Milan schedules Easter holiday events

Plenty to do in, around Milan over Easter.

Falling on 1 April this year – the earliest until 2024 – and with a forecast for a sunny and almost warm day, Easter will offer activities for every taste this coming weekend.

Principally, of course, the holiday commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus.  Milan’s world-famed Duomo will be the focal point of joyous festivity, with a series of Eucharistic celebrations in both the main church and the crypt. The cathedral will be briefly closed to the public from 10.00 to 12.00 on Easter Sunday for a penitential rite for priests only, led by the archbishop.

The diocese of Milan is one of the largest in the world and the only bishopric in the Occident to maintain its own Ambrosian liturgical rite, introduced by St Ambrose, the patron saint of the city. This extensive and important diocese comprises some of the major shrines of the Roman Catholic world, and Easter is a perfect occasion to visit them.

Civic and state museums will be open free at Easter. The promising forecast suggests a walk in the gardens which surround most of them. Amongst the options are a visit to the Museum of Natural History in the Porta Venezia gardens, the exhibitions at Palazzo Reale and the Gallery of Modern Art in the gardens of Villa Reale, or the Rotonda della Besana (pictured).

Easter will also be a good opportunity to visit Milan’s many parks and lakes or the Idroscalo, once a base for seaplanes and now a popular resort.  If you haven’t got a bike, check out BikeMI for rental at attractive rates.

And finally, the long weekend with Pasquetta – Easter Monday – also a public holiday suggests a trip out of town to visit cities of art, do a foodie tour, or visit lake or mountain resorts. Just a few kilometres from the city, rows of citrus and olives trees line the banks of the lakes, set against the alpine landscapes whose reflection can be seen on the water. Lake Garda, for example, is emblematic in this sense, with its blossoming shoreline and its famous cedars, villas and artistic treasures.