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What to do in Milan this summer

Ideas and events to experience a fun city break

What to do in Milan this summer Ideas and events to experience a fun city break

It's hot. The sun is high in the sky, and the days pass lazily. After a year of hard work and study, we are exhausted. All we want is to be by the sea, feet in the water, an exotic cocktail in one hand, a good book in the other, and no thoughts in our mind except choosing between Pad Thai and mixed seafood for dinner. Instead, we must stay in Milan, navigating the daily grind, closed shops, the heat, mosquitoes, and a certain amount of repressed resentment towards those enjoying themselves on the beach, in the mountains, or traveling the world. The best way to make the next few weeks better? Experience the city like tourists: lose ourselves in the neighborhoods, visit exhibitions, dive into pools, have picnics in the park, taste the menus of new restaurants, dance, sing at concerts, and feel the summer vibe.

Here are some ideas on what to do in Milan this summer.

Relax by the Pool

Vacation seems like a mirage, but we don’t want to give up swimming and sunbathing. The solution is one of the many pools in Milan. There are several scattered around the city, from the Romano Pool in the Città Studi neighborhood, built in 1929 and designed by architect Luigi Secchi, to the Acquatica Park, with 80,000 square meters and 21 attractions, including pools and slides. The coolest spot? The former Caimi Pool, now known as Bagni Misteriosi, a Liberty gem from 1939, located at 18 Via Carlo Botta. Open daily until September 30, from 10 AM to 6:30 PM, it also offers poolside aperitifs with cocktail parties, DJ sets, and theater performances organized by the nearby Franco Parenti theater. Ready to put on your swimsuit, pack a towel, flip-flops, swim cap in your straw bag and enjoy some relaxation, refreshment, and a tan?

Biking Around the City

No subway or car. For a day, let's take the bike (if we don't have one, there’s always Bike sharing) and ride, alone or in company. Many suggest riding in the evening to enjoy the beauty of a deserted Milan. Those who prefer the open air during the day have several routes available. Popular ones include the one along the Navigli, the route from Piazza Gae Aulenti to the Indro Montanelli Public Gardens, and the ride from Piazzale Giulio Cesare to the skyscrapers of Citylife. A relaxing idea is starting from Piazza Castello, following the bike path around Parco Sempione, and maybe stopping for lunch in Chinatown. All you need is good sunscreen, a bottle of water, and a desire to pedal.

Discovering the Wonders of the City

Let's put on a pair of comfortable shoes and explore the city like a tourist. Where to go? We can wander aimlessly, guided by the mood of the moment, follow the list of the most famous monuments from the Duomo to the Teatro alla Scala, or hunt for hidden treasures. We recommend the murals in the Ortica neighborhood; Casa Galimberti at 11 Via Vincenzo Bellini and the facades of other Liberty-style buildings; the colorful houses on Via Lincoln, a sort of Milanese Notting Hill; the ear-shaped intercom created by sculptor Adolf Wildt at 10 Via Serbelloni, said to grant wishes if whispered to; and the plaque mysteriously appeared on the iron bridge over the Naviglio Grande, dedicated to Enrico Molteni, the bassist of Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti and boss of La Tempesta Dischi.

A Day at the "Sea of Milanese"

Is the beach too far? No, it’s only 8 km from the center of Milan. Here is the Idroscalo, the sea of Milanese, an oasis of well-being where you can sunbathe, walk, run, do water sports, swim in the pool, do yoga, train on roller skates, canoe, organize barbecues in the park, drink with friends, have a picnic, and even go on rides. Name an activity and (almost certainly) this is the right place to do it and break away from daily life.

Attend a Concert at Castello Sforzesco

What summer would it be without live music? Swifties are already buzzing for the Taylor Swift The Eras Tour dates on July 13 and 14, 2024, at San Siro Stadium, but this is not the only unmissable event in Milan in the coming weeks. Until September 8, 2024, the stage in the Cortile delle Armi at Castello Sforzesco hosts Milano è Viva - Estate al Castello: 66 live performances of pop, electronic, jazz, classical music, theater, and dance. Highlights include Marlene Kuntz, Dente, The Cinematic Orchestra, Tullio De Piscopo, Yves Tumor, Margherita Vicario, and Daniele Silvestri. Don’t miss the live performances of Calexico on July 15, featuring their desert rock and tracks from their latest album El Mirador, and I Hate My Village, a superband formed by Alberto Ferrari (Verdena), Adriano Viterbini (BSBE), Fabio Rondanini (Afterhours, Calibro 35), and Marco Fasolo (Jennifer Gentle), who recently released their second album, Gibbone, on July 17. Tickets for these events are available at the Triennale ticket office or online at Vivaticket and Ticketone.

Relax in the Countryside

Pretending to be in the countryside for a few hours, escaping the hectic city pace to reclaim slowness, good food, and sweet idleness is possible; you just need to choose the right place. There are many options depending on your taste, and we recommend a few. In the Bicocca area, inside a former warehouse, there is Fuorimano, open 7 days a week, with delicious brunches and a smart working area. The highlight? The Blue Garden, a corner inspired by the Majorelle Gardens with a small pool. Those looking for a place to eat Mediterranean traditional dishes, but also have cultural experiences, find a peaceful oasis, taste craft beers, or listen to music, should choose Mare Culturale Urbano in the western outskirts of Milan. Finally, not a farmhouse, but a bistro, Ofelé, via Scaldasole 7, is the place to be this summer. Until August 7th, it hosts Una Cosa D’Estate: good food, fun, and events, from stand-up comedy to outdoor cinema.

Outdoor Cinema

The most classic of summer activities is outdoor cinema. Showing the best films of the autumn and winter season until September 29th is AriAnteo with a rich and varied program including Alice Rohrwacher's La chimera, Yorgos Lanthimos' Poor Things, Luca Guadagnino's Challengers, Jonathan Glazer's The Zone of Interest, and Justine Triet's Anatomy of a Fall. There are three locations: Chiostro dell’Incoronata, City Life, and Fabbrica del Vapore.

Visit an Exhibition

Milan's love for art doesn't stop even in summer. Those who want to enjoy air conditioning and the beauty of paintings and sculptures have plenty of choices. We suggest three events. Until September 15th, Wow Spazio Fumetto hosts the official exhibition dedicated to Lady Oscar, on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the Rose of Versailles TV series. At the Fabbrica del Vapore you can visit until October 27th, OBEY: The Art of Shepard Fairey, showcasing the most famous works and many unique pieces by street artist Shepard Fairey, better known as OBEY. The PAC Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea offers, until September 15th, an exhibition dedicated to Milanese artist Liliana Moro, following her career through words, sculpture, performance, drawing, collage, and video.

Have an Immersive Experience

What if we want more than just an exhibition? This summer, Milan hosts a series of immersive experiences. Until October 27th, 2024, Scalo Farini takes us to the East with The Spirit of Japan: An Immersive Art Experience, an exciting journey to discover Japanese art and culture. Those not fond of geishas, samurais, and enchanted forests might find a space journey more interesting with Space Dreamers – Immersive Experience, featuring 16 interactive installations to explore galaxies, constellations, and visit uncharted planets.


Summer is also for staying up late and going wild with loud music. Among festivals, parties, and events, we highlight two: the Silent Disco at Parco Tittoni and the Milano Latin Festival. The first event takes place one Saturday a month, allowing all participants to dance until 2 am, each with their own headphones listening to their favorite music selected by DJs Nasty Party, Calypso, and Dariollo from Sorelle Manetta. Until August 15th, the Ticketmaster Arena will offer a full immersion into Latin culture, with music, dancing, food, colors, and atmospheres.