewed on ExpatExchange a while ago about a new Italo-British association but neither the tel. no. not the email given seems to be valid. Does anyone know how to find her? Is she still in Genoa? Our situation here in France is not as bad as yours in Italy and for what it's worth we send you warm greetings and 'bon courage'

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Comments about this Report

guest
Aug 24, 2011 17:16

Would it be difficult for a college educated person to find a career in fashion if they are moving from the U.S.? I have a great resume and am 26 but don't know how to begin to look for a job, anything in the fasion area. I am planning on living in Florence, Italy.

zanzara62
Jul 26, 2012 14:46

Good luck!!! It's the most expensive city in Italy, but the fashion jobs are mostly up north, in Milan. Plan to work in Milan, and maybe you can live in the Lake area; maybe you'll hook up with George Clooney!!!!!

zanzara62
Jul 30, 2012 11:53

I grew up in Italy so I don't have a problem with the language plus I'm a dual citizen so I won't have a problem with red tape, as far as finding work. I just got an ESL certificate to teach English and I thought I might as well look in Milan first because, let's face it, that's where the money is. Can you give me a list of the best schools in Milan for English teaching jobs???

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