First of all, if you are not particularly enamoured with icy weather or sticky heat, best to avoid Milan in winter and summer.
This applies to most cities and areas, of course, but in Milan average winter temperatures can drop to below freezing, snow is common and the city is also often shrouded in fog. In summer, on the other hand, temperatures soar above 35ºC and humidity levels are high.
Spring and autumn are usually quite pleasant, so clearly they are the best times to visit Milan, but to help you take full advantage of your time in Milan – whenever that might be – here we suggest four events to include in your travel agenda, covering all seasons.
Football: AC versus Inter
Two of the world’s most famous football clubs (Inter Milan and AC Milan) are based in the city and remarkably, in spite of being fierce rivals, they both play out of the same stadium: San Siro. With a seating capacity of over 80,000, it is one of the largest stadiums in Europe, and is due to host the opening ceremony of the 2026 Winter Olympics.
In the meantime, Series A matches (the premier Italian division) involving one of the two clubs are played most weeks until the end of May; while the stadio will also host a Champions League match on 23 October between Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund. The Milan Derby (Derby della Madonnina) will be on the weekend of 8-9 February, with a fairly hefty ticket price from €309,80 (albeit probably sold out well in advance), so probably best to try to catch another game.
Milan Fashion Week
One iconic Milan event that just can’t be missed – certainly if you fancy yourself as something of a fashionista – is Milan Fashion Week, the twice-yearly clothing trade show that was established in 1958 as one of the four main global fashion weeks (together with Paris, London and New York).
This year’s presentation of spring/summer 2020 collections was held in September, and the next show (autumn/winter collections) will be running from 18 to 24 February.
Apart from its “big four” status, Milan is also considered to be the fashion capital of the world. Premier Italian fashion houses including Versace, Prada, Gucci, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana have their headquarters in Milan, and all these labels can be found in the ultra-exclusive Quadrilatero della moda (or Via Montenapoleone) shopping district – as well as latest fashions from other top international designers.
Salone Internazionale del Mobile
There does tend to be more rainfall in April and May than at other times of the year, so our third event is also indoors, the Salone Internazaionale del Mobile (Milan International Furniture Fair) from 21 to 26 April – although activities are also programmed for outside in the Fiera Milano complex.
This is a must-visit if you are in town that month and planning a home refurbishment or furniture upgrade on your return; but also, of course, if you are simply a décor and design enthusiast and like checking out latest trends and styles.
Teatro alla Scala
Opera is not exactly a mainstream form of entertainment popular with most tourists but the Teatro all Scala transcends that elite image – for visitors wanting to experience Milan’s rich history – as one of the world’s leading opera and ballet theatres.
Inaugurated on 3 August 1778, the Teatro all Scala’s premiere performance was the L’Europa riconosciuta opera by Antonio Salieri to a libretto by Mattia Veraz. Since then, its footlights have shone on Italy’s greatest operatic artists and many of the finest international singers.
For those keen to take in a performance rather than just soak up history and glamour, the currently available theatre schedule extends to July 2020 – online bookings here.
If you would like to explore other parts of the Lombardy region, check out our invaluable Area Guides.