The magic of Advent, amid coloured lights and delicacies of all kinds, in the most classic Northern European tradition is represented in the Christmas markets, aka Markets of St. Nicholas, renamed Christkindlmarkt following the Protestant reformation. It’s at these outdoor festivals that consumers from all over the world indulge in typical sweets and mulled wine. Many Italian cities host such gatherings where one can stroll among artisan shops and tasting tables, from Bolzano to Naples, by way of Milan. In the city of Milan there are several of there, befitted for the occasion, one more delicious than the other. Read on for some of the most interesting, not-to-miss places to ring in the holiday season..
PopCorn Garage Market
Second edition for this market organized by Pop Corn Blogazine, project aimed at redeveloping abandoned places or disused areas of the city. Set up in these desolate areas are markets conceived in perfect northern European style, with workshops and activities for children, shows and lots of good food. Freshly prepared ravioli, fried gnocchi and desserts from local patisseries, as always paired with a good glass of wine: these and many other gastronomic offerings in the Via Carlo Botta market. And then live music, creative artists and performers from all over Italy, plus many vintage items to choose from, ideal for Christmas gifts.
PopCorn Garage Market – Milan – via Carlo Botta, 18 – www.popcornblogazine.com
Fondaco di Natale
A charity exhibition in support of the Floriani Foundation, an association involved in the use of palliative care for incurable patients. Six days to raise funds and extend the free home care network training qualified personnel. The event, celebrating its 22nd edition, is held December 12 to 16 at Torneria, with a series of events designed for all ages. Furniture, antiques, paintings, silverware, clothing and vintage accessories will be on sale, in addition to many gastronomic specialties displayes on the market stalls in via Tortona. Chocolate, freshly baked bread, jams and marmalades, craft beer and Panettone baked especially for the Floriani Foundation, packed in green velvet and vinyl, with flowers and pearls, available in the classic version, without raisins or studded with chocolate.
Fondaco di Natale – Milan – via Tortona, 30 – fondazionefloriani.eu/fondaco/
Darsena Christmas Village
A market with a fairytale atmosphere in the heart of the Darsena area, including lights, Christmas tree, ornaments and decorations, and even a Santa Claus available to entertain the children. The event is designed by Saadv Entertainmente Seed Events in collaboration with Punk For Business and with the Patronage of the City of Milan, which for the holidays has built an ice-skating rink with lots of shows, as well as staging a gospel choir and a series of workshops for the whole family. An event that will go on from December 6th until January 6th, thanks to the contribution of Saint Lucia, Galbani’s flagship brand and main sponsor of the event. In addition to buying sweets and mulled wine, the event will be an excellent opportunity to be charitable: the #Regalami project invites children and parents, starting from December 13, to donate a toy along with a minimum bid of 3 euros, to win a gift at the end of the event. All proceeds will be donated to OBM Onlus of the Buzzi Children’s Hospital in Milan.
Darsena Christmas Village – Milan – Nuova Darsena di Milano – www.facebook.com/darsenaxmasvillage/
Il Villaggio delle Meraviglie
Northern European style wooden houses, rides and sledges, games and elves: the evocative atmosphere of the “Village of Wonders” is ideal for a romantic walk tantalized by the scent of butter and spices, while doing your Christmas shopping. At the Indro Montanelli Gardens in Porta Venezia, the days are colored with lights and decorations thanks to the work of Ambra Orfei and her AO Group team. This is the perfect place for families, where the little ones can have fun with free entertainment and shows. Under the tree, meet-and-greet with celebrities, and even music workshops and Santa’s house. There are, of course, all kinds of tasty delights, both sweet and savory, in the name of conviviality lasting the entire holiday period, until January 6th.
Il Villaggio delle Meraviglie – Milan – Corso Venezia – www.villaggiodellemeraviglie.com/
Celebrations also in Piazza Gae Aulenti, between ice-skating rinks and exhibitions, tasting tables, vintage clothing markets and handicrafts. Furthermore, puppet theaters, rides and an international exhibition of nativity scenes. From December 28 to 31, furthermore, the market will come alive with shows and events, accompanied by a wide and varied gastronomic offer, all based on street food, tasting of local sweet and savory snacks. In addition to consuming on the spot, participants can buy niche products of the many artisans present, from honey to jams, from bread to biscuits.
Christmas Village – Milan – Piazza Gae Aulenti
Banco di Garabombo
Probably the most gastronomic of the Milanese markets: the Banco di Garabombo, historic Christmas marquee of fair trade and Italian social economy, celebrates its first 20 years of life with a program full of novelties. Over 2,000 references, proposals and original, ethical and sustainable gift ideas, from all over Italy and the South of the world. There’s more: short-supply chain organic products, specialties hailing from Italian social coops and Slow Food Presidia, as well as bread, fruit, cured meats, panettone, torrone, coffee, chocolate and spices. The colorful and succulent offer this year is all new, with a different display of products and a brand new venue. All foods are grouped under the name “La Buona Bottega” which refers to the shop in Piazzale Baracca, a few meters from the marquee, where the products are available all year round.
Banco di Garabombo – Milan – via Pagano – www.chicomendes.it/banco-di-garabombo/
by Michela Becchi
translated by Eleonora Baldwin