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The festive season in Milan is a magical time, as the country's commercial capital vies with other Italian cities to put on the best street party. Piazza del Duomo features a giant Christmas tree and skating rink, and there are displays, celebrations and live music at Piazza Castello and other locations. New Year's Eve is an all-night marathon with fireworks, light shows and live music. Unique to Milan is the festival of O bej! O bej!, an atmospheric street market from 7 December onwards at the Sforza Castle selling food, gifts, toys, antiques and collectables.


See 'Art in the Years of the Italian Economic Boom of the 1960s', an innovative show focusing on visual culture and highlighting the role of Milan's editorial industry. The exhibition features paintings, graphic art, sculpture, design, fashion patterns and jewellery, as well as video installations. It's on at the Museo del Novecento until 22 March 2017. museodelnovecento.org.


Join in Milan's historic Carnevale celebrations. The traditions of this religious festival go back centuries and these days it features parades, exhibitions, events and concerts in the run up to Shrove Tuesday (9 February 2016). In Milan the festivities go on until the following Saturday (13 February). The event is very popular with children who dress up in ornate costumes as characters such as Harlequin, Pulcinella or Colombina.

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