Things to Do in Milan in August
It’s August in Milan. The city is hot and humid. But it’s also half empty, which makes moving around and doing things just a tad bit easier. Years ago, back when I first arrived in Milan in 2005, August meant the city was a ghost town. Literally, I could walk blocks, especially in certain parts of town, without running into another human being. There was only like one supermarket open all month, the Esselunga on via Piave. Cafes, shops, movie theaters all closed.
Why do things slow down/close in August? Because Europeans and especially Italians traditionally vacation this month. And I’m not just talking about for a week. I’m talking a minimum of two weeks to a month… After all they do get 6 vacation weeks per year! (I know, for us Americans this sounds unbelievable.)
But now, in 2019, for better or for worse, things have changed. Many people don’t do a full month off. So, while the city does slow down, and many things are closed (like my favorite butcher shop) there are still enough things open for you to find something entertaining to do while in the city: whether that be for work or for pleasure.
Summer at the Sforzesca Castle
From June 7 – August 25, 2019, you’ll be able to enjoy a series of free or low-priced events including concerts, dance performances, and theatrical events at the castle. There’s a total of 82 events, so basically they will be hosting something almost every day all summer long.
For example, on August 15th, there will be a fireworks display sponsored by the City of Milan and a musical performance by Orchestra Symphonic Orchestra Milano Giuseppe Verdi directed by Ruben Jais. And the August 15th event is free!
Rooftop Aperitivo - Highline Galleria
You can go and view the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele as everyone does from down below (which I do suggest you do), but you can also see the Duomo area from a whole new perspective from the rooftop of galleria. However, since the summers are so hot, may I suggest you go either super early or take advantage of the happy hour aperitivo that they organize over the summer for just €12.
Public Pool - Bagni Misteriosi
Bagni Misteriosi is one of the prettiest public pools in the city. Over the summer, in addition to heading out there for a little fun in the sun/water, they’ll be opening up their café in the evenings so you can enjoy an aperitivo. On August 15th, ferragosoto, they’ll be hosting a live DJ set with NicoNote. You can buy your Bagni Misteriosi tickets online here (website in Italian)
Open Air Movies - AriAnteo
Weather permitting, the Anteo movie group will be hosting open air viewings of movies in three locations around the city: Palazzo Reale (piazza Duomo 12), UmanitAria (vi San Barnaba 48) and the Chiostro dell’Incoronata (via Milazzo 9 c/o Anteo Palazzo del Cinema). The movies will be shown in Italian as well as in their original language. You can view the event programming by clicking on the link below, (but note that the website is in Italian). Or head over to the Anteo movie theater in person for more info.
Leonardo Da Vinci 3D – Fabbrica del Vapore
This year marks 500 years since the death of Leonardo da Vinci, so the city has organized a series of events to mark this significant milestone. One such event is the multisensory 3D experience hosted at the Fabbrica del Vapore museum. Full price tickets start at €14. You can get more info and buy tickets by clicking the link below
Antique Music Festival – Milano Arte Musica
Are you a fan of classical music? Then the antique music festival will probably be right up your alley. The August dates include:
August 12 at 6pm and 8: Sala Capitolare del Bergongne – J. S. Bach e i suoi precursori olandesi e tedeschi
August 15 at 6:30pm - Basilica Santa Maria della Passione: Ferragosto Concert with my by Kraus, Hayd
August 19 at 8:30pm Chiesa di Santa Maria della Sanità - G. F. Händel:
August 22 at 8:30pm Basilica di Santa Maria della Passione Domenico Scarlatti - Stabat Mater
Or buy tickets directly at Viva tickets (website available in English) and typing “Milano Arte Musica” in the search field. Tickets cost €5 and up depending on the performance.
You can see the event program here in Italian.
Triennale di Milano
There are countless fascinating museums in Milan. The permanent collection at The Triennale di Milano is one of them, perfect for anyone who loves design. Plus it has air-conditioning, granted it’s Italian air conditioning (lol), which can provide a nice break on a hot summer’s day. Add the bar in the garden and the rooftop restaurant with views of the city, and together it becomes a truly magical place to visit.
There are many more events to do in and around the city, but here are some that I thought you may find interesting. Is there a certain type of event you’d like to know more about? Let me know if the comments below. Or If you end up going to any of the above? let me know what you thought.