10 Magical Festivals in Milan to Put on Your Italy Bucket List!

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Milan is a great place to visit year-round, but there are certain times when the city is just buzzing with energy and fun.

If you plan to come to Lombardy to see one of these fabulous Milanese festivals, you are in for a real treat! Here are the ten best festivals in Milan to plan your trip around!

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Festivals in Milan

Essential Travel Resources for 2021 & 2022

These are my favorite companies that I use on my travels.

Find the best deals on hotels & vacation rentals on Booking.com.

For road trips and ground transportation, rent a car through Discover Cars.

Find the best city tours, day tours, bus tours, & skip-the-line tickets on GetYourGuide.

For packing and travel essentials order via Amazon.

For travel guidebooks to have with you during your trip, I always pick one or two (or five) from Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, Moon Travel Guides, or Fodor’s Travel Guides.

Get reliable travel insurance through World Nomads.

Book an affordable family or romantic photography session on your trip through Flytographer (Use the code HISTORYFANGIRL for 25% off your first photoshoot).

The Best Festivals in Milan

From the religious to the haute couture, these are the best Milan festivals:

Milan Fashion Week

Italy - Milan - Milan Fashion Week

Starting as early as in January (men’s fashion) and February (for women), the Milan Fashion Week is held twice every year and it lasts over a month on each occasion.

This impressive fashion festival is bound to last longer in the upcoming years to be able to accommodate the ever-growing number of new designers and artists that present their collections in the fashion capital of the world.

Milan has a long and exemplary tradition in the textile industry which goes on stage during September and October when the fall collection is presented at the Fiera Milano Exhibition Centre.

Read next: 17 Magical Things to Do in Milan in Winter for an Italian Winter Escape

See also
Planning a Visit to Ostia Antica from Rome & Ostia Antica Tips!

Mercatone dell’Antiquariato Antiques Fair

Italy - Milan - Flea market showcase with vintage old books

Those visitors who love shopping sprees and retail therapy adore Milan also for its unique antique fairs and vintage markets.

The famous Antiques Fair takes place every last Sunday of every month. However, if you visit in July, remember that this is the month when the fair takes its annual leave.

The fair is also known as the Mercatone dell’Antiquariato, and it is held in the Naviglio Grande, Milan’s oldest canal.

Here, dozens of merchants prepare unique stands with curious selections of furniture, silverware, clocks, vintage bags and sunglasses, porcelain, dolls, jewelry, books, even magazines.

Read next: 27 Marvelous Things to Do in Milan, Lombardy’s Sophisticated Capital

F1 Grand Prix

Italy - Monza - MONZA, ITALY - OCTOBER 27: Start grid and grandstand at Monza Formula One race track. Home of the Italian F1 Grand Prix October 27, 2008 in Monza, Italy

The popular Italian Grand Prix is not held in the center of Milan but in the nearby city of Monza, about half an hour from the city center.

Monza hosts one of the first Grand Prix tracks ever built in Europe. The Grand Prix takes place at the beginning of September and it attracts fans and visitors from all over the world.

Saint Ambrose Festival

Italy - Milan - chestnut tresses called filuni, typical of sant'ambrogio festivity in milan

Milan’s most beloved saint and the city protector is Saint Ambrose (Sant’Ambrogio). Milanese citizens, as well as people coming from all over the Lombardy region, gather at the“O bei O bei” festival (which in Milanese dialect stands for “so beautiful”). 

On December 7, the day the saint is remembered the Sant’Ambrogio Basilica and the surrounding area sees stalls selling local arts and crafts as well as numerous food trucks and stands offering Milanese street food like roasted chestnuts, rice fritters, pizza, sandwiches, and generous glasses of vin brulé, a local spiced wine that Milanese love to enjoy during the whole cold season.

Read next: 11 Festive Things to do for Christmas in Milan for a Magical Milanese Christmas

Milan Jazz Festival

Italy - Milan - jazz musician playing outdoor concert

Fond of art and music, the Milanese love to celebrate jazz music during the popular annual festival.

Every November, the Milan Jazz Festival takes place around different music venues in town, which host Italian and international jazz musicians attending especially for over a month.

Ambrosiano Carnival

Italy - Milan - a beautiful oriental costume for carnival

Carnival is a heartfelt celebration in Milan and it represents a joyful moment for the locals who dress-up ad enjoy old-time traditions.

The festival usually begins on the first Saturday of Lent (check the calendar accordingly since it’s a date that changes according to when Easter is celebrated).

One of the most beloved outfits locals love to wear is called Meneghino, a traditional character related to the Italian Commedia dell’Arte.

Kids especially enjoy the endless parades and the delicious fritelle, Milan’s Carnival sweet fritters.

Read next: 21 Magical Things to Do in Milan at Night + Milan Nightlife Guide!

See also
5 Books to Read on Vacation: Travel Memoirs, Beach Reads, and More!

Tredesin de Mars

Italy - Milan - The stone of the Tredesin de Mars in Santa Maria al Paradiso

Locals celebrate Tredesin de Mars to commemorate the religious conversion of the Milanese into Christianity under Saint Barnabas.

Despite being a popular festival, it has no real connection to historical fact, since it has been repeatedly proved that the famous saint never made it to Milan.

According to the legend, Saint Barnabas came to the city on March 13th  and made thirteen signs with his cross on the floor of Santa Maria del Paradiso church which caused the pagans to convert.

Tredesin de Mars is also a celebration in which locals welcome better weather, flowers blossoming, and the arrival of spring.

In the Tredesin Fair, people sell and buy sweets and flowers, while there’s a religious procession in the central area of Porta Romana.

Read next: 17 Hidden Gems in Milan

Milano Film Festival

Italy - Milan - The open air movie theater during the Milan film festival, Italy

Considered one of the best and most prestigious film festivals as far as documentaries are concerned, the festival is a great opportunity for directors who want to present short films.

A special characteristic of this event is that films are not categorized and that meetings and workshops with the audiences are the main opportunities that filmmakers have to learn about the opinion that the audiences have on their work.

This festival usually takes place in September.

Oggi Aperto

Italy - Milan - Vintage house with pink common balconies typical of old Milan - ivy plants

More of a happening event than a festival, locals love and take full advantage of this Open Day (in Milan known as Oggi Aperto, or Today Open).

On this special day, usually during the last weekend of March, every historical monument or building of architectural relevance that is usually private and impossible to access is open to the public.

Latin American Festival

Milan’s most important summer festival is the Latin American Festival which sees thousands of visitors during June and July.

During these days, the city celebrates the hundreds of Latin Americans that live in the city and the special bond that this part of the world has long had with Milan.

The festival is a great culinary event, with food from every Latin American country, but it’s also possible to enjoy shows, dance, buy arts and crafts, or take part in many different cultural events.

5 Things to Bring with You to Italy

Greece - Crete - Stephanie Luggage

The Lonely Planet Italy guidebook or the Rick Steves Italy guidebook for your trip. It can be kind of a pain to find the major guidebooks once you arrive in Italy, or you’ll find them overpriced.

See also
101 Italy Quotes & Dreamy Italy Instagram Captions

I always like to pick mine up ahead of time.

An Unlocked Cell Phone so that you can use an Italian sim card while here to help navigate the trains.

Backup Charging Bank for your cell phone since you’ll be using it as a camera, GPS system, and general travel genie.

A Camera since Rome is super photogenic. I use a mix of my Nikon D810 and my  Samsung8 smartphone these days. (Though many of these pics in this post were on my old Nikon D40).

A Great Day Bag so you can carry what you need with you (like your camera, snacks, water, sunscreen, cash, etc).

My current favorite is the Pacsafe Citysafe, which is especially great for Italy because it has many anti-theft features.

Italy is the only country in the world where I’ve almost been the victim of a pickpocket!

The Pacsafe Citysafe also transitions to a night bag more easily and won’t embarrass you if you go to dinner directly after sightseeing all day.

More Italy Travel Resources

I love Italy! Here are all my Italy resources to help you plan your trip, organized by destination.

Italy

Italy - Rome - Stephanie at the Baths of Caracalla

Before you leave for your trip, enjoy these books about Italy and beautiful Italy quotes to help get you inspired!

Florence

Duomo,Di,Firenze,The,Florence,Cathedral,Santa,Maria,Del,Fiore

This magical Rennaisance capital belongs on everyone’s Italy bucket list. Check out the best things to do in Florence and these beautiful quotes about Florence.

Milan

Italy - Milan - The Last Supper - Stephanie Selfie

I adore Milan! I’m *this close* to calling it my favorite city in Italy.

While here, make sure to enjoy the best things to do in Milan, what to eat in Milan, and what to do in Milan at night! And don’t skip any of the best Milan hidden gems!

Only plan on being here for a few days? Check out my three-day Milan itinerary.

Make sure to go on a Tour of the Last Supper (and buy your tickets early!). When you’re done, check out these other beautiful Milan historic churches.

See also
21 Magical Things to Do in Milan at Night + Milan Nightlife Guide!

If you want to get out of the city, here are the best day trips from Milan and how to visit Lake Como from the city.

Headed to Milan from late November through early March? Check out the best things to do in Milan in winter and what to do in Milan at Christmas.

Once you’re here, use these quotes about Milan for your Instagram captions!

Finally, before you arrive, check to see if there’s a special Milan festival happening while you’ll be in the city!

Rome

Italy - Rome - Stephanie at a Museum in Rome

Rome was the first European city I ever visited, and it stole my heart! While here, make sure to see the Roman Forum.

Looking for a history-themed day trip from Rome? You can visit Ostia Antica! (Not sure if Ostia Antica is right for you? Here’s how to choose between Ostia Antica or Pompeii).

Venice

Italy - Venice - Stephanie on a Vaporetto

Venice is absolutely beautiful. Use these beautiful quotes about Venice for your picture captions.

Naples & the Amalfi Coast

Cup of fresh espresso coffee in a cafe with view on Vesuvius mount in Naples, Campania, Southern Italy

Headed to Naples? Here’s the perfect one-day-in-Naples itinerary.

You can enjoy these beautiful quotes about the Amalfi coast to inspire your trip!

Italy is Included in These Round-Ups

Italy - Stephanie - Battle of Cannae
Italy is beautiful, no matter which region you’re in!

The Most Beautiful Beaches in the Mediterranean

The Best Books to Read on Vacation

The Most Beautiful Castles in the World

The Best Wine Countries in the World

Where to Go in Europe in September

The Most Underrated Cities in Europe

The Best Opera Houses in Europe

1001 Ideas for Travel Tattoos

Before You Leave for Italy – Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!

Make sure you have a valid Travel Insurance Policy because accidents happen on the road.

I use World Nomads for my long trips to Europe, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’ll be hanging out in cities (like Rome, Milan, Venice…ahem) where tourists can be the victims of pickpockets.

See also
17 Hidden Gems in Milan

Italy is the only country I’ve been to (out of almost seventy) where I’ve had someone try to pick my pocket!

I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for two years, and I happily recommend them.  If you get sick, injured, or have your stuff stolen, you’ll be happy to have the ability to pay for your medical bills or replace what’s stolen or broken.

Get a Travel Insurance quote for your trip.

Pin this Guide to the Best Milan Festivals for Your Trip!

Festivals in Milan

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