Are you visiting Milano over the holidays and looking for a few interesting things to do? No worries, here is my list of the 10 best things to do in Milan over Christmas time. I’ve tried to keep the list in order they are occurring, so you can plan your activities depending on when you’ll be in the city and free to explore. Oh, plus a lot of these initiatives are FREE! Sponsored by the city of Milan, the Chamber of Commerce etc.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and Surrounding Areas
November 2018 – January 2019
This time of year the galleria is full of lights and sparkle. The dome is illuminated which perfectly compliments the Swarovski Tree right below it (with its 10,000 ornaments and 36,000 lights). Plus right around the corner you have Duomo Christmas Tree (not quite as cute), the Christmas market in Piazza Duomo, and the Rinascente store that is always decked out from top to bottom in a beautiful array of lights.
November 2018 - January 2019
The Milano location of the Four Season has been transformed to look like an urban chalet. The themed room will be in use from mid November until the end of January 2019. During this time you can visit the space for afternoon tea with a specialselection of sweet treats including home-made panettonewith a hot chocolate or Dammann tea. You can also choose to have a very Milanese aperitivo pairing signature drinks and canapes.
Price: starting at about 20€ per person.
Dec. 2, 2018 – Jan. 27, 2019
Go here if you want to do a little ice-skating, drink some hot chocolate, browse a few Christmas market stalls, and/or partake in some winter/Christmas themed events. For example, on Dec. 22-23 Bagni Misteriosi will be hosting the travelling Flug Market with music, traditional artisans, tailors, and vintage collectors.
December 13 – 16, 2018
This celebration is dedicated to the bakeries and pastry shops that produce authentic artisanal panettone around the greater Milan area (Milano, Monza/Brianza, Lodi). From 2-3pm on each of those days the participating shops offering free panettone. You can see the map with the shops that adhering to the initiative and the dates they are offering free panettone by visiting the chamber of commerce’s website.
(I’ll also update this post once the map becomes available.)
December 15, 2018
What else could you want to do other than run (or walk) around the city dress up as Santa Claus? The 5 km run starts at Piazza del Cannone and ends at Parco Sempione.
Price: If you sign up with Dec. 14€, it’s 13€ for adults, 11€ for groups of at least 4 people and 5€ for kids. It’s just a tad bit more if you wait until the day of the event.
The Largest Panettone in the World
December 16, 2018
If you can stand a crowd then head on over to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele on December 16 starting at 5pm to get your piece of the biggest panettone in the world, made by Davide Comashi (winner of the 2013 World Chocolate Masters in Paris, France). This year the people from the Guinness World Book will also be on hand to officiate the panettone title.
P.S. If you don’t like a crowd, check out my post with where you can get some of the best panettone in the city of Milan (the birthplace of this iconic Italian Christmas dessert).
December 20, 2018
Every year the Duomo of Milan hosts the “concerto di natale”. This year’s concert will be performed by laBarocca from the La Verdi Orchestra.
Price: The concert is free to the public but seats are limited. Doors open at 6:45pm, while the concert starts at 7:30pm.
December 22 – 23, 2018
This year the Teatro alla Scala Opera house will have its annual Christmas Concert on December 22ndand 23rd. The concerto will be performed by their acclaimed in house chorus and orchestra. Price: You can get additional info and buy tickets directly on La Scala’s website.
Darsena Christmas Village and Surrounding Navigli Canals
Dec. 6, 2019 – Jan. 6, 2019
The Darsena (the dockyard of the Navigli Canals) has been transformed for the holidays. There’s a Christmas tree in water, an ice skating ring, food stalls, and a Santa’s booth. The village is open from 3pm to 9pm Monday through Friday. And from 11am – 9pm on Weekends and Holidays.
Besides that I suggest just taking a stroll on the Navigli Canals over the holidays. The lights make this already picturesque part of town even more memorable.
Price: Entrance to the Darsena area is free and open to the public
December 25 – 31, 2018
You can experience first hand one of the most important gospel choirs in the world at Milan’s Blue Note.
Price: Tickets start at just 30€ per person if you purchase tickets online or 35€ if you purchase tickets at the door. You can also opt for their multi course New Year’s Eve dinner and concert for 220€. New Year’s Eve champagne toast and concert costs 85€.
Credits: photos from the website or facebook page of the associated initiatives.