Known for its luxe reputation and famed for its fashion escapades Milan has lived with this hard-metropolitan industrial façade for way too long. With its modern high-rise and historical architecture with culture behind every corner done in true Italian style, it’s time to see Milan for all it has to offer, and Christmas is the perfect time to start exploring.
THE CHRISTMAS LOVE STORY DELICACY
Milan not only has a hyper-local food culture dosed rich in history (and wine) but is also birth place to the Christmas tradition panettone. Derived from the Italian word “panetto” meaning a small loaf cake, legend has it that the delicacy we love and enjoy today was created as an act of love from a poor baker boy to the Duke of Milan’s daughter, and now has pride place in every bakery and store across the city and internationally digested and enjoyed – now that’s a love story we can get behind.
And if a heart-felt panettone is not enough for you, feast your eyes on the Chocolate Academy’s very own designer Davide Comaschi and his dedicated team as they create the world’s biggest artistic panettone at the Vittorio Emanuele gallery on the 16th December. Grab a slice and keep your fingers crossed as the Guinness World Record’s judges’ size it up and [hopefully] certify the record, accompanied by the Alpine Choir of Milan. Last years weighed approximately 140kg and could feed well over 1,000 people and this years is set to be even more extravagant.
Did you know Milan is home to over 20 Michelin Starred Restaurants?
TIME SQUARE MAGIC
Save the jet-lag of New York and head to the centre of Milan for a city-side scape to Christmas wonderland. From the 1st to the 24th December the Piazza Duomo is transformed by magic and intrigue. Every day at 18:00 the windows of the palazzo on the southern portico of the Piazza Duomo opens up with lights and music. Inspired by the tradition of Turmblasen – the fanfare played by steeples and towers to celebrate special occasions, musicians and singers from the Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana and SONG Onlus will play Christmas tunes and animated videos as a door is opened counting down till Christmas. The atmosphere alone is enough to bring back that childish glee.
CHANNEL YOUR INNER CHANEL
Spritzin’ the entire city in its elegance, Chanel has lit up the city of Milan in red celebrating their limited edition No5 Chanel bottle which has changed its packaging for the first time in its 97-year-old history. Showing off its iconic silhouette with a giant monument on show in the Piazza Della Scala until the 24th December Chanel’s charm and tribute to the fashion capital does not end there.
They have transformed a historical Milanese tram – known as one of the most representative symbols of the city; drapped it in red. They are running it through the streets with the opportunity for guests to climb aboard, surrounded by the classic scent of No5 and transforming their look with that timeless red Chanel lip. All aboard… There are only a limited amount of the Red Chanel Bottles and will only be available until the end of the year.
LEONARDO DA VINO
Squeeze in some culture before the hustle and bustle. Leonardo da Vinci, although born in Tuscany spent the majority of his working life in Milan and has left an indelible mark in not only the history but also the artistic production of the city. May 2019 will mark 500 years since his death and Milan has curated a schedule that spans nine months including exhibitions, art installations, shows, concerts and more. So make sure to grab your little slice of history with a unique tour into his estate and vineyard before popping into the Last Supper – an unbelievably lost-for-words view of the second famous dinner (after Christmas dinner that is!) across the street. Leonardo, who came from a long line of wine-makers was gifted a vineyard by the duke of Milan. He quickly became deeply attached to the vineyard and gifted it to his servants in his will – where it has now been replanted and is flourishing. Who knew da Vinci and I had so much in common?
DO IT FOR TREE GRAM’
The most iconic symbol of Christmas has had an artistic make-over, in fact, it’s had plenty of make-overs. Several artiscally decorated Christmas trees have been placed and lit up across the city including the incredible 12 metre tall Swarovski tree in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele 11 that includes over 100,000 decorations including 1,000 Swarovski crystal stars and four digital installations and interactive screens to selfie with and share with friends across the globe ant theres even a 25 metre tall fir tree sponsored by Unipol in the Val di Sole with over 35,000 sparkling lights and a digital light installation on the Torre Galfe. How many can you snap and gram?