Although Milan in January is in the middle of winter season, it can be a good time to visit Milan as in this period you’ll find less crowds but still enough events of all kinds. January actually marks the end of the Christmas celebration. In January the schools reopen again after long Christmas holidays and from 7th January Milan returns to normal life. In this month Milan won’t disappoint you with many cultural events and for shopping fans, it’s another appointment with winter sales.
What are advantages when visiting Milan in this month? January is a period out of peak tourist season that means you will be able to find some great deals on accommodation.
As a typical winter month, weather is cold and quite wet. Although January is a month without freezing temperatures, weather condition which causes greater discomfort is Milan fog. Fog is a phenomenon I mostly hate in this period.
Fog is covering particularly the non-urban areas, causing many problems to the traffic. The fog is less visible in the city center but this phenomena provokes very high level of air pollution, particularly on days with no wind.
Rarely the temperature falls below zero (maximum from -1°C/30,2°F to -3°C/26,6°F in January). To see snowing in Milan isn’t so rare occasion, even I find it the positive phenomena that can help to reduce the city smog but on the other hand when snows the local traffic goes haywire.
Average low temperature in January is 3°C/37.4°F and the highest average temperature goes up to 7°C/44.6°F. According statistic the rainfall in this month is 36 mm spread over 9 days. If the temperature drops there is 8 % of snow falls in this month.
What’s about sunny days? Don’t worry, you can expect also some sunny days in January not many. On average it can be expected the least two hours of sunshine per day.
What to Pack
As you can see. January is one of the coldest months in Milan. If you like to walk around Milan as I do, here are my personal recommendations if you decide to visit Milan in this winter month.
Don’t leave without these clothing in your suitcase: winter waterproof jacket with hood, waterproof boots or hiking shoes, wool sweaters, hat, scarf, gloves. If you have run out of space in your suitcase, you can always buy the umbrella in Milan.
Walking around Milan city or taking a day trip to Come or Maggiore lakes, I do remind you about importance to wear comfortable shoes.
The map of most important events in Milan during Epiphany:
Coming in Milan in this month only the first week is still crowded but after January 6th Milan turns to be more quieter. Here are January’s most important events and things you can to do in Milan.
New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day is a national holiday in Italy. Actually this holiday in a natural continuation of Christmas holidays in Milan. On this day all shops will be closed except some big commercial shopping malls, located mainly in city suburbs.
Feast of Epiphany
On the Cristian calendar, the feast of the Epiphany (Italian Epifania) is an important Christmas date celebrated on January 6th as a national holiday in Italy. From religious point, it’s a feast that commemorates the 12th day of Christmas when the three Wise Men arrived bringing gifts for Baby Jesus.
The Epiphany also includes the tale of a witch known as La Befana, that plays an important part in Italian Christmas celebrations. La Befana arrives on her broomstick during the night of January 5th with toys and sweets for the good children and pieces of coal for the bad ones.
La Befana is particularly welcomed by children as a day when they finally get their holiday sack in the form of socks.
Procession of the Magi
Procession of the three wise men is one of tradition in Milan in January celebrating the story of the Magi’s journey to Bethlehem to visit the Christ Child.
The procession usually starts on Saturday January 6. The procession will parade through the streets of Milan from the Piazza diDuomo to the Basilica di SantEustorgio, which houses a portion of the Magi’s relics.
The procession leaves from Duomo accompanied by two bands, playing Epiphany tunes on traditional Italian bagpipes, the majorettes and various costumed groups, following the traditional itinerary through via Torino, columns of San Lorenzo, corso di Porta Ticinese, piazza Sant’Eustorgio.
Traditional Christmas Crib
December 5th to January 6th
To stay in the Christmas atmosphere, I highly recommend to visit Christmas crib in the Basilicata style that will be exposed for a free visit in the ceremonial courtyard of Palazzo Marino, Milan’s city hall, from 5 December.
It will be possible to visit it until Sunday January 6th.For the past 18 years it has been promoting a crib art exhibition that involves hundreds of artisans and artists from different Italian regions.
Wood, polystyrene, plasterboard, terracotta: these are the different materials used for the creation, while the characters, made by the associates, are entirely made of paper mache, shaped according to techniques learned from the masters of nativity art.
What to Do
One of things you can’t miss in Milan, is going shopping. Shopping in world fashion capital has always been a great pleasure. In January there are two events that will cause a lot of interest for shopping fans.
To be in January in Milan is the best time to see all the new spring fashions arrive and the beginning of winter sales.
Trentino Christmas market
November 24th to January 6th
The appointment with the typical artisan products, food and wine from
Trentino will be present from late November to early January. This Christmas market will be located in Piazza Portello, Milan. See the map below!In a charming atmosphere with a mountain flavor from Trentino region, inside small wooden houses, decorated for the occasion, visitors can enjoy a true Christmas atmosphere, exploring traditional Christmas specialties: wooden and ceramic objects, blown glass and Christmas decorations, Christmas table decorations, candles and many more .A market with a long traditions every year offers unique occasion for all visitors where they can find many ideas for Christmas gifts and more.
Men’s Fashion Week
Fashion Week will be start on the second Friday in January, and Milan will become again international capital of Men’s fashion. The full program can be found here!
During the event more than 100 fashion shows and presentations will take place in Milan in January. With the presence of the big designers names (over 30 designers) like Emporio Armani, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Versace, and many international names. It’s a proof of the great interest shown by market operators toward men’s fashion.
January 4th to March 5th
Milan’s winter sales will take places from January through early March. One of the most important rules of sales in Milan is to be there on the first days of sales if you want to take advantage of the best deals.
You should consecrate some of your time to queue up in front of the expensive designer boutiques in the Quadrilatero della moda (Quadrilateral of fashion), luxury outlets and department stores.
If you want to grab more savings on traditional outlet price than you visit one of six Designer Outlets in Milan’s nearby areas:
For the period of Christmas holidays the Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castle) in Milan will offer its museums, different activities for adults, children and families. Every first Sunday of the month , Castle offers a free admission to the Museums for all visitors.