Of course there are a lot of things to do in Milan during the day but in this article we have tried to list and explain the ones you should do almost once.
DERBY DELLA MADONNINA
Even if you are not a soccer lover, this is definetely a thing to do in Milan: The two football teams from Milan are AC Milan and FC Internazionale – for short called Milan and Inter – which face each other at the San Siro Stadium at least twice a year. For days, or even weeks, before kick-off you can hear the locals talking about the derby anywhere and at any time: in the morning while having breakfast at the bar, at work, at lunch, on the bus, at night while at the pub, and even after the match is over there will also be days of tactical analysis and mocking of the losing team.
The derby is indeed one of the most important sporting events for the people of Milan and, if you have the chance, don’t miss out on the opportunity to watch it live at the stadium and experience the passion coming from eighty thousand fans supporting their teams with songs, chants and huge choreographed display shows covering whole sectors of the stadium. You might want to know that the seats at the San Siro Stadium are divided into four different colours: green or blue behind the goals and red or orange along the sides of the field.
The second green ring (Curva Nord) is home to the Inter ultras, while opposite stands the second blue ring (Curva Sud) is where the Milan fans sit: you really wouldn’t want to go into one of these sectors wearing a scarf of the opposite team! The rest of the stadium is usually mixed, with the majority of supporters from the team that is playing the home match.
FREE WALKING TOUR MILAN
Feeling like a local is something really important when you are living abroad or simply having a break in a new city. This free walking tour (based on tips/pay what is worth) is the best way to be in contact with locals who will show you all the main sights of the city and many hidden treasures through the system of informal storytelling.
Do not miss the opportunity to ask where locals go out during the evening or advice about good place to have dinner: they will always have the right answer! Book you free tour here.
SALONE DEL MOBILE
Every April in Milan there is a famous one-week international fair where interior designers from all around the world come here and you can enjoy art and design exhibitions all around the city. It is a unique chance to see some of the world’s finest international design creations.
Although a lot of people couldn’t care less about design and furniture, they still come to Milan because of all the parties taking place throughout the week for the so-called “Fuorisalone”. During this week you will find hundreds of events, open bars, chic happy hours, exclusive DJs and clubs.
Fashion week in Milan comes around twice a year: in September-October (autumn/winter collection), and in February-March (spring/summer collection).
During these weeks, lots of famous designers, stylists, fashion bloggers and top models literally invade the city in order to attend fashion shows, fairs and events. If you’re a fashion student or you work in the fashion industry then you don’t want to miss out because it’s the chance to experience one of the most important fashion events worldwide.
Maybe you’re a shopping addict and you can fill your wardrobe with all the latest fashion trends by doing some shopping at the fashion capital of Europe, or then again, maybe you’re just an international student and all you want to do in Milan is go crazy and party hard with beautiful models in the coolest clubs in town.
FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano) is a nonprofit organization that aims to promote a culture of respect for Italy’s art, nature, history and traditions. In order to protect the roots and identity of the Italian people, the FAI has restored many monuments and cultural heritage sites. It also organises some very interesting events where they open castles, villas, libraries and other historical sites which are usually closed to the public in order to raise awareness.
They also sponsor days where there are free entrances to museums and galleries. Check out their website for more information: www.fondoambiente.it
OPERA ALLA SCALA
The Teatro Alla Scala, known for short as La Scala, is one of the most famous theatres in the whole world and, because of its prestige and perfect acoustics, it is often referred to as the Opera Temple. Its season traditionally opens on the 7th of December, the feast of Milan’s patron.
It offers opera, ballet and classical music. Although its premieres and social events are only for the luckiest and wealthiest people, there are still many events opened to the public throughout the season. It is also possible to buy an “under30 pass”, which grants discounts, guided tours, and more.
Sant’Ambrogio is the patron Saint of Milan and celebrations devoted to him take place on the 7th of December, the day before the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. This two-day holiday gives every Milanese the chance to enjoy a little break just before Christmas with all businesses, most shops and restaurants closing for the holiday.
These are often the first snowy days of the year and what most people consider to be the beginning of the winter holidays: ski resorts open for the season and those who can afford it usually take the opportunity to get away from the city for a few days and enjoy a bit of quiet and some long awaited skiing.
If you can’t or don’t want to take advantage of the extended holiday, there is always something to do in Milan: in fact you can join one of the most important and traditional Milanese experiences: the “Fiera degli oh Bej! Oh Bej!” (which in Milanese dialect means “Oh such a beautiful thing!”). It starts on December 7th and continues until the following Sunday. This fair is said to have been established in 1510 and is held on the grounds of the Castello Sforzesco. Here you can find hundreds of colourful booths selling traditional souvenirs, handcrafted Christmas decorations, nativity scenes, bric-a-brac, antiques, toys, sweets and glasses of vin brulé: a typical hot wine that contains fruit.
SPIN AROUND THE BULL’S BALLS
You may have been taken aback by this title but if you’ve ever walked into Galleria Vittorio Emanuele you’ve probably seen people spinning around with one foot on the ground. You may have also asked yourself what they may be doing. Well… This is a classic thing to do in Milan! People spin around in circles while standing on a marble picture of a bull, more precisely, standing on the bull’s balls. Why?
This strange yet traditional act is known to bring good luck to those who spin around three times on their right heel. In fact, so many people have done this throughout time that the bull’s balls have actually just become a hole that got carved onto the marble’s surface.