Licensed taxis are white and meter-operated. Most of Milan's taxi drivers are honest and friendly; however, if you suspect you are being ripped off, take note of the driver's name and number, displayed on the metal plaque inside the car's rear door. The more conspicuously you do so, the more likely you are to have the fare drop to its proper level. Report misdemeanours to the driver's company or co-operative, on the outside of each door.
When you pick up a taxi at a taxi stand or hail one in the street, the meter should read zero. As the ride begins, it will show the minimum fare (€3.20 at time of writing) for the first 200 metres, after which the charge increases by €1.06 per kilometre. On Sundays, public holidays, and at night, the minimum fare rises to €6.20. When phoning a cab, you'll be told the location, the taxi number, and the minutes estimated until arrival. Keep in mind that the meter starts from the moment the taxi sets out to pick you up.
Many taxi drivers do not speak English, so it's a good idea to write down the address of the destination or phone someone who can explain it to the driver.