Milan, ItalyWas great to be back in the Lombard capital of Milan, a city where I used to live, after a (gulp!) almost two decade hiatus.

No idea why it took me so long to return to a city I enjoyed so much, but it was fun to be back for a short weekend, and to wander the city all lit up for Christmas.

In recent years, Rome’s city administration has been rather stingy with the Holiday cheer, so it was great to see Milano all decked out with beautiful Christmas lights.

Milan, ItalyFrom the towering Christmas tree on Piazza del Duomo to the beautiful Galleria bedecked in lights and ribbons, to the glitzy windows of Montenapoleone, it was a sight for sore eyes for someone who doesn’t always want to flee to northern Europe to feel holiday cheer.

Since my visit, the city geared up for Christmas even more this past weekend, receiving a pretty heavy blanketing of snow.

But when I was there the city was preparing for its celebration of its patron Saint – Saint Ambrogio.

Milan, ItalyThis is a city-wide festival celebrated on 7 December, and is also famous for the opening of the opera season at the famed La Scala.

This year, Umberto Giordano’s Andrea Chénier premiered on Saint Ambrogio. Sadly, the closest I got to that performance was admiring this homage prepared by a Milan cafe. I did see the performance on the national television from the comfort of my home in Rome … but not quite the same as attending a Scala premiere. : )

So grazie to Milano for putting me in the Christmas mood. It was wonderful to be back, and I enjoyed seeing the city all decked out for the holidays!

Milan, Italy

Milan, Italy