Milan is getting ready for Christmas: the shop windows are decorated and the street lights are sparkling. According to the tradition Italian families started decorating their homes on 8 December. Some prefer the traditional and would never give up the nativity scene or the classic Christmas tree, while others favour simple, minimal or almost invisible ornaments. In any case it is worth going for a stroll at the Christmas Village (Ripa di Porta Ticinese 73, tel. 02-58106280), open every day from 10.00 to 19.30 until 24 December. Here a space of over 1,500 square meters is entirely dedicated to Christmas decorations with over 8,000 items from all over the world. The starting points are endless and the solutions on offer satisfy every pocket and taste: from the more sober and linear to the more kitsch and exaggerated. With a little fantasy and creativity the most anonymous corners can be transformed into a niche, to infuse the rest of the home with Christmas atmosphere. There is no need to spend exaggerated amounts of money: candles, ribbons, little vases and decorated apples can do miracles.

Christmas tree decorations.

Those who buy a Christmas tree at Ikea (Via dell