As one of Italy’s most cosmopolitan cities, Milan embraces everything with a great deal of enthusiasm and energy. Milan festivals are a good mix of religious and cultural and celebrations often spill into the streets and become quite apparent. Although Italy is a religious country and most of the religious festivals are celebrated here with fervour, Milan does seem to transcend it as it accepts and embraces the various events that take place here and gives it the special Milan treatment.
If you want to enjoy Milan during the festivals, then make sure you’re here during the fashion weeks. For Italy’s fashion capital, fashion is both a religion and a tradition that they seem to revere and understand. Given Milan’s long history in textiles and fashion, this does make sense. Nevertheless, do try and wrangle tickets to the most talked about fashion events in Italy but if that doesn’t happen, don’t get hassled. There are other Milan events where you can enjoy and see the city come to life. Here’s a list of some of them.
Every December, there’s a huge fair at the Sant’Ambrogio Basilica, as well as a celebration. The festival commemorates St. Ambrose, the patron saint of Milan and at the fair, you can come across delicious food, cured meats, handicrafts and even antique furniture.
An important event is the Milano Film Festival which showcases feature and short films made by local and international directors. The festival began in 1996 in Milan and since 2000, they have been giving the best film award as well. This is a hip festival, definitely a must-visit for film lovers.
In the first ten days of June, Milan celebrates Del Naviglio in the streets near the canal. There are theatre performances, dance shows and even folklore music to add to the festivities. Stalls go up selling quirky and charming handicrafts.
This is an annual sports event that attracts hordes of people to Milan – locals as well as international tourists who come just for the adrenaline rush. It’s held every year in the beginning of September in a small town very close to Milan and it’s perfect if you love speed and racing and the thrills it brings.
The white night here refers to a ‘sleepless night’ actually, an event that takes place throughout Italy but is most famous in Milan and Rome. Shops and museums stay open all day and night during this event and although there is no religious or cultural background to it, it seems to have gained a lot of popularity. Everyone decides to stay awake and live the night as it were!
If you’re planning to visit Milan during any of these festivals, do make sure you have checked the SOTC website for deals and offers on Milan holidays which will help you plan your trip better.