Although the weather may be cold and you might even get snow, December can be a fun time to be in Milan, with festivals and fairs starting December 7. December is also a good time to take in a concert at the beautiful La Scala Theater, one of Italy's top historic opera houses.
These are the festivals and events that happen each December in Milan:
- Early to Mid-December - Hanukkah: Hanukkah in Milan is celebrated at various synagogues throughout the city. The large public Menorah is traditionally set up in Piazza San Carlo.
- December 7 to 10, 2017 - O Bej! O Bej! This street market festival is one of the most popular festivals of the year in Milan. Coinciding with the feast day of Sant'Ambrogio, the patron saint of Milan, O Bej! O Bej! features food, wine, and craft vendors around Piazza Sant'Ambrogio. Special church services are also held in the Duomo (Cathedral) for this occasion.
- December 8 - Holiday for the Immaculate Conception: On this day, the Catholic faithful celebrate the day of the Virgin Mary's conception of Jesus. December 8 is a national holiday, so many businesses may be closed in observance but most tourist services should be open.
- Mid-December - Christmas Markets in Milan: From now until January 7, a Christmas fair near the Duomo is where Milanese and visitors go to buy Italian-made nativity crafts, children's toys, and seasonal treats. There is also a popular Christmas craft fair called L'Artigiano in Fiera, held at the Fiera complex in Rho.
- December 25 - Christmas Day: You can expect everything to be closed on Christmas Day as the Milanese celebrate the most important religious holiday of the year. Of course, there are many ways to celebrate Christmas in Milan, from attending midnight mass at the Duomo to visiting Christmas crèches and nativity scenes around the city, usually on display through January 6, Epiphany. It's a good idea to make a reservation for lunch or dinner on Christmas day - check with your hotel to see what restaurants will be open.
- December 26 - Saint Stephen's Day: This public holiday after Christmas is typically an extension of Christmas day, when families venture out to view nativity scenes in churches and visit Christmas markets. The feast day of Santo Stefano is also held on this day and especially celebrated at churches that venerate Saint Stephen.
- December 31 - New Year's Eve (Festa di San Silvestro): Just as it is all over the world, New Year's Eve, which coincides with the Feast of Saint Sylvester (San Silvestro), is celebrated with much fanfare in Milan. If you want to go to a special dinner or party, be sure to book in advance. Check our information on New Year's Eve in Italy for more information on festivities and traditions.
Plan Your Visit to Milan:
- Milan Travel Guide
- Buy tickets to see The Last Supper from Select Italy
- What to See in Milan
- Find Milan hotels on Hipmunk where you can find the best prices for your dates
- Milan Weather
Editor's Note: This article has been edited and updated by Martha Bakerjian.