Share This Post
Dos and Don’ts When in Milan
Located in northern Italy, Milan is undeniably one of Europe’s most fashionable and dynamic cities. It offers a unique blend of culture, history, and modernity, and it is also considered to be the economic and financial capital of Italy, with a thriving business district and a bustling fashion industry.
With such a reputation behind it, it’s critical to know the dos and don’ts in Milan before you travel there. Although this city is a wonderful place to visit, being aware of the etiquette in advance will help you blend in like a local and be welcomed in this incredible place.
Dos in Milan
When it comes to what to do and what not to do in Milan, here’s what you can expect the citizens of this city to appreciate:
1. Dress Appropriately
Milan, Italy, is known as the fashion capital of the world, and locals and visitors alike tend to dress stylishly. While Milan fashion doesn’t adhere to strict rules, it’s important to consider the weather throughout the seasons to dress correctly and for every occasion.
Some more upscale nightclubs and restaurants may also have a dress code. This is true of fancier establishments like the Teatro Alla Scala too.
2. Greet People Properly
In Milan, as in other Italian cities, people tend to greet each other with warmth and friendliness. A common way to greet someone is to say “ciao” (pronounced “chow”), which is a casual way of saying hello and goodbye.
If you’re meeting someone for the first time, a more formal greeting might be appropriate. People will usually shake hands on a first meeting, or give a hug and light kiss on the cheek, depending on the situation.
3. Try Speaking Italian
Although you might be self-conscious about your Italian language skills, the people of Milan will appreciate an attempt. Before visiting Milan, try to master some common phrases.
4. Be Respectful of Religious Sites
Remember to be respectful of religious sites in Milan like the Duomo di Milano, and even cultural sites such as Castello Sforzesco. Shouting and yelling around them, as well as apparently not taking their history seriously, could be seen as offensive to anyone who lives in Milan.
5. Observe Dining Etiquette
It’s common in Milan to wait to be seated, have good table manners, and take your time with your meal. Some of the best travel tips for visiting anywhere involve learning their dining etiquette, and Milan is no different.
Don’ts in Milan
As with any other big city, there are also some don’ts to bear in mind when visiting Milan:
1. Don’t Dress Inappropriately
Although Milan doesn’t have a specific dress code, it does tend to be somewhat stylish. Wearing sweatpants out to dinner would be considered rude and inappropriate, so, when in doubt, err on the side of caution and dress up a little.
2. Don’t Be Late
It’s not cool to be fashionably late in Milan. Make sure you plan any day trip with plenty of time to return for evening plans, never arrive late to a place like an art gallery when they’re about to close, and just generally leave lots of time everywhere.
3. Don’t Speak Too Loudly
Quiet is best in Milan. Whether you’re at one of the tourist attractions or visiting one of Milan’s hidden gems, make sure to speak softly to avoid ruining anyone else’s experience, which is considered to be bad manners.
4. Don’t Disrespect Religious Sites
If you deliberately don’t observe the rules at religious sites or go against them, prepare to be met with hostility. Whether it’s your religion or not, make sure to observe the guidelines and adhere to them, and you’ll be a lot more welcome.
5. Don’t Ignore Dining Etiquette
It might not seem like a big deal to rush your meal, put your elbows on the table, and use your cell phone during a meal, but the people of Milan frown upon that.
Tips for Exploring Milan
Some other general travel tips that may be helpful when visiting Milan include the following:
Be Prepared for the Transportation
Milan has an efficient public transport system that will get you where you need to go, and researching it is helpful. It will also be much cheaper than taking cabs around or renting a car, as well as will mean you have time to learn the rules of the road before getting behind the wheel.
Watch Your Purse and Pockets
Be careful with your belongings, as pickpockets exist anywhere trying to take advantage of the unsuspecting. Milan is a popular destination for tourists, which can make visitors targets.
Follow the Rules of the Road
If you do get behind the wheel, remember the road rules are very different from the USA. Learn them in advance so you don’t cause any accidents. For example, remember the speed limit on urban roads is generally 50 km/h, while on highways it’s usually 130 km/h.
Prepare for the Siesta
The siesta is the tradition of taking a midday nap or break. Restaurants and businesses will usually close during this time, so don’t plan anything in the middle of the afternoon. This happens between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., usually, though many businesses in central Milan remain open during these hours to cater to visitors.
Learn the Dos and Don’ts in Milan Before Traveling to This Amazing City
Although it can seem intimidating to immerse yourself in another culture, learning the dos and don’ts in Milan before traveling there will do you a world of good. In general, just be respectful: Make sure to observe their rules at religious sites, follow their dining and dress code etiquette, greet people respectfully, and be open-minded. If you do all of this—and make your best effort to learn a few Italian phrases—you’ll be just fine.
If you’re looking for some help with your journey to Milan and even thinking about settling down there, contact us. The Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program has experts to help U.S. citizens explore the possibility of obtaining Italian citizenship by descent or marriage.
Head over to ITAMCAP today to apply for your Italian citizenship today!