First-Time Visitor’s Guide to Milan: My Initial Thoughts and Impressions

Welcome to Milan! The city has been a whirlwind of excitement since I arrived, with so much to see and do. I’ve been busy setting up my new apartment and getting settled in, but it’s all been worth it. I’m loving my new home and can’t wait to explore everything this amazing city has to offer.

Here’s What I’ve Learned So Far.

  1. Learning the Italian basics will get you far. doh! When I went through immigration, they asked me a few questions; including, whether I knew how to speak Italian or not. The officer who I spoke to was definitely impressed by the few (and I mean 1 or 2) words I used during our conversation. It helped process the interrogation faster than if, I didn’t try to speak in Italian at all.
  2. Milanese locals are the best. They’re willing to help even though there’s a language barrier. Using the translator app sure helped me!
  3. Diversity. It’s a city so, there are other International people just like me and the best thing is that English is the common language to use across the board no matter where you come from.
  4. Traffic. Like L.A. they have it too and it’s just as bad. lol
  5. Drivers. Like L.A. they’re also just as crazy.
  6. Friendly Locals. I’ve read somewhere that the locals in Milan are always in a rush like NYC. I felt people here were always smiling (at least anyone under 40); or maybe I’m just immune to the city lifestyle. Either way, base on my experience the Milanese have been nice to me.
  7. T-Mobile is the best! I can finally confirm that T-Mobile’s Simple Plan works perfectly in Milan. Yay!
  8. Everyone get’s excited about California. lol So far anyone who I’ve talked to asks where I’m from and once they find out I’m from L.A. they get very cheerful. Followed by the question/statement, “What are you doing here?” lol.  I suppose it’s the weather that people find attractive about L.A. or California in general.
  9. Esselunga’s name on the building is actually “Supermarket” and it’s not blue or yellow like the colors they used on their branding. Also, the building is in white color. lol I couldn’t stop laughing when I got lost and finally found out why.
  10. Don’t expect Taxi drivers to know every single street in Milan because they don’t. If you give them a zip code it would help but, I find that Milan seem to only provide street names alone w/o any numbers. It’s not always the case like in example, the cab I took to get to my apartment had no idea where it was located. Thankfully, I had google mapped the place before hand and showed him the directions. Preparation is key! If you can’t find it, it’s likely that no one else will either.
  11. Book a private transfer from the airport after a long flight. It makes your life so much easier!
  12. You walk everywhere. I knew this ahead of time but, I’m from LA. I didn’t think much of it until I got here yesterday and I walked all day everywhere! Breaks are good so, when you get a chance to sit down for a few minutes after a long walk, do it.
  13. Everything comes in small packages. Coming from US where everything can be super sized, here, it’s the opposite. It’s neither good or bad per se but, it does take a while to get used to replacing certain items such as a body lotion. I’d prefer to buy a bigger container and save myself from going to the store and replacing it every 2 weeks.
  14. Tap water is ok. I have been drinking strait from the faucet since I arrived and I haven’t gotten sick. In US I’ve always used filtered water so it’s nice to know that my sensitive stomach works well with the tap water here.
  15. People do jog outside as a form of workout. I read somewhere that it’s uncommon to see people do that here but, I’ve seen several people do it including my roommate.
  16. This is Milan! Everyone dresses pretty well. This was not surprising to me and I actually expected it and they actually lived up to it.
  17. YOUTUBE works!
  18. Cab doesn’t exist in the Italian language. They refer to it as “Taxi”. Trust me, I got a blank stare when I requested for one as a “cab” instead of “taxi”. lol
  19. The toilet water pressure is strong. I was unsure at first but, it actually flushes a lot of water than I expected. Including the sink and in the kitchen.
  20. Getting lost will take you to the best spots. I’m lost all the time and I always seem to go Ahhhh! wow! Gotta remember this area.

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