This year, why not go big and have a New Year’ Eve to remember? I am a firm believer that celebrating the occasion overseas is an incredible way to end one year and bring in the next, plus it can be fascinating to see how different cultures celebrate.
My personal recommendation would be Milan, Italy, where you are spoilt for choice for cultural celebrations. There is something both luxurious and romantic about the city; plus, it is also not too far to travel, which makes the hungover/weary journey back much more bearable. In addition to all this, there is a heavy focus on food during Italian New Year – perfect! Here are a few great options to choose from on the big night.
Culture vulture? Be sure to check out these four unique attractions on your trip to Milan.
Teatro alla Scala
The online sales for the highly-anticipated Capodanno alla Scala performance have closed, but you may get lucky on the night and I encourage you to check upon arrival. Taking place at the world-famous Scala opera house, this event is an incredible ballet Cinderella performance and New Year’s Eve Gala. You can also enjoy the Italian New Years Eve tradition Cenone in the museum and foyer. This is an epic dinner taking place until midnight with several different courses and champagne – delicious!
Cenone di San Silvestro
If Cenone sounds like something that you want to experience (I can’t blame you), you can indulge in places all around Milan. The Cenone di San Silvestro is a meal that lasts many hours and finishes at midnight, with many different courses served including all kinds of wonderful delicacies. When midnight rolls around, you then make a good luck toast for the year ahead usually with a glass of one of the best spumante wines – what better way to start 2017?
Restaurants all around the city will be offering this unforgettable traditional experience, but be sure to book in advance so that you are not rushed to find somewhere. Keep in mind that due to the evening being a late one, restaurants typically only start serving around 8pm.
Midnight in Milan’s Squares
I think that there is no better way to soak up the magical atmosphere on New Year than by heading to the historic squares in cities. Milan boasts beautiful city squares that come to life on the 31 December, complete with a full evening’s entertainment.
Piazza Duomo and Piazza Castello offer spectacular fireworks displays, live music and decorations all within the pretty surroundings of the city. This creates a joyous atmosphere and the party often carries on until the break of dawn, so make sure you don’t make any big plans the following morning!
How to Get to Milan
As a brief trip, you will not want to have to spend half the time airborne or hanging around at airports. Fortunately, reaching Milan is very straightforward and there are 210 flights made every week from London; the flight time is under 2 hours. You could fly into Milan Malpensa (MXP), which is 40km outside of the city and will take a little under an hour to reach by road. However, the easiest method will be to fly into Milan Linate (LIN). This is just 14km away and you can reach the city in just 30 minutes.
If you pre-book a Shuttle Direct transfer to pick you up from either airport, you can simply jump in upon arrival and enjoy the ride into town. You will be starting your celebrations in no time at all.
Where to Stay:
Hotel Principe Di Savoia – This beautiful hotel is located right next to the metro and train station, so it will not take long for you to get back after a night of celebrating. It also means that you can easily get out and explore the cultural attractions if you wish. You can indulge the following day with an American buffet breakfast, followed by a relaxing afternoon in the top-floor spa, which includes a sauna, Turkish bath and pool. The spacious and stylish rooms come with comfortable bathrobes, slippers and satellite TV for maximum relaxation.
ME Milan II Duca – If you are celebrating at the fireworks, this hotel is conveniently located nearby (be warned, sleep may be difficult if you leave early!). It is also perfect for relaxing after a big night, as the state-of-the-art rooms have giant televisions, cocktail making facilities and stylish yet cosy designs. There is also a superb rooftop terrace overlooking the city, which serves as a breakfast area in the morning and trendy bar at night.
Excelsior Hotel Gallia – New Year is a great time to spoil yourself with luxury and this 5-star hotel is the perfect place to do it. Right in the heart of Milan, Excelsior Hotel Gallia features a magnificent 1000m² spa, rooftop restaurant and bar and spacious rooms filled with glamorous Italian design furniture. Many visitors also note the exceptional service of the hotel staff. It is located near all the cultural attractions and there are excellent public transport links, so everything is right on your doorstep.
About Shuttle Direct:
With an efficient, reliable and affordable service, Shuttle Direct has emerged as Europe’s leading transfer company. Thanks to an expert team and friendly local drivers, they can guarantee quick, comfortable and safe passage between airports, train stations, cruise ports and areas of interest throughout the continent.
Book your transfer today with their straightforward booking system and see how they can make your onwards travel simple and stress-free.