Dear Father Christmas, I would like … the snow on Milan's Cathedral
In wintertime, against the classic grey Milanese sky, walk along Via Orefici, taking in the coloured glass of Città del Sole (Sun City), a toy store from way back when, catching your breath when you suddenly see it, through the decorated boughs of an enormous Christmas tree, the snow-white face of Milan’s Cathedral merging with the sky; your heart stops as if before magic.
Three, two, one...action!
Cathedral Square is the stage – with swirling pigeons and walking book vendors – where a beautiful show takes place: tourists from all over the world madly snapping photos, stylish girls stepping out of the stores on Corso Vittorio Emanuele with coloured packages and parcels and people just strolling by to enjoy a moment of relaxation, perhaps munching a sandwich on the steps of the Cathedral.
Milan is in here, as if in a snow globe: on one side, the slightly retro elegance of the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery with the bull mosaic bringing luck, on the other side the austere silhouette of the Royal Palace, full of photo exhibits and collections of the greatest masters of painting.
All around, an expanse of shops and boutiques, where the best-known brands – Zara and H&M – balance the jewel bags of Versace, Armani and Louis Vuitton, the sought-after caps of Borsalino and the huge valises of Prada.
It's time for a panzerotto!
After the mandatory trip through the stores, take a quick break. Along a small side street off the Rinascente palace, you catch sight of one of the classic and most elegant symbols of Milan – after the Madonnina statue, of course – the legendary Panzerotto di Luini.
Near dinnertime a river of admirers, bewitched by the smell of baking food, cram the small street in search of their favourite meal. College students, workers in suits and ties, camera-toting tourists and casual passers-by, all stand in line together to enjoy the delicious panzerotto.
From La Scala Theatre to Milan's university
On 8th of December, the lights are switched on in the Palazzo Marino square behind the Gallery and beautiful ladies, bejewelled and wrapped in layers of mink, make their triumphal march to the la Scala Theatre, which awaits them for the ritual premiere that kicks off the Christmas season.
To celebrate the patron saint of Milan, Saint Ambrose, the city fills with lights and colours, creating an ideal moment to enjoy a walk through the city centre. From Piazza la Scala, through the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery until you reach the Royal Palace near Via Larga, spend some time admiring the beauty of the University of Milan. The university is located in the Renaissance building known as “Cà Granda”, built at the wish of the Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza. The project was assigned to the Florentine architect Filarete, bringing to light one of the first Renaissance buildings in the city.
The university campus is often used for artistic and cultural exhibitions and events. One of the most notable shows is Design Week (Salone del Mobile), when the building hosts a most eclectic furniture fair.