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Carnival in Milan - Where and When to celebrate

Carnival in Milan



  • Shrove Thursday: 16 February 2023
  • Shrove Tuesday: 21 February 2023
  • Ash Wednesday: 22 February 2023
  • Ambrosian Carnival: 25 February 2023

SPECIAL PROMOTION WITH MILANOCARD: if you are going to the Ambrosian Carnival, buy a pass that grants you access to all public transports in Milan as well as other promotions. Find it here  >



Carnival, or Carnevale,  isn't just one of Italy's most popular festivals. It's a Catholic holiday that takes place 40 days before Easter, just before the start of Lent.

If you are planning a visit to Italy at winter time, you can’t miss the events that are held during Carnival. And where should you go? Venice and Viareggio are definitely two of the mainstream Carnival location, but if you are looking for a more authentic, traditional experience we suggest you take into consideration Milan. Also because Milanese people have two Carnivals.. not only one: the traditional Carnival and the Ambrosiano one, that is celebrated one week after the Venice Carnival.



Carnival celebrations in Milan aren’t much different than the other ones: you will meet a lot of masquerades and people dressed with extravagant costumes and original masks, eat delicious confettis and sweets and feel a joyful and a festive atmosphere around the beautiful streets of the city. The difference in Milan is all in the timing.  

Milan’s carnival is the last to be celebrated. The Ambrosian Carnival, named after Milan’s patron saint, holds its final celebration after the Italian Carnival has officially ended.   As tradition has it, the city’s patron saint, Sant’Ambrogio (St. Ambrose) was on a religious pilgrimage and asked to postpone the final Carnival celebrations until he got back. This year the final celebration of the Ambrosian Carnival is on Saturday, the 25th of February 2023.


Roof of the Duomo of Milan


If you are coming to Milan at Carnival time, even just for a couple of days, you will live a unique experience. Many are the events and activities that will take place throughout the city, especially in Piazza Duomo (the Cathedral square) and its surrounding areas, where there will be street performers, clowns parades and concerts all day and evening long.

While walking through the streets of Milan, you will also be able to discover many architectural gems, from Liberty palaces to the more futuristic ones, to visit the Duomo Cathedral, one of the most beautiful examples in Italy of Gothic and Renaissance style, the Sforzesco Castle, that is the largest city castle in Europe, in Renaissance style and the Teatro alla Scala in Neoclassical style. If you are travelling with kids, in addition to the many Carnival parades, do not forget to check out the Science Museum (Museum of Science & Technology Leonardo da Vinci), whose collection includes machines, planes, cars, and ships, as well a huge variety of models built following Leonardo da Vinci’s original designs.

And, of course, take your time to stop and enjoy some delicious typical Milanese food! At Carnival time, there are two main sweets that you have to try: the “Chiacchiere”, a light pastry fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar or glazed with chocolate, and the “Bugie di Carnevale” e fluffy, fried pastry filled with pastry cream and sprinkled with sugar. You can find them in any and every bakery around the City.


SPECIAL PROMOTION: during your stay in Milan, you will be able to move around easily thanks to public transports. And with MilanoCard, that is the official Milan Travel Card, you will have free access to all public transportation, discounts in Milan best museums, top attractions and restaurants at the price of 13,50 € (for 24h), 18,50 € (for 48h) and 21€ (for 3days), SAVE TIME AND MONEY, BUY NOW YOUR MILANOCARD HERE >

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