Though Italy has a predominantly Mediterranean climate, Milan's winters (December-February) are certainly brisk, with lows below freezing. Still, mountains shield the city from the worst of the Northern European winter.
Summer (May-Sept) can be hot and muggy. In August, most of the city heads to the beaches to escape the 30°C-plus (86°F-plus) heat; the rest are in Milan's many gardens and parks.
Milan sees a lot of international and domestic traffic and there is a constant stream of planes, buses, trains and cars pouring into the city.
Public transport is efficient, with an underground rail system, buses and trams covering the city. Road traffic is pretty much to the Italian template - organized chaos.
Most European and other international flights use Malpensa airport, 50km northwest of the city. The majority of domestic and a handful of European flights use the more convenient Linate airport, 7km east of the city center. An increasing number of budget airlines also use Orio al Serio airport, near Bergamo.
Most national and international buses use the new Lampugnano bus terminal by the Lampugnano metro station (line 1 - the red line), west of the city center. The bulk of national services are run by Autostradale, which has a ticket office at the main tourist office on Piazza del Duomo.
You can catch a train from the grand Stazione Centrale (on Piazza Duca d'Aosta) to all major cities in Italy. This is also a good point to pick up international connections to/from Switzerland and France.
Ferrovie Nord Milano (FNM) trains from Stazione Nord (aka Stazione Cadorna, on Piazza Luigi Cadorna) connect Milan with Como. Regional services to many towns northwest of Milan are more frequent from Stazione Porta Garibaldi (on Piazza Sigmund Freud).
Save yourself the indignity of trying to hail taxis - they don't stop. Head for taxi ranks in the center and outside major train stations.
Milan's efficient public transport system is run by ATM. The metro consists of four underground lines (red MM1, green MM2, yellow MM3 and blue Passante Ferroviario), which run from 06:00 to 24:00. Tickets are sold at metro stations, tobacconists and newspaper stands around town. Tickets must be validated on trams and buses. Free transport maps are available from the ATM Info Point inside the Duomo metro station.
There are more than 50 city bus routes, though most not as useful as metro or trams. Night buses ply the red and yellow metro routes after midnight and run approximately half-hourly.
Milan's public bicycle network, BikeMi, has stops across the city. By taking a daily, weekly or annual pass, you can use the bikes to get around town, picking up and dropping them off at whatever station you choose.
Entering central Milan by car is a major hassle. Street parking is limited and will cost you. To pay, buy a SostaMilano card from a tobacconist, scratch off the date and hour, and display it on your dashboard.
Rental-car companies have offices at Stazione Centrale and both airports.
Milan's trams range from the beloved orange early 20th-century cars to modern lightrail vehicles, crisscrossing and circling the city. They run similar hours to the metro. Tickets must be prepurchased and validated once on board.
Italy is one of 25 member countries of the Schengen Convention, under which 22 EU countries plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland have abolished permanent checks at common borders.
Legal residents of one Schengen country do not require a visa for another. Residents of 28 non-EU countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and the USA, do not require visas for tourist visits of up to 90 days.
Please contact the consulate for up-to-date information on travel document requirements.