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CHRISTMAS FAIRS AND MARKETS IN MILAN

written by Alexandra Evans

Ostuni città bianca

Milan is one of the more popular and best destinations where you can spend Christmas vacations. Thanks to the number of events hosted daily, like cultural initiatives, fairs, free concerts, typical markets and much more. All this has made Milan one of the best and most attractive towns in Europe for both the young and old people. 

Especially during Christmas festive, the city assumes a new face; all starts on the 7th of December with a marvelous feasting celebration for the city’s patron, Saint’Ambrose. The day also coincides with the famous and an ancient Christmas market day full of typical products and sweet: the "Oh Bej! Oh Bej!" fair featuring: wine, craft vendors from Piazza Sant'Ambrogio and food. Special churches services during this occasion are held in Duomo.

During this festive season, you will have the chance to visit the famous Christmas Craft Fair of Milan L’Artigiano in Fiera, which is largest crafts exhibition in Italy, attracting thousands of foreign exhibitors and visitors to Fiera Milano. With food, clothes, jewelers, antiques, furniture etc. on offer, this places the best alternative for shoppers during Christmas festive. 

For the running second year, Milan own Christmas Theme Park, the Villaggio delle Meraviglie will be operationalized in the lovely serene Giardini Pubblici Montanelli’s surrounding, one of the best and nicest parks in Milan’s centre. You will also have the opportunity to be entertained by the fairytale village, which is inspired by Christmas. If you have children, the house of Santa will be there, where they can hand Santa Claus their Christmas letters. Adjacent to Santa’s apartment, a toy factory where kids can draw their preferred character will there enabling them to see the animations of their drawings. There will also be rollercoaster in Santa sleigh’s shape; ridding along the mountains snow for the children to see. There will be a rink of ice-skating also where alongside free skating, lessons, and sessions many shows and exhibitions will take place.

During Christmas season, Milan’s shopping is unlike other shopping experiences you may have experienced in the past. Most expensive prestigious boutiques and showrooms globally can be seen lining the pedestrian walkways and boulevards in Milan. For instance, Via Montenapoleone the famous crosses Via Della Spiga which in turn is crossed by Via Sant'Andrea forms a part of real estate’s commercials including outlets for Gucci, Cavalli, Versace, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, and Prada among others. This shopping section is just for the high-end goods. When you go shopping for the middle range accessories and fashion the alternatives are even more thrilling.

Milan, like any other Italian cities in general, observe Christmas quietly. Here you will see families re-uniting, friends reconciling and the poor fed. During this festive season shop for gifts but also of most important, think of what to cook for Christmas dinner. Here you will see families cooking their traditional favourite foods like: Risotto alla Milanese- which is prepared with onion, saffron, butter, beef bouillon and wine. Cotoletta alla Milanese-a meat typical dish prepared from breaded and Veal cutlets and then fried in butter. Polenta-made with cornmeal, which is ground and then it is served with tomato sauce and some type of meat. Panettone-a popular Christmas cake made with flour, water, dried candied fruits, eggs, and butter.

There are a couple of markets during the Christmas festive season throughout Milan. One is the Smart Market which is based on the theme recycling and reusing at the Piazza Sant' Ambrogio; a Christmas edition based on the regular market. This market ends on the 23rd of December of that year. In this market, you can find the famous holiday Panettone, the symbol of Milan. 

Another shopping trip worth visiting is the market of Lazzate Christmas a small village in the outskirts of Milan. This market has a firm favourite atmosphere for shopping as well as events to keep children happy and an array of mouth-watering goods, many hand-made. You should also note that between Mid-December and 6 January is when Christmas Markets in Milan open and you can buy Italian-made children's toys, local crafts, and seasonal treats. 

Tips:
On 25th of December, Christmas day, you can anticipate all shops, stalls, and markets to be closed. 
While in Milan, you can also celebrate Christmas by attending midnight masses at Duomo or visiting Christmas crèches within the city.

On 26th of December, it is Saint Stephen's Day, is an extension day of Christmas, when families go camping out visiting Christmas markets and viewing nativity sites in churches.

On 31st of December it is New Year's Eve or San Silvestro di Festa. This day is marked with much more fanfare in Milan.

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