5 Ideas for Christmas Eve: what to do in Milan | ELLCI

Christmas Eve in Milan

Christmas eve Milan

Christmas Eve in Milan


If you are in the city in December, you may be wondering what to do on Christmas Eve in Milan.

The holiday season in Milan traditionally is linked to Catholic celebrations. It begins the second week of December with the feast of the patron saint of the city and the Immaculate Conception.

On 7 December, Sant’Ambrogio is celebrated, only in Milan, while the day after, 8 December is a national holiday, on which the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary occurs.

These two consecutive days of celebration give the Milanese the opportunity to take advantage of a mini vacation. If a holiday falls close to the beginning or end of the week, the magic of the long weekend happens, whatItalians call il ponte/the bridge.

On the day of the Immaculate Conception, instead, all the customs related to Christmas begin, such as making the nativity scene and the Christmas tree and decorating the house.

What other things to do in Milan during Christmas? Here are 5 great ways to get into the Christmas spirit and celebrate Christmas in Milan.


5 Ideas for a wonderful Christmas in Milan 

1. Visit the Milanese Christmas Markets: Oh Bej! Oh Bej!

christmas market in milan

Traditionally on 7 December you go to the Christmas markets of which the most famous and oldest is the Oh Bej! Oh Bej! Food and craft stalls have been found every year for over 500 years!
Originally the stalls were located in Piazza Sant’Ambrogio, then they were moved on the edge of the Castello Sforzesco.

This year, from 5 to 8 December between Piazza Castello, Viale Gadio and Piazza del Cannone, there will be about three hundred stalls.


2. Choose the right Panettone


The dessert of excellence for the Milanese Christmas is the panettone. The typical dessert with candied fruit and raisins dates back to the 1400s. Panettone is a large bread, leavened for many hours.

In 1919 Angelo Motta revolutionized the traditional panettone, giving it its tall dome shape by letting the dough rise three times, for almost 20 hours, before baking, giving it the now familiar light consistency.Choose your panettone in a historic Milanese pastry shop, you will find the softest and tastiest panettone, the panettone must not be too dry.Panettone is therefore eaten throughout the Christmas period, and for special occasions, such as Christmas and New Year’s Day, it is usually served with a mascarpone cream that is the end of the world.


3. Enjoy roasted chestnuts in Piazza Duomo

roasted chestnut milano

Roasted chestnuts are Milan’s typical winter street snack. Walking through Corso Buenos Aires, Piazza Duomo, and elsewhere in the center, you will notice the kiosks of roasted chestnuts by their scent even before you see them with your eyes. They sell sweets, drinks, and pouches full of steaming chestnuts. A must in the cold season!


4. Warm up with mulled wine after Christmas Eve mass

Christmas Milan duomo

Attending the midnight mass on Christmas Eve is one of the most evocative Italian religious traditions. It is a special mass because it takes place at midnight on December 24th, with a choir singing Christmas songs and, sometimes, even the living nativity scene, with live figures.

At the end of the mass, people usually stop outside the church to exchange greetings and toast. Vin Brulé – spiced wine – and panettone are often offered.


5. Ice skating in Gae Aulenti

ice skating Gae Aulenti

For some years now, a real ice rink has been set up in the Christmas period among the Milanese skyscrapers of Piazza Gae Aulenti.

You can have fun skating among the most beautiful skyscrapers in Milan and the Biblioteca degli alberi park.

The best Christmas Markets in Milan

Unique and unusual Italian Christmas traditions