Art, culture, shopping and plenty of nightlife: only Milan boasts such a comprehensive offering of fun and entertainment.

Once your obligations – courses, lectures, workshops and exams – are out of the way, it’s time for you to focus on pleasure. And Milan will not disappoint.

After a scintillating 2016, the city that never sleeps is ready for a 2017 packed full of more unmissable events.

So open up your diaries and grab your pens: we’re about to give you the lowdown on all the events you simple have to visit, month by month.

March: Enjoy Carnival… then get your running shoes on!

While the Carnival celebrations in the rest of Italy draw to a close on 28 February with the traditional Martedì Grasso [Mardi Gras], Milan keeps the party going. In line with the traditions of the city, Milan follows the Ambrosian Rite, which pushes the celebration back by four days. This means that the climax of the Carnevale Ambrosiano – as it’s known locally – takes place on 4 March, with huge celebrations set to dominate the streets of the city centre and Piazza Duomo. It’s the perfect chance to relive your childhood, strap on a mask and soak up the atmosphere.

As we all know, time waits for no man in Milan. So if you want to undo the effects of Martedì Grasso and get back in shape, keep 19 March free.

Get your bib on and lace up your running shoes! It’s time for the Stramilano, the race that combines sport with good old fun: the ideal combination to get the Run Generation out there.

There’s something for all tastes – and fitness levels! As well as the 21km half marathon for experienced runners and the shorter 10km race, there’s also the 5km Stramilanina, perfect for those that simply want to use the occasion to have fun together without bothering with a stopwatch on their wrist and having to worry about their pace.

April: In the name of art and design

One of the coolest events in Europe, Milan Design Week – which comprises both Milan Furniture Fair and FuoriSalone – has easily surpassed the city’s legendary fashion week in terms of popularity.

From 4 to 9 April, Milan will once again be transformed into the global capital of design, hosting extraordinary events, parties and chances to dive headfirst into the realm of art and innovation.

Buzzing? Well, all you need is a whole lot of enthusiasm (and some comfy shoes) and you’ll be ready to explore the areas of the city – like Brera, Tortona and Bicocca – set to host exhibitions, installations and exclusive parties.

If you want to get warmed up for the marathon Milan Design Week, you can get your art fix early with Art Week between 28 March and 2 April.

A collection of events centred around the common theme of creativity, Art Week is based on the successful FuoriSalone model.

At the heart of Art Week is MiART. Now in its 22nd edition, the International Fair of Modern and Contemporary Art will run from 31 March to 2 April in 2017. Don’t miss guided tours of the Kandinskij exhibition at the Mudec and the special opening of the Andy Warhol exhibition at the Museo del Novecento, not to mention the hotly anticipated Keith Haring exhibition at Palazzo Reale.

May: food, glorious food!

After the global success of Expo 2015, Milan seems to have got the taste for the spotlight. Between 4 and 11 May, the Lombard capital will host the first-ever edition of Milano Food City, a week-long homage to gastronomy packed with events, tastings, courses and chances to meet influencers from the hottest sector around right now. A celebration of Michelin-starred chefs, workshops and parties (something that Milan is never short on) Milano Food City will provide the perfect backdrop to the Tutto Food trade fair taking place at the Rho exhibition centre.

September: it’s fashion, baby!

It’s not September in Milan without Vogue Fashion Night Out! The event runs alongside the famed fashion week, which sees the city streets festooned with events, DJ sets, parties, concerts, cocktail receptions and late-night store openings.

The kaleidoscope of colour will this year be tinged with sadness, as the 2017 edition will be the first Vogue Fashion Night Out without Franca Sozzani, the long-serving editor of Vogue Italia and indeed the queen of Italian fashion, who passed away in December 2016.


All sound good?

Brace yourselves: if you’ve already filled up your diary, go and buy another right now because this is only the beginning!