Before coming to Milan, I heard countless times that Milan was “the New York City of Italy.” I never really knew why, but I kind of took it as a fact. After living here for two months, my perspective has changed on the topic. So… is Milan the Italian NYC?
Given that Milan is the most modern metropolis in Italy, yes, out of all of the Italian cities, Milan is most comparable to New York City. Like NYC, Milan is Italy’s capital of fashion, finance, and converting dreams into reality. There are several renown universities in Milan: Bocconi University (for economics, business, and law), University of Milan, or “Statale” (Milan’s version of a state uni), Politecnico (for engineers), European Institute of Design, or “IED” (for fashion), Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, or “Cattolica” (a Catholic uni), and several others. Milan hosts several high-end shopping districts, like Via Monte Napoleone, with infamous designer brands, many of which were born in or are currently based in Milan: Versace, Prada, Armani, Dolce & Gabana, Valentino, and many others. Lastly, Milan is the heart (and the body) of Italy’s stock exchange, Borsa Italiana.
Likewise, almost every piece of information listed above is directly parallel to NYC’s. New York City is one of America’s financial and fashion capitals, and it’s also a city internationally famous for the pursuit of the “American Dream.” NYC hosts several prestigious universities: Columbia University (NYC’s Bocconi), New York University, Fordham University (NYC’s Cattolica), the Julliard School, the Fashion Institute of Technology (NYC’s IED), several SUNY state unis (NYC’s statale), and many, many others. Likewise, many famous companies’ headquarters live in NYC, like IBM, Verizon, American Express, Ann Taylor, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, and tons of others. NYC is the home of the New York Stock Exchange, America’s most famous stock exchange. Just as Milan is the city where Italians hope to find a job and make it big, New York City is where Americans and immigrants come to start a new life with the hope that the American Dream will become a reality.
But Not Really…
Despite the general similarities, Milan and New York, in terms of appearance and lifestyle, are nothing alike. NYC is so huge that it has five boroughs which span over 789 km^2 whereas Milan covers only 181.8 km^2. The buildings in NYC consist of towering skyscrapers and modern architecture. On the other hand, Milan is a mix of old and new buildings and infrastructure, but barely any buildings are tall enough to be considered skyscrapers.
Milan’s lifestyle is affordable, and the quality of life is different. In NYC, everything is expensive because the market for any normal good is massive between the inhabitants and visitors that flood NYC’s shops every day. Most of Milan’s tourists visit the City Center, so much of its shops are more expensive than normal. However, areas farther away from the center are normally priced since only residents tend to leave the center. Perhaps most evidently, Milan is, well European, and New York City is American, so most of the major differences between the continents apply also to the cities.
Milan is so unique that I wouldn’t compare it to any American cities. However, if I had to choose one, I suppose Milan would be the most comparable. Do you NY-see what I mean?
Thanks for reading! Al prossimo venerdì ❤