Professional Relo is specialized in Relocation in Milan. Milan is a large modern metropolis, it is the main centre of industrial and entrepreneurial activities in Italy and is, at the same time, rich in art, history and architecture. The concentric layout of the main roads of the city, called bypasses or “cerchie” (rings), makes a quick orientation to the city possible.
Milan’s radial structure enables it to be divided into segments and different zones or areas that are identified by the feature which most characterize them: the longest shopping street in Europe (Corso Buenos Aires), the oldest church (S. Ambrogio), or simply the Ippodromo (Hippodrome) sports facility (San Siro).
The city centre, enclosed by the second ring called the “Mura Spagnole” (Spanish Walls) is the so-called AREA C, a paid access area for cars (for more information see our Milan Relo Guide). The excellent public transport system provides connections with the centre from all areas of the city. The Milan Underground is called Metropolitana Milanese (MM).
OLD TOWN CENTRE & AREA C
(1st and 2nd ring)
The City Centre is located within the second ring of the city. The Centro Storico [historic centre], Brera, Foro Bonaparte, Conciliazione, Magenta, S. Ambrogio, Corso Italia, Porta Romana, Conservatorio and Porta Venezia are all nearby. These are just a few of the nicest streets.
The heart of Milan is the Centro Storico [historic centre] neighbourhoods. The famous Fashion District is located here sandwiched between Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga on one side and Via del Gesù, Via Bigli on the other. These are the streets where the most famous fashion designers have their boutiques.
The spectacular Cathedral of Milan with its square is the symbol of the city. All the neighbouring streets such as Via Torino, Via Dante, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, and Piazza San Babila are sprinkled with shops, restaurants and cafés that make it a lively and welcoming area. In the historic centre there are numerous elegant and expensive historic homes that hide magnificent entrances and courtyards. (MM1 Red Line / MM3 Yellow Line).
The nearby partially pedestrian district of Brera is the most famous and lively neighbourhood in the city. It has many bars, trendy restaurants, home furnishing shops and clothing shops.
The district extends from the Accademia delle Belle Arti [Academy of Fine Arts] on Via Brera, up to Corso Garibaldi and touches Parco Sempione, the largest public park in the city.
Corso Garibaldi, Via Fiori Chiari, and Piazza del Carmine are some of the other pedestrian streets in the area, while the shopping streets are Corso Como and Via Solferino. These features make this area the most coveted place to live in the city and one of the most expensive. German School, the Deutsche Schule Mailand, is located in Brera in front of Parco Sempione. (MM2 Green Line – Lanza, Moscova and Garibaldi stops)
Castello Sforzesco (Foro Bonaparte) and Cadorna are two neighbourhoods that have wide streets, historic buildings and luxurious apartments. The proximity of the Cadorna railway station, used mostly by commuters from the north, makes the district well served by public transport. (MM2 Green Line-Lanza stop / MM Green & Red Lines – Cadorna and Cordusio stops).
Piazza Conciliazione is located in one of the most elegant and historic residential districts of Milan. The area has excellent public transport as it is near the Cadorna railway station and MM2 Green Line Cadorna stop (connection with Malpensa Express) and the MM1 Red Line, Conciliazione stop. In this area the houses are large, prestigious and expensive.
Magenta and S. Ambrogio are the heart of the city’s oldest and finest neighbourhoods. Many historic and exclusive buildings can be found in this area. The most famous streets are Via Vincenzo Monti, Via XX Settembre, and Via Leopardi.
The apartments available for rent are generally large. Milan’s oldest and most aristocratic families live in the neighbourhood of S. Ambrogio. (MM2 Green Line, S. Ambrogio stop).
The neighbourhood of Porta Romana is one of the most popular with singles and young couples because it is central, and not particularly expensive. The nearby Corso Italia has quality buildings and offers large apartments, while Porta Romana is suitable for young college students from the nearby Bocconi University and therefore boasts numerous bars and restaurants. Here you will find average quality apartments ranging in size from 1 to 3 bedrooms. (MM3 Yellow Line, Crocetta and Porta Romana stops).
Palestro and Porta Venezia are quiet neighbourhoods with elegant buildings of the highest quality and, given the proximity of Parco Palestro (Montanelli Gardens), they are highly sought after, especially in the area around Via Serbelloni, Viale Majno, Via Passione and Via Conservatorio. Quiet and very well inhabited, this area has large apartments with much higher prices. (MM1 Red Line, Palestro and Porta Venezia stops).
(from the 2nd ring out)
The neighbourhood of Stazione Garibaldi, Maroncelli, and Porta Nuova is in the process of great transformation. The nearly complete “Città della Moda” [Fashion City] is located here as is the new residential complex of Porta Nuova with the tallest skyscrapers in Milan (still under construction at the time of writing this guide). Connected with Corso Como (a pedestrian area full of restaurants and shops), between Via Maroncelli and Via Pasubio, the existing housing options are of mostly medium and small size.
The area has excellent links to the Metro (MM2 Green Line, Garibaldi stop) and the Italian State Railways (Porta Garibaldi railway station).
More recently re-evaluated, the Isola neighbourhood is particularly in demand because of its proximity to Stazione Garibaldi and the new district of Porta Nuova. This district is experiencing rapid growth and there are both new and renovated homes. There are many shops, artists’ showrooms and trendy bars, including the famous Blue Note jazz club. (MM3 Yellow line, Zara stop / MM2 Green line, Garibaldi stop).
Immediately to the North of the 2nd ring is the district of Piazza della Repubblica and Principessa Clotilde. In this area, the buildings date back to the early twentieth century, in particular the Fascist period, like the nearby Stazione Centrale (main railway station). The apartments are large, well-kept and, depending on the location, quite expensive. The area is well connected with the Metro and surface transport lines. (MM3 Yellow line, Repubblica stop).
The nearby Stazione Centrale is the cornerstone of a neighbourhood in the midst of great change. Via Vittor Pisani, with its offices and restaurants, is very active and alive during the day. The streets around Via Vittorio Veneto and Viale Tunisia are a showcase of diversity and ethnicities. Even the apartments here are diverse both in size and quality. Prices vary accordingly. (MM Green and Yellow lines, Centrale stop).
Continuing northward, the residential area of Bicocca is home to the “Milano Bicocca” University centre. The neighbourhood is one of the city’s most significant examples of urban redevelopment and post-industrial reconversion.
The area of the former Pirelli plants has been transformed into a new neighbourhood with a rich integration of functions and services: the university centre, a shopping mall with multiplex, sports facilities and green spaces.
Between 1997 and 2002, on the initiative of the Municipality of Milan and Pirelli, the (new) Teatro degli Arcimboldi was constructed; it is otherwise known as the Teatro della Bicocca degli Arcimboldi or with the abbreviation TAM (MM5 Lilac Line under construction).
Fiera, Washington, and Wagner are all areas that are connected to the motorways, the Metro and surface transport. Modern buildings coexist next to early twentieth century buildings. There are both residential streets (Via Sardegna) and shopping streets (Corso Vercelli) in this area. Via S. Eusebio is one of the few areas in Milan where there are semi-detached houses. (MM1 Red Line, Wagner station, Pagano stops).
The residential district of San Siro is one of the favourite choices for families with children because of the proximity to the French School, the Lycée Français. It is a green area dominated by buildings from the 1960’s and 1980’s offering parking and sometimes sports facilities (swimming pool, tennis court). The area is served by the Metro, (MM1 Red line, Lotto stop and MM5 Lilac line under construction).
SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST BOUND
Below the second ring is the Navigli and Porta Genova area. Although the Navigli area is outside of the second ring and centre area, rental costs are quite high and not too far from those of more central areas due to its charm and nightlife. (MM2 Green line, Porta Genova stop).
In addition, the area of Via Tortona has recently become one of the most vibrant and interesting areas of the city, recognized as a centre of reference for design and fashion. Along this street and in nearby streets there are leading creativity and communication companies and centres that host, organize, and promote activities and appealing events, such as those during the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition (Salone del Mobile) held annually in April.
Another British school in Milan, the St. Louis, is located close to Piazzale Corvetto, south of the city. The area around the school is not particularly fashionable; hence families generally prefer to live towards the Porta Romana downtown area. (MM3 Yellow Line).
The Porta Vittoria neighbourhood dominated by the Art Nouveau style is one of the most popular areas due to the existence of apartments of all sizes and of good quality. The area is dynamic, with shops and restaurants.
It is served by surface transit, but not by the Metro which can be accessed via the railway link (Dateo stop).
East of the city also is located another British school, the Andersen. Those families choosing this school can live in nearby Largo Marinai D’Italia (public park) or outside the city in Idroscalo Park or Milano Due.
Città Studi is one of the University centres in Milan. Here the city is dominated by buildings from the early twentieth century and post-war period (1960-1970). The housing options available here are really varied (from large 3/4-bedroom to small 1-bedroom apartments) and prices are usually competitive.
It is served by the Metro (MM2 Green Line, Piola stop) and many other means of surface transit.
GARDEN SUBURBS & OUTSKIRTS
Milano 2 (Due), is a very green residential area close to Lambro Park approximately 12 km east of Milan. It is a popular neighbourhood amongst expatriates due to its vicinity to the Sir James Henderson British School. Only apartments are available here.
A few kilometres farther, in Villaggio Ambrosiano, the real estate market includes villas for rent. However, these villas were mostly built in the 1960’s and 1970’s and may appear quite “old style” and not always well maintained.
South of Milan, and close to the American School , located in Noverasco di Opera, is the residential area of Milano 3 (Tre). Like Milano 2, this neighbourhood actually offers apartments, and in nearby Basiglio and Rozzano a few villas are usually available
Brianza, around Monza, is located north-east of Milan. In Monza there are the International School of Milan – Monza Section and the Play English bi-lingual school, which makes it a very popular area amongst expatriates. Commuting to Milan by train takes approximately 25 minutes to reach either the Garibaldi or the Centrale railway stations.
Arese is located north west of Milan approximately 15-20 km from the French School, Licée Stendhal and approximately 6 km from the brand new campus of the International School of Milan, located in the town of Baranzate.
From the nearby Rho station it takes approximately 25 minutes to reach Milan.
By car, it can take from 20 minutes (very late hours) to more than 1 hour (rush hours) to reach Milan.
What kind of property?
Milan is an apartment-dominated city, therefore do not expect to find houses available, unless you choose to live in the suburbs (see Garden Suburbs & outskirts section above).
A standard unit of accommodation in Milan has 2 or 3 bedrooms. 4 bedroom units are at a premium. In luxury apartments, especially those in historical buildings, the 4th bedroom is typically near the kitchen. Depending on the size, and obviously on the family’s requirements, it may be used for a wide range of purposes, such as a guest or maid’s bedroom, a study, a laundry room or a walk-in wardrobe.
The size of available housing solutions vary from 220-250 m2 for a four-bedroom apartment to 40 m2 for a two bedroom apartment and 25-30 m2 for a studio. Three or four-bedroom apartments are usually located in residential areas such as Porta Vittoria, Porta Venezia, Sempione, Pagano, Washington, Cadorna, Castello Sforzesco, and San Siro. Studio or one-bedroom apartments are more or less available everywhere, particularly in the Navigli, Porta Romana, San Ambrogio, Porta Vittoria and the historic centre areas.
The market offers mostly unfurnished or partially furnished apartments (kitchen and some furniture). There is also a rather limited availability of fully-furnished apartments. It is usually easier to find fully furnished one or two-bedroom apartments. It should be noted that when furnished, the rent is often related to the quality of the furnishings.
The larger the unit is, the less likely it is to be furnished, and it is even less likely to be furnished tastefully. In university areas in particular, large furnished apartments mainly aim to cater to students. There are very few furnished houses, although there are some exceptions in the more “international” towns and cities and/or in areas near international schools.
Buildings are generally in classic old style with luxury interiors and do not have parking facilities. People willing to live in the centre can either leave the car on the street, which may be not an easy task, or rent a parking place at the closest car park. The minimum cost is about EUR 200/month, depending on the area and size of the car.
Quality buildings or those located in major residential areas usually have a doorman and elevators.
These services are commonly absent in the areas of Porta Ticinese and Brera where there is a greater presence of “case di ringhiera” [tenements with communal balconies], typical Milanese 19th century houses.
The parking problem is not limited to the downtown area. On the contrary, this problem is experienced almost everywhere in Milan with the exception of some areas such as S. Siro or the residential villages such as Milano 2, Milano 3 and Arese). Almost all new buildings and those dating back to the 1970s have garages or private parking areas, meaning a further fee in addition to the rental.
The real estate market is particularly expensive in Milan, especially if one chooses to live in the City Centre or in the nearby areas. Although the crisis in recent years has helped to increase the availability of accommodations and to bring rent prices down, or at least make landlords more inclined to negotiate, the property market still mainly revolves around buying and selling rather than renting.
What to expect or not to expect from the market?
House with a garden:
The few houses with gardens that are available are located outside the city centre.
House/apartment with 4 or more bedrooms:
A “standard” unit of accommodation in Italy will have 2 or 3
bedrooms. Four bedrooms are at a premium. In luxury apartments,
especially those in historical buildings, the 4th bedroom will be near the kitchen. Depending on the size, and obviously on the family’s requirements, it will be used for a wide range of purposes, such as a guest or maid’s bedroom, a study, a laundry room or a walk-in wardrobe.
Furnished accommodation with 3/4 bedrooms:
The larger the accommodation unit is, the less likely it is to be furnished, and it is even less likely to be furnished tastefully. In university towns in particular, large furnished apartments mainly aim to cater to students.
There are very few furnished houses, although there are some exceptions in the more “international” towns and cities and/or in areas near international schools.
The availability of apartments with terraces or balconies is extremely limited, especially in city centres. Due to this shortage, the presence of a terrace/balcony is considered a “plus” which significantly increases a property’s value and therefore the rent.
The closer the accommodation is to the centre, the more limited the parking will be. When it is available, parking is considered a “plus” and it significantly adds to a property’s value. People who require a parking space in city centres tend to rent one separately in a public garage. In Milan and Rome, the monthly cost is likely to be €200 or more, depending on the area and the size of the car.
Despite hot summers, air conditioning does not come as standard. It is more likely to be found in luxury accommodation. When it is not available, owners will not normally be willing to install air conditioning units if asked to do so by tenants. Portable units may be a reasonable compromise in these circumstances.
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