So you are ready to experience a period as a digital nomad in Italy?
And maybe you are eager to live for a while in the main business city in Italy, i.e. Milan, aren’t you?
Well, there is something that you have to know that can be useful once you are in this city.
Today, I’ll give you some travel and survival tips to get the best out of your period as a digital nomad in Milan, the main city in Italy (and one of the main in Europe) for work opportunities.
Best places to work and to find new clients
Let’s get straight to work issues! If you are going to live a period as a digital nomad in Milan, you must know this is the city in Italy that offers more choice in terms of coworking places.
You can easily choose one in the area that is most suitable for you or for your profession and network needs.
When it comes to coworking spaces in Milan, you must know that this city offers nomads much more than some “desks to rent” in private offices.
Once upon a time, coworking meant paying to have a small room or a desk in the big office of some other professional such as accountants, lawyers etc. But today things have fortunately changed and cowos in Milan are among the best in Europe.
Milan is full of open spaces and coworking facilities expressly created for freelancers who enjoy spending their working time in a cosy and design-wise beautiful place. Here you can concentrate and also network thanks to the initiatives organized to this aim, such as professional speed dates and working happy hours.
You can find here a list with the 10 best coworking spaces in Milan.
Public transports and personal journeys
Milan can be quite chaotic when it comes to traffic but I have 3 good news for you:
1. It’s a city where public transports are very efficient and there is a good underground network;
2. There’s a quite good system of bike/car sharing;
3. You can take advantage of very good international car rent systems.
In case you decide to rent a car in Milan, you must have a valid driving licence (no need to tell). This choice can be particularly suitable to digital nomads who want to explore the whole region of Lombardia or, even better, other areas of Italy.
Yes, because you must know that one of the advantages offered by Milan are its multiple and efficient road connections to the main northern and central regions of the country.
Then, when it comes to visiting the suburbs and smaller villages, where most of times there are the headquarters of main companies (and potential clients and partners), driving a car can be very useful if not absolutely necessary; I remember when I had my interview at Dolce & Gabbana in Legnano (suburbs of Milan) and I decided to go there by train… it was not a good idea at all.
Take advantage of the flight connections to the rest of Europe
One of the reasons for choosing Milan as your digital nomad destination is its “closeness” to the rest of Europe (and to the world; consider that with a 10 hours flight, you can fall asleep on a plane in Milan and wake up on a Chinese morning in Shanghai).
There are 3 airports in the surroundings of Milan. One of them is in the city, the Milano Linate airport that hosts the main intercontinental flights.
Then, the airports of Bergamo Orio al Serio and Milano Malpensa, about 30 mins drive away from the city, are packed with low cost flights to the main European destinations, allowing you to turn your Italian experience into a “European” one.
So, for instance, you can spend 6 months in Milan and regularly join, at a very low cost, the main international fairs and events related to your business whether in Paris, London, Berlin, Frankfurt, Barcelona etc.
Important events not to be missed
When it comes to trade fairs and business events, no city in Italy and very few in Europe are like Milan. Other than the fashion week and the design week, Milan is sparkled with events (many of which are free) about any kind of business.
Another important tip that I must tell you after spending over 6 years in Milan: don’t just join the events that are strictly related to your business.
I mean, join the design week and the events of Fuori Salone in via Tortona even if you don’t work in the design business at all. The same applies to the fashion week, book fairs and all the international trade fairs in the city.
All trade fairs in Milan are actually true shows that touch multiple business aspects, attracting people from all over the world and belonging to all business sectors. They are occasions on which you can have fun, make new acquaintances and potentially new business partners or clients.
Find a home (co-living is the best modern solution)
As I’ve already written when talking about digital nomading in Italy, I’m against the rental sublease with payments under the table: both for ethical reasons (the black market and the related tax evasion is a serious problem in Italy), and for practical and economic reasons. For freelancers with a regular VAT code, living costs and travel expenses are tax-deductible.
Milan is fortunately the city where all new things happen way before the rest of the country, since this is probably the only true “globalized city” in Italy. If you choose Milan as your Italian Digital Nomad destination then, I recommend you give the Co-Living solution a try.
A variation to the “coworking” topic, co-living are housing solutions designed for digital nomads, start-uppers always on the move, professionals who need flexible rental contracts at lower costs etc.
7 Vidas Coworking and Coliving is, for instance, a space dedicated to every traveller, freelance, digital nomad and any other person who loves to work, to spend time and to network with people of any country and culture, sharing experiences and getting inspired.
Free green places to relax and enjoy
Fortunately Milan is not just a city for business and chaos. There are wide green areas where you can have relaxing walks, yoga sessions and physical training.
You’ll become a fan of Parco Lambro, located in the suburbs (called Lambrate), and the Giardini di Porta Venezia, a free green and relaxing space in the heart of the city where you can also visit the city planetarium with exhibitions and events for space, stars and earth science enthusiasts.
The Sempione gardens are among the most romantic green areas in the city, located in the heart of the lively historic centre.
Places to meet with the locals
There are many ways to get to know locals who are open-minded and willing to meet people from all over the world. If the coworking spaces are a good way, but mostly related to your working sphere, in Milan you can also meet people able to show you around and tell you more about the city, something that can be very useful at the beginning of your adventure.
Surfing on the Milan section of showaround.com you can find locals who will tell you more about the city from a very local point of view, either for free or at a very low price.
As you might know, in Italy we are very much into food and that’s why meeting locals at dinner can be the best way to make new friends who will probably last forever (in Italy, if we have fun with you at dinner, we choose you as a true and everlasting friend).
So, join some Social Dinner event. I’ve found a website for you about social dinners in Milan that is also available in English: http://www.mahksc.com
If you have any question about your upcoming digital nomad period in Milan, feel free to ask me in comments and I’ll try to give you the best tips.
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