Secrets of Milan
Claudia, SAI Milan
September 12, 2013

Claudia Castaneda is the SAI Milan Program Coordinator. Below are some of her favorite events in Milan.

Fashion Week is just around the corner and the city is buzzing with excitement! But there’s so much more than fashion and design to discover in this amazing city. Here are a few of my favorite places and events:

Milano Film Festival: This event is one of my favorite’s of the year and it’s a great way to get to know the city right before the crowds of fashion week crowd the streets. MFF has venues scattered around the city: an outdoor set up right in Parco Sempione, films presented at the historic Piccolo Teatro, and Teatro Odeon in the Porta Venezia district, just to name a few. There’s something magical about watching a film outdoors, with the Castello Sforza behind you and the Arco di Pace lit up just right of the screen. The festival ends September 15th and there are still a myriad of screenings.  (

Cimitero Monumentale: Call me strange, call me weird, but one of the most beautiful places in Milan is a cemetery nestled in the middle of growing financial district. Amid the construction cranes, skyscrapers steadily growing over head; tucked away in its silent bubble of calm is the Cimitero Monumentale. You may think it strange to visit a cemetery, but the Monumental Cemetery in Milan is teaming with history and art. The Monumentale comes from the fact that it is noted for its abundance of artist tombs and its wide range of both contemporary and classical sculptures. The tombs and monuments of many famous Italians and non-Italians can be found here. Poet, novelist, and founder of the modern Italian language Alessandro Manzoni. Singer-songwriter and comedian Giorgio Gaber. Artist Bruno Munari. Giuseppe Verdi was even buried here for a month, and a monument still stands. Argentinian Eva Duarte de Perón was buried here under the name María Maggi before being moved to Buenos Aires.

Teatro della Scala: The world-renowned opera house in Milan is a haven for those who love Opera, Music, Ballet and Theater. Not only can you see some of the most stunning design and theater performances, but La Scala also offers tours through the Ansaldo Workshops: explaining in detail how set designs, costumes, and choreography are conceptualized and realized. (

Current shows (

  • Ballet: Swan Lake
  • Opera: Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlo & Aida

Hangar Bicocca: This contemporary art space is located in the northern part of the city and is actually a redeveloped industrial complex. The solo exhibitions and very site-specific projects carried out in the space feature artists and designers from all over the world and the space offers a unique setting for large scaled interactive works. (

Next opening:

  • The Visitors by Ragnar Kjartansson: 18 September 2013 – 7pm

Yes, fashion week is literally just around the corner starting next Wednesday and while I can’t wait for the excitement to start next week, it’s nice to know that between Fashion and Design Weeks, Milan has a plethora of art, fashion and design events.

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About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.