Where to Hear Live Music and Concerts in Milan

Ho la musica nel cuore
L’occasione mia più grande
Per aver la vita accesa
Per non essere riflesso
Di una luce poco mia
– 
Biagio Antonacci, Ho la musica nel cuore

Music is a universal art form. It crosses boundaries and can speak to all of us, no matter what language we speak. So, where can you find great tunes in Milano? Here’s a breakdown of the most important venues around the city, whether you’re interested in jazz, pop and rock or classical music and opera.

Clarinet detailJazz, Pop and Rock

The second-largest city in Italy, Milano attracts a lot of big names in pop and rock. If you’re looking for jazz, you might need to do your homework, but there are a few locations that specialize in jazz and its sub-genres. Here are just a few venues around town.

Alcatraz: A cool discotheque famous for alternative and rock performers, Alcatraz is an institution in Milano. Check out their calendar for both domestic and international artists and enjoy the show!
Via Valtellina 25; M3 Maciachini

Blue Note: Looking for New York City style jazz and cocktails in the coolest part of the city? Then head to Blue Note in the Isola neighborhood and enjoy ensembles, bands and singers. They also put on a pretty good Sunday brunch.
Via Borsieri 37; M5 Isola

Circolo Magnolia: If you’re into cool, alternative groups for the in-crowd, then Circolo Magnolia might be the place for you. Of course, to get in, you need to be a member! To get your membership card, you can fill out the online form and then pick it up at the ticket office.
Via Circonvallazione, Novegro-Tregarezzo; buses 73, 923

La Salumeria della Musica: This is a very intimate venue features more obscure performers (since not as many fans can pack in the locale to watch each group). Expect to find variations of jazz on the agenda.
Via Pasinetti 4; tram 24, buses 95 and 34

Magazzini Generale: A cool discotheque located in an old warehouse, expect famous DJs and rock musicians to perform here. It’s located close to the Bocconi campus and is usually packed with partiers.
Via Pietrasanta 16; tram 24, bus 90/91

Mediolanum Forum: For popular Italian and international artists that might not fill up the San Siro soccer stadium, head to the Forum in Assago. The venue also currently hosts the local basketball team while their arena is being rebuilt.
Via Giuseppe di Vittorio 6, Assago; M2 Assago Milanofiori Forum

San Siro Stadium: The city’s football stadium, San Siro (or its official name Stadio Meazza) is the venue for mega-concerts, often in the summertime when soccer games are not being held. If you like big-name pop stars with big shows, this might be the place to see your favorite performing artist.
Piazzale Angelo Moratti; M5 San Siro Stadio

Teatro degli Arcimboldi: A smaller venue, this theater hosts a wide variety of events, from musicals to international and Italian pop and rock to classical music and ballet. It was built in the early 2000s and originally hosted La Scala productions while the historic opera house was being renovated.
Viale dell’Innovazione 20; M5 Bicocca

Saxophone silhouetteClassical Music and Opera

If you’re interested in classical music, there are also quite a few places to choose from. The world-famous La Scala Opera House is the most prestigious of these locations, but other spots host various kinds of orchestra and chamber music.

La Scala: One of the world’s most famous opera houses and a symbol of Milano, La Scala is a must-see attraction. And serious opera and ballet aficionados should definitely try to catch a show while in town!
Via Filodrammatici 2; M1 Cordusio, M3 Montenapoleone

La Verdi: A wide variety of classical music is on the agenda at this venue. Check out their calendar and student discounts!
Largo Gustav Mahler; tram 3, buses 71, 90/91

Teatro dal Verme: If orchestra music’s your thing, this is a great place to go! A beautiful 19th century opera house, this building was also used as a cinema before being renovated to host concerts and other performances.
Via S. Giovanni sul Muro 2; M1 Cairoli

Società del Quartetto di Milano: Originally open only to members, this venue is now open to the broader public. Their calendar includes the most famous classical music composers from the 18th and 19th centuries, with a variety of performers.
Via Durini 24; M1 San Babila

Bonus: Bocconi students should check out the university’s website for info on student discounts at various venues around the city.

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.

It’s Great to Be in Italy During the Summer!

Have you just arrived in Italy wondering what to do until the academic year starts? Or are you coming very soon to spend the rest of the summer in Milan? After looking for accommodation and settling in, you cannot miss the chance to discover the city, of course, but mostly the nearby natural and cultural attractions.

For example, you can go and rest, surrounded by the natural environment of the many Alpine lakes spread over Northern Italy, either taking a trip to the mountains, or just sunbathing at the seaside in Liguria Region. Anywhere you go, you’ll also start to get to know the worldwide famous Italian culture, history and arts. There are a lot of destinations and suggestions that you can compare, according to your tastes, time and budget.

First of all, if you’re longing to experience the fresh air of the sea, while sunbathing close to the mountains, then the right place to go are the lakes, such as Lago di Como, Lago di Garda, Lago Maggiore.

The first of these destinations is often mentioned in tabloids for being the holiday residence of very popular people from the international jet-set from the past, and even today. Lago di Garda is the biggest lake in Italy and resembles a sea, with its nice beaches and clear water.

Lago Maggiore is about an hour’s drive from Milan, and I really recommend its attractive islands: Isola Madre, Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori and Isole di Brissago. Since all these are touristic destinations there may be some really crowded spots, but there’s always the opportunity to find a quiet place. In the evening and night, if you are interested in classical music, you can’t miss the opportunity to go to the Stresa Festival, which gathers musicians and artists from all over the world in the charming setting of Lago Maggiore, since 1961.

Moreover, as you may already know, Italy boasts the beautiful embrace of the Alps Mountains. So why not having a week-end trip to Aprica, or Bormio, in Valtellina? Or go to Valle d’Aosta, with its many beauties, either to Alagna Valsesia, the so called “Free ride paradise” or Macugnaga, in Northern Piedmont.

Monte Rosa
The Dolomites Mountains are also a very popular destination among Italians and foreigners. Since the journey from Milan lasts about 3 or 4 hours, depending on the places, it would be better to dedicate them a longer trip than a couple of days. The national railway system and the rest of the transport network link Milan to all these destinations, you only need to check the timetables, on the national railway website, or on the above-linked local official websites.

As an alternative to any of these options, if you are addicted to the beach, Liguria is the fastest solution: there are trains taking you straight from Milan to Genoa or to the renowned Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino.

And, finally, if you like the idea of sunbathing but are too lazy to travel, or for the many cultural and musical events taking place in the city, then the best option is to go to Idroscalo, an artificial lake which was originally built as a seaplane airport, in the eastern neighborhood of Milan.

Just one further suggestion, let good music inspire your soul. At the beginning of September there are going to be excellent music concerts for the MiTo festival, a festival linking Milan and Turin in the promotion and organization of important concerts and shows. This year MiTo takes place from the 5th until 23rd September… What a perfect conclusion for your Italian Summer!

Bocconi Student Interview of the Day

Today I’d like to talk you about life in Milan from the point of view of an international, non-European student who’s attending the BIEMF (Bachelor of International Economics, Management and Finance) at Università Bocconi. His name is Takin and he comes from Tehran, the capital of Iran. I met Takin a couple of weeks ago and started talking with him about his past and the time he has been spending in Milano, since he came here in July 2011. Read carefully, most of the time the best help can lay low daily life!

How long have you been living in Milan?
I’ve been here since July 2011. I’m attending the first year of BIEMF at Università Bocconi. I came here two months earlier since I was taking part in a language course at Scuola Leonardo da Vinci, where I was learning Italian – and I still have to improve it. The institution had a really friendly vibe. 15 to 20 students formed each class and they all had international background. For me it was more of getting acquainted with different people while learning the basics of Italian language. I would suggest to those students who have the possibility of arriving in Milan few months prior to the start of their university course to attend an Italian language school.

What is the procedure for applying for this institution?
I found Scuola Leonardo da Vinci online, and I submitted my application online too. This Institution provides accommodation for prospective student upon their request and they also organize various cultural events and there are numerous occasions for socializing.

Did you find it difficult to learn Italian and to adapt to Italian culture and lifestyle? What would you suggest to the forthcoming international students?
Since most of the international students attend courses that are held in English they will not encounter any problem in particular. Add on to that, in Bocconi’s environment everyone speaks English sufficiently good as to not let the language barrier be a source of inconvenience for you. I must however say that, this barrier to communication will eventually prevent you from socializing outside the circle of your international friends.

Do you mean out of the academic world?
I would say out of BIEMF course. Even though most of the students at Bocconi do speak English, they lag behind once the content of conversation entails a mediocre understanding of English.
Outside the university environment, for an international student dealing with daily routine works it does not necessitate a previous knowledge of Italian in my opinion.

What did you do before leaving your country?
I finished my high school in Tehran and thereafter I traveled abroad, mainly to improve my English. I spent few months preparing for Toefl and SAT after I was convinced to take the latter instead of Bocconi’s entrance exam since they did not provide a comprehensive guideline for it. Besides, SAT is a globally recognized certificate with numerous publishers providing instructions and preparations for its tests. With having SAT certificate and a high GPA, you would ensure your place at Bocconi.

If you owned a Time Machine, would you change anything in what you did?
I don’t think I would! I made many mistakes and I had my regrets in life, but I rely on those experiences as my personal mentor. They influence you, teach you and build your personality more than anything else, I believe. Yet If I knew I would have difficulties with finding an apartment, I would have been more careful in my choice.

When did you start looking for an accommodation?
I had already found an apartment prior to my arrival. But things didn’t go well, and in September I had to move. You can imagine looking for a place in September is not always easy. I had to look for one or two apartments each day after lectures since my contract was ending. Eventually I found a place in one of Bocconi residences and I am still residing there. This waste of time for me preceded other problems too.

Is there any tip you want to give to students looking for accommodations from abroad?
I just have to mention to those who are looking for accommodation online, they have to be ensured about the nature of housing websites. With those like craigslist you have to be more cautious and knowing that there are many scams! I would suggest the housing websites that are available in Università Bocconi’s website that you can find in house haunting section. I also found easystanza.it and Immobiliare.it useful.

… While once you are here?
Announcements for renting are almost ubiquitous around university. From Notices pinned to trees outside to others on the boards inside the buildings you can find numerous rooms, apartments, and lofts to rent.
Of course, real estate agencies are always available however they charge a commission fee if using their service.

What are the steps to follow to come to Italy as a Non-European citizen?
This – Takin shows me a detailed sheet – is something they gave me in Bocconi: “Relocation in Milan”.
Within 8 working days of arrival, NON-EU citizens who hold a valid student visa for Italy must apply for a permit of stay for study purposes (Permesso di soggiorno per motivi di studio) that is issued by the local Police Department ( Questura – Ufficio Stranieri ).

To be identified as an individual person in the Italian state when dealing with public offices and administrations a Fiscal Code (Codice Fiscale) must be requested and obtained from “ Agenzia delle Entrate”.

In Italy, national healthcare is provided by a public healthcare service (SSN: National Healthcare Service) and only foreign nationals with a valid permit of stay can apply for the service.
Opening an Italian bank account also requires having a Permit of stay and a Fiscal Code.

About softer topics… Let’s talk about cuisine, do you miss Iranian dishes?
Of course I do miss them and nothing would replace Iranian dishes for me. But it comes without saying that if you are in Italy you will above all relish their delectable cuisine. You don’t have to be a chef to prepare a delicious meal because it is easy to make using Italian ingredients.

And what about the habits you had while living in your homeland that you cannot do here?
I cannot recall a particular habit, but studying abroad in general is different than living with your family in your hometown. The spread spectrum and the variety of choices you have in a cosmopolitan city like Milano is not comparable to my hometown.

What’s your attitude towards Milano? Are there any special places in the city you would suggest to go to?
After I strolled around the city center for the first time, one thing that really stood out for me was the most stunning piece of architecture, the gothic cathedral of Milan, Duomo. Milan is a wealthy city of glamorous people, full of stylish boutiques, marvelous restaurants and on-trend nightlife. On Friday and Saturday nights Colonne di San Lorenzo is packed with people of every kind. It is a great place to get to know new people and socialize. I would like to mention that Blue Note is my favorite place. This venue is known for hosting top-notch jazz in a classy atmosphere. Since the ticket prices are a bit steep, a student life will not allow you to be a frequent visitor. If you appreciate jazz music, I would most certainly suggest visiting Blue Note. From nightclubs like Alcatraz with its retro nights and 60s, 80s style, to commercial clubs like Old Fashion and Just Cavalli, you have everything to make your nightlife enjoyable in Milan.