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Six things to do in Milan in April 2024

Giampietro Vianello
Giampietro Vianello - [email protected]
Six things to do in Milan in April 2024
A view of Milan's Porta Nuova district in May 2020. Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP

As Italy shakes off the winter gloom once and for all, it’s time to see what Milan has in store for both residents and visitors this April.

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April is generally considered one of the best times of the year to be in Milan as the northern city leaves behind the short days, grey skies and cold temperatures of the winter season and enjoys warmer and sunnier conditions while still being a good distance away from the humid heat of the summer months. 

But it’s not just better weather making life in Milan sweeter in April as a host of cultural events and opportunities pick back up all around the city, helping both residents and visitors shake off the winter blues once and for all. 

Run in the Milan marathon

If you’re a competitive runner, you’ll have until Thursday, April 4th to book your spot in the 2024 edition of the Milan marathon, which is set to start at 8.30am on Sunday, April 7th.

But if you’re looking for something a bit easier than a 42-kilometre race across central Milan, three parallel events will take place on the day: a non-competitive relay marathon with profits going to national or international NGOs, a 3-kilometre family run and a dog run, where participants will run alongside their pet friends.

But the Milan marathon won't be your only chance to work up a sweat this month: there are a number of running routes around town, including a 38-kilometre trail along the Naviglio Martesana canal, that can be fully enjoyed as local weather improves.

Get into a museum for free

Milan opens several museums and cultural sites for free on the first Sunday of every month as part of the popular nationwide Domenica al Museo (or ‘free museum Sundays’) scheme.

‘Free’ sites on Sunday, April 7th will include the world-famous Pinacoteca di Brera gallery and the Last Supper Museum. Note that for some of the most popular venues you may need to book your free visit ahead of time.

Brera, Milan

A view of Milan's Pinacoteca di Brera gallery in April 2023. Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP

If you’re not going to be in Milan on April 7th, don’t worry: the city has plenty of cultural sites that are completely free to visit all year round, including Palazzo Morando, the Museo delle Culture’s (Mudec) permanent collection and the Risorgimento Museum.

Go to a flea market

Milan is known all over the world for its haute couture stores, but is also a great city to be in if you’re a fan of second-hand and vintage finds. 

There’s a wealth of excellent markets scattered all across the city, with East Market Milano being one of the best in town (you’ll find anything from vintage clothes and furniture to old video games and records).

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Other popular markets that are worth checking out are: Tra Noi e Voi near Piazza Repubblica, Il Mercatino di Brera and Dock 41 in Novate, just outside the city.

READ ALSO: How to use Milan’s public transport

You can also expect both sides of Milan’s popular canals (navigli) to be lined with market stalls on the last Sunday of each month, including Sunday, April 28th.

Learn about the latest home design trends at the Milan Furniture Fair 

If you’re short on inspiration on how to decorate your new Italian home or simply like to keep up with the latest home design trends, the Milan Furniture Fair (or Salone del Mobile) – a yearly benchmark event for the international furnishing and design sector – may just be what you’re looking for. 

The exhibition, currently in its 62nd edition, will run from April 16th to April 21st at the Rho Fiera complex, with installations being open to the general public on Saturday, April 20th and Sunday, April 21st.

Milan, Furniture

People visit the stand of Finnish brand Nikari at the Milan Furniture Fair in April 2023. Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

This year’s fair will also include a “dreamlike” installation from renowned filmmaker David Lynch. 

Get lost in Milan’s Modern and Contemporary Art Fair

Art enthusiasts will get a chance to see a collection of 20th- and 21st-century masterpieces from up close this month as the 2024 Miart – the annual Milan trade fair for modern and contemporary art – will return to the Allianz-MiCo Center, west of the city centre, from April 12th to April 14th.

This year’s edition will see the participation of some 181 art galleries from as many as 28 countries around the world, with ‘no time no space’ being the underlying theme of the displays.

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Info on this year’s artwork and tickets can be found here

Visit one of the local ‘house museums’

Milan is home to a number of precious house museums (or case museo): historic family residences that have been turned into exhibition spaces offering a rare insight into the personal and social lives of their original owners as well as the cultural nuances of their times.

The Necchi-Campiglio Villa, a luxurious 20th-century residence known for its marble art deco features, is a good place to start your tour, especially as its lush magnolia-dotted garden makes for an idyllic place to wind down on a sunny spring day. 

Conveniently, you can visit the Necchi-Campiglio Villa and three other popular house museums (Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Casa Museo Boschi Di Stefano) with a single 25-euro ticket.

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Have we missed out your favourite April event? Let us know in the comments below.

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