Holidays and events in Milan

Milan has many holidays and events scheduled throughout the year. These events and holidays are of a traditional, but also of a commercial nature. Religious festivals such as the Milanese Carnival (also known as Carnevale Ambrosiano) and the festival of Sant’ Ambrogio are also important. After all, Sant’ Ambrogio is the patron saint of Milan. Anyway, there is something to do in Milan in every season!

Holidays and events in Milan

Milan has many traditional events and festivities, but these are interspersed with events that also fit very well with the modern industrial city. Milan has a lot to offer tourists in every season! The standard public holidays in Milan are as follows:

Month/Date

Bank holiday

January 1st

New Year

6 January

Epiphany

April

Easter Monday and Easter Monday

April 25

Liberation Day

May 1

Labour Day

August 15

Ferragosto

November 1st

all Saints Day

December 7

Sant’ Ambrogio (Milan patron saint)

December 8

Immaculate Conception

25th of December

Christmas

December 26

Santo Stefano

Spring in Milan

In Milan, the city starts to bustle as soon as spring arrives. The smog (notorious in Milan) disappears and the city takes on a brighter appearance. When the sky is clear, you can even see the Alps in the north. A beautiful view that you must see! Yet the weather in Milan can be brutal, as spring regularly brings storms. Yet the migration of the Italians towards the lakes begins again at this time.

Month/Date

Party/Event

Beginning of March

At the beginning of March, the autumn and winter collections of the major international and Italian designers will be shown again. This is called the MODIT-Milanovendemoda.

3rd Saturday of March

Milano-San Remo. The San Remo Cycling Race is starting again. The Italian cycling season starts with this ride.

March

The International Tourism Fair can be visited again in Milan in March. This event takes place in the Fiera, the Milanese fair.

April, the Monday after Easter

Fiera dei Fiori. During this event there are festivities in the context of flower cultivation. This takes place in and around Via Moscova (close to the Franciscan Monastery of Sant’ Angelo.

3rd week of April

Bagutta-Pittori all’Aria Aperta. For those who love visual arts, this is an absolute must. This event takes place in Via Bagutta.

mid April

Highly recommended for sports enthusiasts; the Milan Marathon; Stramilano. About 50,000 participants participate, both professionals and amateurs.

May

Pittori sul Naviglio. Visual arts are displayed along the Alzaia Naviglio Grande canal. Nice to walk around! The district in which this event is located, the Navigli, is certainly worth a visit.

May

Sagra del Carroccio. At Legnano, 30 km. located from Milan, the battle from 1176 is commemorated. During this battle, the Lombard League defeated the army of Frederick Barbarossa. There are all kinds of parades in traditional costumes and all kinds of other folkloric festivities in May.

Summer in Milan

In the summer most people visit Milan. The best time of the year, because of the usually nice weather and the cultural and sporting events that take place there. In July it is often very hot in Milan, the temperature can rise to 40 degrees. In August it is a bit quieter in the city because of the summer holidays. Despite this ‘holiday exodus’, all kinds of recreational and cultural events are organized in the summer!

Month/Date

Party/Event

1st Sunday of June

Festa del Naviglio. This festival offers a wide variety of attractions. You will find street performers, concerts and sporting events. There is also an antique market, crafts and regional cuisine. All summer events start with this festival. The district in which all this takes place, Navigli, is also very atmospheric, especially when the Navigli canals are beautifully lit at night.

3rd Sunday of June

Sagra di San Christopher. San Christoforo is the patron saint of travelers. He is also called Saint Christopher. The feast of Saint Christopher is celebrated in the square opposite the church at the Naviglio. In the evening, beautifully decorated boats sail through the canals.

June August

Milano d’Estate. The summer program will be festively opened in Milan. All this happens in the Parco Sempione where concerts, exhibitions and many other cultural events will take place throughout the summer.

June

Orticola. The Orticola is a fair and market with flowers and garden supplies. Very interesting for people with ‘green fingers’! The fair is held in the beautiful gardens at the Porta Venezia.

July August

Festival Latino-Americano. This is a very nice festival for people who love Latin. There is a lot of Latin American music to see and listen to. The Forum di Assago also offers arts and crafts and cooking.

July August

Arianteo. For the movie lovers; the Anteo cinema on the Rotonda della Besana hosts film screenings in the open air. The films shown are the most important films shown in Milan in the previous year.

Autumn in Milan

Since many Milanese do not return from vacation until the end of August, it seems as if the city blossoms again in September and returns to its normal busy life. In autumn the weather in Milan is very changeable. It could be that one day it is beautiful late summer weather, while the next day it is foggy and rainy.

Month/Date

Party/Event

September

The Italian football season starts again. Two of Italy’s most important clubs come from Milan. Those are Inter and AC Milan. These are real earthly rivals! A match between the two clubs is a great event in itself!

early September

Panoramic view of Venice. Once again an interesting event for the film fanatics among us. Films that are currently showing at the Venice Film Festival are shown in Milan cinemas.

September

Gran Premio di Monza. The Italian Grand Prix starts. This race is held on one of the most famous circuits in the world. A highlight in Formula 1 competition.

1 Monday of October

Fiera di Chiaravalle. This is a festive market accompanied by dance, music and exhibitions. This market takes place at the foot of the ciribiciaccola (that is the name of the bell tower of the Cistercian abbey Chiaravalle).

first week of October

SMAU. The SMAU is the international multimedia show that is held annually in Milan at the annual fair. Here you will find everything related to computers.

early October

MODIT-Milanovendemoda. This is the second major fashion presentation of the year in Milan. Well-known international and Italian designers show the spring and summer collections. These collections can also be seen in various showrooms and in the Fiera.

November

Premio Bagutta. Milan’s most important literary prize is awarded at this event.

Winter in Milan

Milan often experiences heavy snowfall in the winter. Yet Milan once again has a full program of cultural events, holidays and special events in winter. The city is buzzing, especially around the festival of Sant’ Ambrogio.

Month/Date

Party/Event

December 7

Festa di Sant’Ambrogio. This is the favorite holiday of many Milanese. The festival is celebrated with a busy street market, called Fiera degli Oh Bej Oh Bej. This is a street market where you can find many antiques. The market takes place in the streets surrounding the Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio.

December 7

La Scala. This is a world famous opera house. The opera season will be festively opened on December 7. The opening night is high on Milan’s cultural agenda.

6 January

Corteo dei Re Magi. A traditional Epiphany procession is held on January 6.

every Saturday all year round!

Every Saturday of the year there is a market along the Darsena. Here you will find many ethnic crafts, gramophone records… you name it!

February

Carnevale Ambrosiano. If you like carnival this is a must see! The Carnavale Ambrosiano is the longest carnival in the world and ends on the first Saturday of Lent. There is a parade with great floats and figures from Milanese folklore, such as Meneghin and Cecca. The parade heads towards the Piazza del Duomo where there is exuberant partying.

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