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Christmas and New Year in Milan

When
From 07/12/2018
to 06/01/2019
Where
Milano

December is the month during which Milan reveals all these different faces: it is at the same time possible to discover previously unknown spots of the city brightened up by the Christmas lights and to chance again upon the most celebrated sights, decked up in festive apparel.

Milan is a place where centuries-old traditions can live again in unexpected ways. It is a city that keeps growing and changing with new skyscrapers and museums designed by celebrated architects. Between gourmet discoveries and last minute purchases, you can also inhale the aroma of panettone and feel the warmth of a cup of hot chocolate.

The time for Christmas excitement and the search for presents starts on December 7, when the city draws on its ancient soul to celebrate its patron Saint, Ambrose. At this time, for those who love traditional Christmas markets, the Oh Bej, Oh Bej is back: for centuries it has offered visitors delicatessen, sweets, handicrafts and a hot cup of mulled wine – it is now held by the ramparts of the Castello Sforzesco. The name Oh Bej, Oh Bej (pronounced Oh Bey) comes from the Milanese  children’s  traditional cry of “how beautiful, how beautiful…” when shown the toys and sweets on sale.

Almost at the same time, on December 9th the Milan Rho Trade Fair exhibition grounds hosts L’Artigiano in Fiera (The Artisan at the Fair) the market – exhibition dedicated to Italian and international craft. Once there, it is impossible not to get lost among the various stands, looking for that last Christmas present or tasting foodstuffs from all parts of Italy and most of the world.  

After the weekend, the stalls will not disappear: that is the moment in which new markets open across the whole city, starting with the one in Piazza del Duomo, around the cathedral.

Every year the Christmas spirit lights up the whole city for a month of events for everybody, from the major squares to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, from La Scala to the historical fashion and shopping stops. La Scala Theatre inaugurates its new season on December 7 with a performance-event much to be talked about in the media. The work chosen by Maestro Riccardo Chailly for 2018 is Giuseppe Verdi’s Attila, directed by Davide Livermore, a director and a light-designer guaranteeing originality. It will be possible to follow La Scala’s Opening Night in various theatres and public locations, including Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, where it will be shown live free, thanks to the Prima Diffusa project.

Christmas lights are another classic and in recent years Milan has started to develop this tradition creatively and with an artistic bent. Right at the heart of the city the great Christmas tree in Piazza del Duomo, selected every year with an eye to sustainability, is lit up during an opening event. Not only Piazza del Duomo, but the whole city brightens with light installations, from the Galleria’s spectacular vault to the street illuminations far from the city center, to the locations included in the Luci a Milano (Lights in Milan) project, which will transform a significant number of squares in a great artistic Christmas Lights Show.

Christmas in Milan means panettone, the not-to-be-missed typical cake well-liked all over the world. Legend has it that this currant and candied orange-stuffed cake was invented in the 15th Century by a kitchen apprentice at the court of the Duke of Milan, Ludovico il Moro, and was actually a last-minute solution in place of a mismanaged and more complex dessert. It has been reserved a special celebration, and in 2017 the largest handmade panettone ever (2 meters high and 140 kilos) was portioned out to 1200 persons in the Galleria. Shall we have an even bigger one in 2018?

For the eleventh year in a row, Palazzo Marino (the City Hall) hosts for the whole Christmas period an artistic masterpiece on loan from an Italian museum – it can be visited free of charge. In the last editions thousands of people have been able to admire works by Titian, Rubens, Canova, Caravaggio, De La Tour, Leonardo. This year it will be Perugino’s Adoration of the Three Wise Men, a Renaissance masterpiece from Umbria’s National Gallery. Umbria will also lend to Milan a beautiful traditional crib scene on display at Palazzo Marino, the Town Hall.

Milan has a special way to celebrate the coming of Christmas and that is the Advent’s Musical Calendar. Every December evening a surprise will meet the onlookers’ gaze on a  palace in Piazza Duomo, a new surprise with each passing day until Christmas.

This is of course not the only musical event at a time of the year that has its own exclusive soundtrack: among the many offers the traditional Christmas concert in Piazza Duomo, offered to citizens and visitors a few days before Christmas itself, featuring famous classical ensembles and choirs every year, and New Year’s Eve Celebration in Piazza Duomo, which has seen onstage, waiting for midnight, famous artists such as Mario Biondi, Vinicio Capossela or bluesman Bombino.

La Scala is open for the holidays and celebrates in the illustrious company of Vivaldi, Mozart and Verdi: two Christmas concerts on December 22 and 23 will be reserved for sacred music, while on December 31 Verdi arias will be performed by four great operatic singers, Maria José Siri, Jorge del Leòn, Simone Piazzola e Riccardo Zanellato. Four great singers for Beethoven’s Ninth as well: with its “Ode to Joy” it has been Orchestra LaVerdi’s New Year’s soundtrack for the last twenty years. Karina Gauvin, Sonia Prina, Moritz Kallenberg, e Jochen Kupfer will be at the Auditorium di Milano from December 29 to January 1, along with the renowned Milanese orchestra, Conductor Claus Peter Flor and Choirmaster Erina Gambarini.

Finally, as on every winter, some season classics will of course be available, such as Christmas villages dedicated to children and various ice rinks for skating. Traditional and innovative, festive and intimate, Christmas in Milan is there to be discovered, with a rich calendar of events and quality experiences to make the most of.

For more info visit YES Milano

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Photo credits: Adobestock
Take me here: Christmas and New Year in Milan

Places

Duomo of Milan

  • Religious Tourism
Duomo of Milan
67 mt

Museo del Novecento

A permanent collection of XXth century artwork inside Palazzo Arengario only a few steps away from the Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery
  • Art & Culture
Museo del Novecento
89 mt

Duomo Museum

With 26 rooms, the Museum covers an area of 2000 square meters including sculptures, paintings, tapestries, terracottas
  • Art & Culture
Duomo Museum, outstanding museums
142 mt

Royal Palace

Palazzo Reale is one of Milan’s most famous landmarks, the link between the city’s illustrious past and its innovative present.
  • Art & Culture
Royal Palace
143 mt

Vittorio Emanuele Gallery

  • Lifestyle
Vittorio Emanuele Gallery, inspiring monuments
159 mt

La Scala Theatre Museum

  • Art & Culture
La Scala Theatre Museum
296 mt

Ambrosian Picture Gallery

It houses the largest collection of Leonardo's sheets, the Codex Atlanticus, exhibited thanks to temporary thematic exhibitions
  • Art & Culture
Ambrosian Picture Gallery
304 mt

Museo Mangini Bonomi

Housed in an elegant Milanese building, the museum exhibits an extensive collection organized in 40 sections
  • Art & Culture
Museo Mangini Bonomi, Musei Milano
330 mt

Teatro alla Scala

One of the most famous international opera temples, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan enchants the world with opera, concerts and ballets.
  • Art & Culture
Teatro alla Scala
352 mt

Casa Manzoni

It's one of those places where time seems to stand still: you can still breathe the romantic air in which the great writer lived
  • Art & Culture
Casa Manzoni, museum in Milan
437 mt

Roman Theatre of Milan

Discover the Roman Theatre of Milan
  • Art & Culture
Roman Theatre of Milan
555 mt

Poldi Pezzoli Museum

An elegant 19th-century aristocratic residence, displaying the private collection of its former owner
  • Art & Culture
Poldi Pezzoli Museum
615 mt

Teatro Nuovo

A few steps from the Duomo, a theater that captures the most important innovations in the panorama of national and international shows.
  • Art & Culture
Teatro Nuovo
633 mt

Milano, the Fashion district

The Fashion District, an area in the heart of Milan, bordered by Via Manzoni, Via della Spiga, Corso Venezia and Via Montenapoleone
  • Lifestyle
Milano, the Fashion district
638 mt

The Guastalla Gardens

Today it is one of Milan’s most beautiful green areas, located near the Duomo
  • Active & Green
The Guastalla Gardens
639 mt

Bagatti Valsecchi Museum

House museum in the Montenapoleone district, the result of an extraordinary collecting event of the late nineteenth century
  • Art & Culture
Bagatti Valsecchi Museum, museums in Milan
705 mt

Brera Botanical Gardens

A romantic green oasis in the center of Milan. The flower beds are home to some of the richest collections of species in our flora
  • Active & Green
Brera Botanical Gardens
737 mt

Church of San Bernardino alle Ossa

  • Religious Tourism
Church of San Bernardino alle Ossa
753 mt

Manzoni Theater

One of the most prestigious Italian theaters, it offers a rich calendar of shows: prose, cabaret, events, workshops ..
  • Art & Culture
Manzoni Theater
838 mt

Church of San Maurizio

In the heart of Milan, is defined the Sistine Chapel of Lombardy. Completely frescoed leaves you breathless
  • Religious Tourism
Church of San Maurizio
873 mt

Events

26° Th Rina Sala Gallo Piano Competition

Teatro Manzoni
via Manzoni, Monza
27/09/2020 - 04/10/2020
  • Art & Culture
Concorso pianistico
14.67 km

Activities

Direct access to Milan Duomo Cathedral + Rooftop Guided Tour

  • Art & Culture
Direct access to Milan Duomo Cathedral + Rooftop Guided Tour
3 mt

Milan Porta Nuova and Vertical Forest guided tour

  • Art & Culture
Milan Porta Nuova and Vertical Forest guided tour
5 mt

Milan Fashion Walking Experience

  • Art & Culture
Milan Fashion Walking Experience
19 mt

Leonardo da Vinci tour by rickshaw in Milan

  • Art & Culture
Leonardo da Vinci tour by rickshaw in Milan
45 mt

Private last minute guided tour of the Duomo Cathedral with skip-the-line tickets

  • Art & Culture
Private last minute guided tour of the Duomo Cathedral with skip-the-line tickets
60 mt

Duomo of Milan guided tour

  • Art & Culture
Duomo of Milan guided tour
62 mt

Duomo and Sforza Castle guided tour

  • Art & Culture
Duomo and Sforza Castle guided tour
62 mt

Private tour of Milan with Sforza Castle skip-the-line tickets

  • Art & Culture
Private tour of Milan with Sforza Castle skip-the-line tickets
73 mt

Private Tour discover Milan Highlights

  • Art & Culture
Private Tour discover Milan Highlights
74 mt

Milan Open Tour - Hop Off Hop On

  • Art & Culture
Milan Open Tour - Hop Off Hop On
80 mt

Milan guided walking tour

  • Art & Culture
Milan guided walking tour
80 mt

Rooftop terraces of the Duomo Cathedral: priority access tour

  • Art & Culture
Rooftop terraces of the Duomo Cathedral: priority access tour
83 mt

Private Tour of the Museo del Novecento in Milan

  • Art & Culture
Private Tour of the Museo del Novecento in Milan
83 mt

Museum of Twentieth Century tickets

  • Art & Culture
Museum of Twentieth Century tickets
87 mt

Milan walking tour with Da Vinci’s Last Supper skip-the-line tickets

  • Art & Culture
Milan walking tour with Da Vinci’s Last Supper skip-the-line tickets
99 mt

Shopping tours by rickshaw in Milan

  • Lifestyle
Shopping tours by rickshaw in Milan
127 mt

Modern Milan tour by rickshaw

  • Art & Culture
Modern Milan tour by rickshaw
127 mt

Sightseeing tours by rickshaw in Milan

  • Art & Culture
Sightseeing tours by rickshaw in Milan
131 mt

Duomo of Milan Culture Pass

  • Art & Culture
Duomo of Milan Culture Pass
151 mt

Guided tour of the Duomo Cathedral with rooftop terraces

  • Art & Culture
Guided tour of the Duomo Cathedral with rooftop terraces
159 mt

Where to sleep

CASA PAPERINO SUAP

Milano
CASA PAPERINO SUAP

TOWNHOUSE DUOMO

Milano
TOWNHOUSE DUOMO
64 mt

ROOM MATE GIULIA

Milano
ROOM MATE GIULIA
120 mt

DUOMO 2 - VIA DOGANA, 3

Milano
DUOMO 2 - VIA DOGANA, 3
134 mt

DUOMO 1 - VIA DOGANA, 3

Milano
DUOMO 1 - VIA DOGANA, 3
134 mt

DUOMO 5 APARTMENT

Milano
DUOMO 5 APARTMENT
134 mt

DUOMO 3 BOUTIQUE APARTMENT

Milano
DUOMO 3 BOUTIQUE APARTMENT
134 mt

DUOMO UNIQUE LUXURY APARTMENT

Milano
DUOMO UNIQUE LUXURY APARTMENT
136 mt

GLAMOUR APARTMENTS

Milano
GLAMOUR APARTMENTS
136 mt

BMORE SRL_SUB 716

Milano
BMORE SRL_SUB 716
136 mt

BMORE SRL_SUB 714

Milano
BMORE SRL_SUB 714
136 mt

BMORE SRL_SUB 715

Milano
BMORE SRL_SUB 715
136 mt

BMORE SRL_SUB 718

Milano
BMORE SRL_SUB 718
136 mt

UNA MAISON MILANO

Milano
UNA MAISON MILANO
153 mt

STRAF

Milano
STRAF
155 mt

ROOMS MILANO DUOMO

Milano
ROOMS MILANO DUOMO
174 mt

APARTHOTEL DEI MERCANTI

Milano
APARTHOTEL DEI MERCANTI
174 mt

RIO

Milano
RIO
177 mt

PARK HYATT MILANO

Milano
PARK HYATT MILANO
178 mt

THE GRAY

Milano
THE GRAY
186 mt