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Saint Ambrose Basilica

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about December 7 is my childhood. My parents were not working that day, and I did not go to school either, because Milan celebrates its Patron Saint. As we don’t usually work that day, the tradition is to prepare the Christmas tree at home.

The patron saint of Milan is St. Ambrose. The Catholic Church counts him among the four greatest doctors of the Western Church, alongside St. Jerome, St. Augustine, and St. Gregory I. The inhabitants of Milan, given the importance of Ambrose, are also called Ambrosian. This beloved saint is commemorated on the day of his baptism and not on his death.

il tipico “firun” di castagne

Every year, my family organized a walk to the traditional fair of “obej-obej” (which means in the local dialect “it’s beautiful! It’s beautiful!”), This took place on the square situated in front of Saint Ambrose’s basilica (he commissioned the building, and it houses his tomb). The fair was an opportunity to buy gifts, food, and especially desserts that would have been served during the Christmas holidays. I usually went home with a kind of big chestnut necklace cooked in a wood oven, threaded on a big rope called “firun” that is to say, “the big wire.” The chestnuts had a vague taste of chocolate, and I was very greedy and proud of them. The fair is still held in Milan and has been moved near the Sforza castle, children still go there and sometimes one can see stalls selling the “firun.”

Alla Scala opera house

The most prestigious event taking place on 7 December in Milan is opening the new season of the La Scala opera house (that some years ago used to open on December 26th). The opening show is normally a great triumph, and it’s attended by national personalities of culture, sport, and politics. In the opera house’s lobbies, women parade in splendid evening dresses, men in elegant tuxedos. The national television always broadcasts the event that is followed throughout the country with great interest. This year, the 2019/2020 season will begin with Tosca by Giacomo Puccini, followed by a rich season with 15 opera titles, 8 ballet titles, 8 symphonic concerts, and 7 singing recitals, as well as extraordinary evenings, international shows, and children’s shows.

Do not miss the magic atmosphere of December 7 in Milan, and you must try it once in your life

check the program of the opera househttp://www.teatroallascala.org/en/2019-2020-season.html




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