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Events Calendar

Milan is a busy, lively city and probably the most culturally diverse in Italy. Year in year out, there is a colourful array of shows, programmes and exhibitions that offer the visitor great variety. However, like any other major city, Milan has its traditional annual events and holidays. Check out vacation apartments in Milan to get your accommodation booked early and have the freedom of the city on your terms. Here are a few of the principal celebration days and annual shows in the Milanese calendar, truly something for everyone.

January

This is the time for keen shoppers to hit Milan’s fashion boutiques for the Designer Sales. The retail outlets are clearing their stock in preparation for the hot new trends soon to hit the shelves and hangers.

Corteo dei Re Magi - Taking place on Epiphany (6 January) this festival marks the arrival of the three wise men. A religious procession spearheaded by the symbolic wise men departs Piazza Duomo towards the Church Sant’Eustorgio. There, gifts are offered to children and there is a ceremonial presentation.

A similar idea underpins the Befana Benefica, a procession on two wheels! First organised in 1967 by the Moto Club Ticinese and headed by the old witch Befana, a blessed procession of motorcyclists heads from Piazza Duomo to distribute gifts, food and sweets to children and the poor.

February

February starts with the world famous Milan Fashion Week. Central to the Fashion and Design world, Milan’s influence grows year on year. The leading fashion houses such as Gucci, Armani and Prada decorate the models on the catwalk and set the trends for the season ahead. Although the main shows are limited to those in the industry, it remains a good time to visit Milan for star spotting and getting an early glimpse of the latest vogue.

Milan fashion week returns in September.

Also on in February are the annual cartoon festival, and the Identita’Golose four-day food exhibition in the Milan Convention Centre

March

Fireworks and a whole variety of entertainment mark the Carnevale Ambrosiano every March at the start of Lent. A parade in the Corso Venezia is the highlight, with children in costumes and masques throwing confetti and performers entertaining the crowds. The city is resplendent in Milan’s traditional dress, the Meneghino, with its three-pointed hat, long jacket and striped socks. This is the city of fashion after all! A little later, on 13 March, is the religious procession and market day called Tredesin de Mars, marking the apocryphal introduction of Christianity to Milan in 51AD by Saint Barnaba.

April

In April the area of Naviglio Grande blossoms into a civic garden with the Fair of Flowers, the annual flower and garden show that provides the Milanese with a colourful and fragrant escape from the busy rhythms of the city centre streets.

May

May sees the start of the annual Architecture Festival in the Palazzo della Triennale, which lasts several months. Each year sees a different theme, but there are countless exhibitions, meetings and projects with innovative design.

June

Milan Food week features gourmet delights at a number of venues across the city, including tastings, workshops photography. Chefs and gastronomes from all over Europe are in attendance, feasting on the varied dishes on offer. June also sees the long-established Gay and Lesbian Film Festival at the Teatro Strehler.

July

Summer evenings in Milan are enhanced by Nights at the Museum, a series of cultural events spread over July and August. Events include of music concerts and theatre, as well as dance, art, talks and guided tours.

August

Also on from July through to August is the lively Latinamericando Expo, when a South American village springs up in the city Forum showcasing leading talents in the fields of literature, the performing arts, craft and film, as well as the music, traditions and the culinary fare of the continent. This festival truly brings Milan to life in the hot summer months.

September

September sees the return of the Milan Fashion Week, where the winter collections of the leading houses are displayed on the catwalk. There is also the spectacular Festival of the Holy Nail at the Duomo, where the archbishop ascends the magnificent cathedral to uplift the relic if the holy nail, purported to be from the cross of Christ, and brings it down to exhibit to the crowds gathered below. Also in this month is the Milan Film festival, a great opportunity for unknown directors to gain a foothold in the world of cinema through series of workshops and screenings.

October

The Celtic New Year is celebrated at Castello Sforzesco with traditional dance and music, folklore and battle re-enactments, a great occasion for all ages to enjoy. The Fiera Milano centre hosts the extremely popular annual La Mia Casa house and home exhibition, where hundreds of exhibitors display new designs and gadgetry. Also on is the SMAU Technology trade show at Fieramilanocity.

Champions League football matches are often held in September, October and November with AC Milan and Inter playing against the best teams from all over Europe including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Arsenal , Man Utd, Liverpool and other top teams from Germany France etc.

November

Performers and choreographers from all over the world convene in November at Milan's Teatro dell'Arte, for the Short Formats festival of dance. Master classes are available for the visitor to attend, as well as workshops, performances and screenings.

December

7 December is the celebration of the Patron Saint of Milan, Ambrogio. The festival O Bei O Bei takes place around the Basilica Sant’Ambrogio in the city centre, with market stalls selling all sorts of goods, from tasty foodstuffs to wines and sweets. Street vendors are also there selling crafts, art and antiques, including furniture. The fair also marks the opening of the winter opera season at the famous La Scala theatre.

 
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