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Milan Design Agenda took a look at the best winter activities in Milan for this Christmas 2015. From the best exhibitions and openings to the best foods and sights to see, we have found seven of the best things to do in Milan that you won’t miss in this season. Milan is a great European winter destination. Italy’s fashion capital transforms over the festive season with streets, shops and statues draped with Christmas sparkle. Whether you are looking to do some luxury Christmas shopping in the famous Quadrilatero d’Oro area, browse for unique souvenirs at the Christmas markets or simply try some traditional Milanese foods, we have found the best places to indulge in the Christmas spirit in Milan.
*La Scala opening year
The opening nigh of La Scala’s winter season -this year on 7 December – is an eagerly anticipated event among music lovers. As one of the world’s most revered opera houses, and the cultural heart of Milan, it is a must-see while in the city this winter. With 2800 seats and some of the best acoustics in the world, a ticket for the opening night provides the chance to dress up and settle down to watch one of the most best operatic productions in the world.
Winter is an especially beautiful time to visit the capital as the streets transform with festive lights and decorations. A trip to Milan would not be complete without some shopping in the most Milan luxury avenues, such as along Via Montenapoleone or in the Piazza del Duomo. Around the Christmas season shops tend to add some extra magic to their shop windows as well as putting on some tempting discounts and gift options.
*Enjoy traditional foods
Winter is the perfect time to enjoy and warm up with some of Milan’s traditional dishes. Start the day off with a cappuccino or espresso and some pastries at Pasticceria Marchesi, founded in 1824 – the Christmassy panetonne della casa is a must. Eating pasta on a trip to Italy has also become a rite of passage and Milan offers some of the very best places to do it. Head to Larte for an impressive menu of fresh pasta dishes, which combines new and classic cuisine with exceptional results.
*Relax and unwind
Although there is much to see and do in Milan over the Christmas period, be sure to take some time out from the seasonal activities for some rest and relaxation. Milan has many lavish spas, perfect for some head-to-toe pampering. Milan Design Agenda recommend the one at the Chateau Monfort hotel, an exclusive refuge for the body and spirit with unique saunas, a Turkish bath and a saltwater swimming pool. After some well-deserved pampering, be sure to enjoy an aperitivo – the timeless tradition of a pre-dinner cocktail accompanied by a small selection of tapas-like dishes.
*Visit the Duomo
No visit to Milan would be complete without a trip to the famous Duomo and during the winter it takes on a new lease of heading up to its roof terrace. On a clear day you can take in some truly spectacular views!
This early December festival in honour of Milan’s patron saint, Sant’Ambrogio, is know for its festive street market in the grounds of the Castello Sforzesco, which runs from 7 to 8 December. With traditional festive foods, drinks and unique gifts on display, this is a great way to enjoy the spirit of Christmas in Italy.
Where to do shopping in Milan, where to go in Milan, and what to do in Milan have all answers in this Milan City guide dedicated to Christmas!