Watch Movies in English in Milan

Who doesn’t love the smell of popcorn, the darkness, the shared experience of going to the cinema? If you don’t speak Italian, you might think this is something you’ll have to forgo during your time studying in Milan. But you’re in luck! A series of films in English are shown in movie theaters for the international community.

Movies shown in their original language (read: English) are available in Milan each week at 3 different cinemas on 3 different days of the week. This is where they’re located:

Mondays – Anteo Spaziocinema, Via Milazzo 9 (Porta Garibaldi or Moscova stops, green line)
Tuesdays – Arcobaleno Film Center, Viale Tunisia 11 (Porta Venezia stop, red line)
Thursdays – Cinema Mexico, Via Savona 57 (Porta Genova stop, green line)

For more information on the program, go to the Sound & Motion Pictures website (information in Italian, PDF download in English). And always be sure to check dates and times with the movie theater.

Without further ado, here’s a list of the upcoming movies. Enjoy the show!

Film review image19 – 20 – 22 October
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10:20pm
EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE
directed by W. Wenders, starring J. Franco, R. McAdams, duration: 118 minutes

26 – 27 – 29 October
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10:20pm
EVEREST
directed by B. Kormákur, starring J. Brolin, J. Clarke, duration: 121 minutes

2 – 3 – 5 November
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10:15pm
WOMAN IN GOLD
directed by S. Curtis, starring B. Reynolds, H. Mirren, duration: 109 minutes

9 – 10 – 12 November
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10:30pm
THE MARTIAN
directed by R. Scott, starring M. Damon, J. Chastain, duration: 130 minutes

16 – 17 – 19 November
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10:00pm
THE PROGRAM
directed by S. Frears, starring L. Pace, B. Foster, duration: 103 minutes

23 – 24 – 26 November
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10:15pm
LIFE
directed by A. Corbijn, starring R. Pattinson, D. DeHann, duration: 111 minutes

30 November – 1 – 3 December
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10:20pm
THE INTERN
directed by N. Meyers, starring A. Hathaway, R. De Niro, duration: 121 minutes

14 – 15 – 17 December
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10:20pm
BLACK MASS
directed by S. Cooper, starring J. Depp, J. Edgerton, duration: 122 minutes

11 – 12 – 14 January
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10:00pm
MR. HOLMES
directed by B. Condon, starring I. McKellen, M. Parker, duration: 103 minutes

18 – 19 – 21 January
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10:30pm
SPECTRE
directed by s. Mendes, starring D. Craig, L. Seydoux, duration: 130 minutes

25 – 26 – 28 January
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10:00pm
THE WALK
directed by R. Zemeckis, starring J. Gordon-Levitt, B. Kingsley, duration: 100 minutes

1 – 2 – 4 February
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10:00pm
IRRATIONAL MAN
directed by W. Allen, starring E. Stone, J. Phoenix, duration: 96 minutes

8 – 9 – 11 February
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10:20pm
SECRET IN THEIR EYES
directed by B. Ray, starring N. Kidman, J. Roberts, duration: 120 minutes

15 – 16 – 18 February
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10:00pm
FREEHELD
directed by P. Sollett, starring E. Page, J. Moore, duration: 103 minutes

22 – 23 – 25 February
1pm, 3:00pm, 5:30pm, 8pm, 10:30pm
BRIDGE OF SPIES
directed by S. Spielberg, starring T. Hanks, A. Alda, duration: 135 minutes

29 February – 1 – 3 March
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10:20pm
CAROL
directed by T. Haynes, starring C. Blanchett, R. Mara, duration: 118 minutes

Movies in English in Milan, September 2015

Who doesn’t love the smell of popcorn, the darkness, the shared experience of going to the cinema? If you don’t speak Italian, you might think this is something you’ll have to forgo during your time studying in Milan. But you’re in luck! A series of films in English are shown in movie theaters for the international community.

Movies shown in their original language (read: English) are available in Milan each week at 3 different cinemas on 3 different days of the week. This is where they’re located:

Mondays – Anteo Spaziocinema, Via Milazzo 9 (Porta Garibaldi or Moscova stops, green line)
Tuesdays – Arcobaleno Film Center, Viale Tunisia 11 (Porta Venezia stop, red line)
Thursdays – Cinema Mexico, Via Savona 57 (Porta Genova stop, green line)

For more information on the program, go to the Sound & Motion Pictures website (information in Italian, PDF download in English). And always be sure to check dates and times with the movie theater.

Without further ado, here’s a list of the upcoming movies. Enjoy the show!

Sound and Motion logo31 August – 1 – 3 September
3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10:15pm
KILL THE MESSENGER
directed by M. Cuest, starring J. Renner, R. Patrick, duration: 112 minutes

7 – 8 – 10 September
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10pm
THE BOY NEXT DOOR
directed by R. Cohen, starring J. Lopez, R. Guzman, duration: 91 minutes

14 – 15 – 17 September
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10:15pm
PIXELS
directed by C. Columbus, starring A. Sandler, P. Dinklage, duration: 105 minutes

22 – 24 September
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10pm
WHILE WE’RE YOUNG
directed by di N. Baumbach, starring N. Watts, B. Stiller, duration: 97 minutes

28 – 29 September – 1 October
1pm, 3:20pm, 5:40pm, 8pm, 10:15pm
THE REWRITE
directed by M. Lawrence, starring H. Grant, M. Tomei, duration: 106 minutes

New Year’s Eve Traditions in Italy

If you’re in the bel paese for New Year’s Eve this year, there are a few things you should know about how the locals celebrate this very international holiday. In addition to various culinary traditions, there are a few other superstitions and traditions, most of which are believed will help your fate for the year to come. Why not try some out for size, because, as they say, when in Rome…

Most traditions come with the promise that a certain behavior will bring good luck throughout the year to believers. Many Italian families eat lentils on the 1st of the year, and other common foods include grapes and pomegranates. Originally a Spanish tradition, the tradition of eating 12 grapes when midnight strikes to bring good luck for the upcoming year is beginning to take hold in Italy too. The pomegranate is a symbol of loyalty and fertility (the latter of which may or may not be what you’re looking for!) and couples should feast on this ancient fruit together to symbolize their faithfulness to each other and prosperity.

The fruit’s red color might be why there is a very popular and widely-followed tradition of wearing red undergarments during New Year’s Eve celebrations. It’s supposed to bring good look for the new year, especially in the love portion of your life and the custom can also be tied to fertility. Another part of this tradition is to throw away the lingerie the day after they’ve been worn to seal the deal. If you’ve seen any underwear stores around Milano lately you’ll notice that they start featuring a lot of red in their shop windows starting in December, so it’s pretty easy to find something for your celebration!

FireworksSingletons may want to follow the tradition (probably originating in Scandinavia) of kissing a love interest under the mistletoe to start off the New Year at midnight. It’s good luck for both kissers!

This one goes along with the belief that many people share that what you do on new year’s day is a harbinger of how you will spend the rest of the year – so make sure you use your time wisely.

An older new year’s tradition in Italy is to throw out old and broken things (like plates and such), tossing them out the window! For safety reasons, however, this one is slowly fading away.

And don’t forget to start the new year right by making sure you have some money in your pockets when you leave the house on new year’s day. This will make sure luck is on your side, financially-speaking.

Another common tradition all over the world is setting off fireworks, either publicly or privately. Though now popular for the show in general, the loud booms were originally meant to fend off evil spirits!

If you happen to turn on the TV on New Year’s Eve, programs will generally count down to midnight, with dance and musical traditions from Rio de Janeiro reigning for the audiences watching.

Now that you know something about popular traditions for Capodanno in Italy, the only thing left to do is decide where you will be when the clock strikes midnight and 2015 begins! Buon anno!

2014 Christmas Markets in Milan

With the holiday season almost here, the time has come to think about exchanging gifts with friends and family and maybe decorating your apartment or dorm room with some festive trimmings.

As a predominately Catholic country, Italy celebrates the several important holidays in December and early January. In Milan, the season official kicks off on 7 December, the Feast of St. Ambrose, the patron saint of the city. That’s immediately followed by a national holiday on 8 December, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Then of course Christmas is on the 25th, and the day after, St. Stephen’s Day, is also a holiday. Winter vacation usually ends right after 6 January, which celebrates the Epiphany.

So now that you know more about the calendar, you can understand why Christmas shopping usually revolves around 7-8 December: everyone has some extra time to think about presents and seasonal decorations! Milan may not be as famous for its Christmas markets as some other northern European cities, but the Milanese do enjoy taking part in some annual holiday shopping. Find out more below!

Crowds at holiday marketL’Artigiano in Fiera
This huge event has been hosted in Milan for almost 20 years – it seems to get bigger each year. With over 3,000 stands (!), you really need at least a full day –and a lot of stamina – to see everything. Your best bet is to make a game plan beforehand so you can hit the countries or Italian regions you’re most interested in. And don’t forget to come hungry: this market is also a great place to taste some good food from all over the world.
Open daily from 10am to 10:30pm through 8 December. Take the red line (MM1) to the Rho Fiera stop, but make sure you buy a €2.50 transport ticket since Rho is outside the city limits. Admission is free.

Fiera degli O’Bej O’Bej
This traditional market reportedly dates back to the 13th century. It’s held on and around the city’s saint’s day, 7 December, and lasts about one week. For the past few years, the market is located in Piazza Castello. Crafts and other items are on sale, as well as typical winter foods like chestnuts and sweets.
This year the market will be held from 5 to 8 December. Located at the Cairoli Castello stop on the subway (MM1).

Corsa dei Babbi Natale
On 13 December at 3:30pm, hundreds of people dressed up as Santa Claus will take the streets on a 5km run starting and ending in Piazza Castello. The registration fee is €15, and all participants will receive a Santa hat, bag, a race number and a few coupons from sponsors. The website is in Italian so you might need a native speaker to help you navigate the online registration.

Other Markets
Various other outdoor markets around the city will also start springing up during the weekend of December 7th, and should last until Christmas. Locations include Duomo, Paolo Sarpi, Piazza Gae Aulenti, Affori, Portello, Isola and others!

Milan’s Evolving Skyline

Skyscraper and tram

There’s a cool new exhibit focusing on Milan’s modern architecture and changing cityscape over the past 100 years: Grattanuvole: un secolo di grattacieli a Milano. Instead of using the typical word for skyscrapers, grattacieli, a similar word, grattanuvole, was used for the title. As a bit of a language nerd, I did some research to find out why. More info on the exhibit itself is below, if you’re more into architecture and not the linguistic aspects!

Have you ever thought about what the word skyscraper really means? The two parts of the compound word have nothing to do with the final meaning, but it is a pretty poetic description of what these modern, tall buildings do. And what about the Italian translation? As so often happened when learning a foreign language, I only started thinking about the different elements of the word skyscraper when I learned the Italian equivalent.

The Italian word for skyscraper is a very literal translation of the two parts of the English word: grattacielo. But what does grattanuvole, the title of the architecture exhibit, mean? This word was initially used more often in Italian to refer to modern towers and it was actually even more popular than grattacielo between 1903 and 1911 (for etymology nerds, see the Ngram Viewer chart from Google below). Grattanuvole translates literally as cloudscraper. Which might be appropriate in a city like Milan that is famous for its foggy winter mornings.

Lamp with skyscraper in the backgroundSo how has Milan’s skyline changed over the past century? Like lots of other Italian cities, the city has tended to hold on to traditional architecture and was relatively slow in adopting new styles such as skyscrapers. But with recent projects such as the Porta Nuova area at Piazza Gae Aulenti and CityLife, which is still in the works, Milano is starting to look more like a modern city with more than one skyscraper towering over the horizon.

If you’re interested in learning more about the past, present and future of Milan’s architecture through photos, definitely check out Grattanuvole, un secolo di grattacieli a Milano. The exhibit features photographs of 75 important buildings that have been constructed over the past century. It’s located at Fondazione Riccardo Catella in the Isola neighborhood (near the Gioia subway stop on the green line).

Fondazione Riccardo Catella, in collaboration with Politecnico di Milano
Via G. De Castillia 28
7 November to 6 December 2014
Mondays-Fridays: 10:00am-6:00pm, Saturdays: 10:00am-1:00pm, 2:00-5:00pm
Free admission

Grattacieli and grattanuvole in Italian books from 1800 to 2008
https://books.google.com/ngrams/interactive_chart?content=grattanuvole%2Cgrattacieli&year_start=1900&year_end=2008&corpus=22&smoothing=1&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cgrattanuvole%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cgrattacieli%3B%2Cc0

What’s Happening in Milano in September 2014

September is a time for new beginnings. Students come back to school classrooms and university lecture halls, workers filter back into town after spending a few weeks at the beach or in the mountains. And the city of Milano comes to life with tons of cool events, from music to film to soccer to fashion. To find out about the biggest fests and happenings, read on!

MiTo logoMITO Music Festival
4-21 September
A yearly event held in both Turin and Milan, this festival brings music to the streets and halls of the city. Mostly focused on classical music, there are also jazz performances and other events like lectures, book presentations and exhibits. A closing dance party is also on the program, set for 21 September, at the Mercedes-Benz Center Milano. Ticket prices are different for each event, and can be purchased online or before the performance, if available. Don’t miss it!

Milano Film Festival
4-14 September
This annual movie fest has feature films, shorts, animated flicks, events and movies for kids lots of other side events. Films are from all over the world so lots of languages are represented, check out their website for more info. Ticket prices range from €4-8 and can be purchased before each screening. It’s a must for film lovers and a great way to enjoy the outdoor venues as the Milanese return to the city after summer break!

AC Milan logoSerie A Soccer Games at San Siro
14, 20, 24 and 28 September
AC Milan or Inter fan? The Serie A tournament kicked off at the end of August, which means the city’s soccer stadium will be packed whenever a game is scheduled: they’re typically on Sunday evenings, though games can also be on Sunday afternoon or Saturday evening or the occasional Wednesday evening game. The next matches will be:
– Inter-Sassuolo, Sunday 14 September, 3:00pm
– Milan-Juventus, Saturday 20 September, 8:45pm
– Inter-Atalanta, Wednesday 24 September, 8:45pm
– Inter-Cagliari, Sunday 28 September, 3:00pm
AC Milan tickets can be purchased online, at a Banca Populare di Milano branch or the AC Milan offices, near Portello. Get more info on the team’s website. Inter tickets can be purchased online or at one of the many Best Union sales points located in Milano and around Italy. Get more info on the team’s website.

Fashion's Night Out logoVogue Fashion’s Night Out
16 September
This event was created by the world-famous fashion magazine in NYC in 2009. It gradually expanded to include other fashion capitals and now events are organized in tons of cities around the world. What can you expect if you’re out on the town on the 16th? Lots of people hanging out in designer shops after-hours, some freebies, limited edition items, a fun look at the fall/winter fashions and maybe some celebrity sightings. What’s not to love to kick off fashion week?

Milan Fashion Week
17-22 September
Each fall after New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week, fashionistas head to Milano to see  lots of great designers sending their newest looks down the runway. If you’ve got an “in” with the fashion world, you might be able to snag in invite to one of the shows. If not, you’ll have to settle for people watching outside the venues or watching live or taped fashion shows on the jumbo screens scattered around town.

Watching the World Cup in Milano

Will you be rooting for the Azzurri this summer? Or maybe The Three Lions? Or La Celeste or Los Ticos instead? For the uninitiated, these are all nicknames for national soccer teams that will face off during this year’s World Cup matches. 32 countries from all over the world are sending their men’s soccer teams to Brazil this year for the biggest championship in football. Don’t worry, you can still keep tabs on the action, even if you’re thousands of kilometers from the sunny coasts of Brazil in hot and humid Milano. Here’s how.

Students playing foosballOutdoor jumbo screens
Big-screen viewings of all the Italy games are scheduled in open-air piazzas around the city. But, before you make plans to watch some of the games outside, remember to check the weather forecast for possible rain or super-hot temps.

For the first game on Thursday at 10pm, Brazil vs Croatia, the first Italy game on Saturday at midnight (technically 12am on Sunday morning) and several other big games, jumbo screens will be set up at the following locations:

  • Alzaia Naviglio Grande – 3 screens will show the games, along with several related activities and stands. This is a cool location that will use the water creatively, and it’s right next to Milan’s biggest nightlife spot.
  • Piazza Castello – In the new pedestrian area near the castle, which has been home to food and souvenir stands for the past few weeks, a big screen will be set up to watch a different soccer match every day.
  • Idroscalo – Located on the outskirts of the city (take the 73 bus to Linate, then bus 183 or 930), this man-made lake is surrounded by a huge park and a few bars and clubs. It will host World Cup games on a 50m video wall, in addition to other related activities for sports fans.
  • Carroponte (Bicocca) – This is another locations that’s not close to downtown (Via Granelli 1, Sesto San Giovanni), but it’s not far from the Sesto Marelli/Sesto Rondò and the Bignami subway stops. Located in a large area with food stands galore, they will be showing all the Italy games and a few of the other big teams during the first round of matches.

TV options
If you’d rather watch the games in the comfort of your own home, Italy’s public TV station RAI1 will be showing one game per day, including all the Italy games. The schedule (available online here) is out for the first few days:

  • 12 June, 10pm: Brazil-Croatia
  • 13 June, 9pm: Spain-Netherlands
  • 14-15 June, 12am midnight: England-Italy
  • 15 June, 9pm: France-Honduras

And, if you or a generous friend happens to subscribe to pay TV channels (i.e. Sky or Mediaset Premium), you can probably catch all the other games too, even the teams that aren’t as popular in Italy.

Pubs and bars
The other option is, of course, to find a good pub with a TV or two that’s showing the game you’re interested in. And you can drink an ice cold beer and enjoy some pub food during the game. There are a few good sports pubs around town, and even regular pubs and bars often have a TV hooked up with premium channels for all the games. Remember, though, that for big games it’s always a good idea to call ahead and make a reservation.

Enjoy watching the games while you’re in Milan. And may the best team win!