Milan to celebrate International Workers’ Day

City prepares for May Day weekend.

Along with other cities around the world, Milan will celebrate International Workers’ Day on Monday with the traditional concert and street parade, which even the inclement weather is unlikely to dampen.

Focus point of the celebration will as always be the parade, this year dedicated by the labour union organisers to “students, workers with precarious contracts, activists, migrant workers and street artists” to protest “the collapse of social policies”.

Starting in Piazza XXIV Maggio at 15.00, the procession promises to be as colourful as ever however occasionally it has attracted the attention of the police because of unruly elements.

The other major traditional appointment for May Day is the ten-hour blues, soul reggae and funk concert in Parco Barona in the city’s south-western sector. The park will also host sales stands, food stalls and activities for kids throughout the day.

Entrance to the park is in Via Zumbini, 10 minutes on foot from Romolo metro station. Free for all comers, the concert will run from 10.00 to 23.00, and in case of rain will move indoors to the Bonaventura Music Club at the edge of the park.

Many museums and galleries will be open over the long weekend. A newcomer to the scene will be Villa Arconati, known as Milan’s “little Versailles”, reopening Sunday and Monday after months of restoration. The Baroque palace in Milan’s northern suburb of Bollate was begun in 1610, and remains the most spectacular of the city’s stately homes, both for its interior frescos and statues and for its extensive formal gardens.

To celebrate the reopening, figures in 17th-century costumes will be on hand to explain the sights to visitors. The villa will be open from 10.30 to 18.30; entrance costs €5 (€8 including guided tour), with reduction for under-12s and the disabled.

City transport authority ATM warns that buses, trams and metro services will observe a reduced timetable on May Day. The various lines will start late between 07.00 and 07.30, and finishing between 19.00 and 19.30.