Christmas in Milan
Christmas time in Milan begins on the 7th of December, the day of Saint Ambrose, patron of the city. According to the tradition, on this day Milan citizens put on Christmas decorations and watch the opening night of the La Scala, the play that inaugurates the opera season of the most famous theater in the world.
On the 7th of December the theater is in the spotlight all over the world. This event has great cultural importance. But it is also an institutional and fashionable occurrence. As soon as you enter the hall, you get blinded by the sparkle of the actors’, artists’ and celebrities’ jewellery and elegant haute couture dresses. It doesn’t matter if you have an interest in theatre, the important thing is to attend it.
If you are looking for opera lovers, you have to go to the upper circle. As for every premiere, real opera enthusiasts and critics gather here and determine the success of the play with their load cheers or critique whistles.
Christmas experience in Milan includes
• There is hardly any Milanese citizen that doesn’t go downtown to enjoy the decorations that light up the city. You cannot miss the decorations of Duomo square and Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery.
• An absolute must is the Oh Bej Oh Bej fair. It is held in the city center with the stands of the craft products and the antiquities defined by the unique Christmas mood.
• There is no Christmas without the famous Marron Glacé of Giovanni Galli. The recipe of these candied marrons of the intense and mouth-filling taste has been passed through generations from 1911.
• Panettone is well known all over the world and has its origins in Milan in the XV century. The story goes that the chef of Ludovico il Moro forgot to prepare a dessert for a Christmas dinner. So, a kitchen boy Tony took all the remaining ingredients and invented a new dessert that was very appreciated by the Duke’s guests. From that moment on, it is called “Tony’s bread” or in Italian Panettone.
• The history of panettone is intertwined with that of another symbol of Italy in the world: The Last Supper. Located in the refectory of the convent adjacent to Santa Maria delle Grazie, the Last Supper was commissioned to Leonardo da Vinci in 1494 by Ludovico il Moro himself.
• Right around the corner from La Scala you will find Poldi Pezzoli Museum, a real museum within another museum. Lavishly decorated halls and cabinets of the palace host masterpieces on Canvas of the Italian Renaissance, sculptures, ceramics and jewellery.
• Bagatti Valsecchi Museum is a residence located in the heart of the fashion district. It was renovated in the XIX century to host art collection of the baron brothers Fausto and Giuseppe Bagatti Valsecchi. Cozy and pleasant atmosphere of this house-museum, furnished in the Lombard style, becomes magic when it comes to the Christmas Eve.