Milan is situated in the low-lying Padan Plain in Northern Italy, surrounded by mountains. It has a typically Mediterranean climate with hot, sunny summers and cooler, wetter winters. It can be prone to thick fog as a result of its topography and the summer heat. Often visitors find spring and autumn the nicest time to visit - avoiding the crowds and the heat. If you want to get out of the city you needn't go further than a few kilometres to be surrounded by classic Italian country sights - vineyards, cypress trees and olive trees - and should you wish to venture slightly further afield, it's practically on the doorstep of the famous Lakes district, offering the breath-taking combination of vast lakes against a backdrop of beautiful mountains. Milan's centre has a population of around 1.3 million, though this is doubled if you include the surrounding urban area.