Winter events in Milan

La Scala opening night  

Where: Teatro alla Scala, via Filodrammatici 2, Centre
When: 7 Dec
Tel & website: 02 88 791/ 
Piazza della Scala fills with feather boas and black ties as the great and good assemble for La Scala’s first night of the season.

Oh Bej! Oh Bej!  
Where: Piazza Sant’Ambrogio, West
When: 7 Dec
This street market is one of Milan’s top festivals, held on the feast of the city’s patron saint, Ambrogio. The streets around piazza Sant’Ambrogio throng with crowds sampling traditional food such as pancakes, roast meat, chestnuts and mulled wine; and there are stalls selling crafts and antiques. Goldsmiths made a gift to the city of a silver statue of the saint, exhibited on this day in the Duomo cathedral; there’s also a special morning service in the Sant’Ambrogio basilica.

Where: various locations
When: 6 Jan
Epiphany is also known as La Befana, after a kind-hearted witch who is said to bring presents to well-behaved children and coal to naughty ones. Crowds turn out for the morning procession of the Three Wise Men from the Duomo to the church of Sant’Eustorgio, where their relics are said to be kept.

Where: various locations
When: Feb/early Mar
Milan’s Carnevale takes place in the days after Shrove Tuesday, later than in the rest of Italy. The celebrations are largely for children, who roam the streets in costumes spraying confetti and foam at passers-by. A fancy dress parade takes place around the Duomo on the first Saturday of Lent.

Milano Moda Donna Autunno/Inverno  
Where: various locations
When: late Feb
Milan’s moment in the fashion spotlight, as 80-odd designers unveil their autumn and winter collections. Catwalks are assembled at venues in Milan from shops to private spaces, though entry to the shows is by invitation only. Metropol, Dolce & Gabbana’s renovated cinema (viale Piave 24,, hosts exhibitions as well as providing a venue for shows; Armani’s catwalk is at the former Nestl√© factory he has converted into a theatre (via Bergognone 59).

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