Your Guide to the City...
Select a city from the box above and view listings for resources such as:
- Childcare Services
- Government Agencies
- Health Care
One of my favorite pastimes is undoubtedly visiting the markets of Milan. Full of character and real life, the markets are an integral part of the Milanese lifestyle. The markets range from very large to very small, and carry a variety of items from flea and food markets to craft and antique markets. The stalls are situated in piazzas throughout the various districts of Milan. Many markets happen weekly, and some annually. My favorite among these markets is O Bej! O Bej!, which occurs once a year in the beginning of December.
In Milanese dialect “O Bej! O Bej!” literally means” Oh Belli! Oh Belli!” or, “Oh how beautiful! Oh how beautiful!” The name originates from the exclamations made by the children when they saw the gifts that they had received from Pope Pius IV, Gianetto Castiglioni in 1510. In those days, the items on display were mostly gastronomic in nature. The most popular being the strands of roasted chestnuts, mustard, “castagnaccio” which is similar to a chestnut cake, and paper dolls.
Today, this annual Christmas market is an opportunity for locals, Europeans, and artisans from other countries around the world to show their craftsmanship in a festive environment. In honor of Sant'Ambrogio, the patron saint of Milan, this market is always held during the first week of December because December 7th is Milan’s Patron Saint’s day. This year, the “Fiera degli O Bej! O Bej!” will be held from Monday, December 7th through Thursday, December 10th at the “Fiera di Sant’Ambrogio”. All around Milan’s “fiera” and in and around the Saint’s Basilica and Piazza Sant’Ambrogio, the streets are lined with stalls displaying crafts and fantastic gifts for Christmas. This market is a shopper’s wonderland. Outside you will find local delicacies such as “vin brule”. Once you enter the gates of the “fiera”, you must get a map to find your way from one hall to another. It is very easy to get lost and turned around. Each hall is themed, and ranges from a hall containing only Italian artisans, to one with Italian food and wine, another with Europe artisans, and one hall is for the artisans that come from countries outside Europe.
This fair provides an excellent opportunity to do some Christmas shopping and appreciate the craftsmanship of Italy, Europe and abroad. The market is open from 8:00 am to 7:30 pm daily. Don’t miss one of Milan’s most festive cultural traditions!
For information http://www.turismo.comune.milano.it
Fiera degli Oh bej, oh bej
Photo of the O Bej! O Bej! Market by Giorgio Milani
Lombardy Hotels and Other Lodging
Lombardy Parks and Playgrounds
Family Activities in Umbria near Lake Trasimneo
"Child-friendly" Takes Center Stage in Florence
Lake Maggiore with Kids
Beyond Pompeii: Off-the-Beaten-Path Family-friendly Attractions in Naples and the Amalfi Coast
Visiting Florence with Kids
Family Activities in Umbria near Lake Trasimeno
The Best Family Restaurants in Turin
The Old Port of Genoa: An Exciting Seafaring Destination for Kids
Bilingual Preschoolers: Day Nursery and Kindergarten for Bilingual Children in Italy
Southern Italy's Christmas Nativity Scenes
10 Best Things for Kids to Do in Venice
A Year in Florence
Cultivating Culture - Art Appreciation in Rome Can Be Child's Play!
Cinque Terre with Kids
The Benefits of Playgroups for Bilingual Families
A Room with a View (and a Fire Escape): Emergency Preparedness on Your Family Holiday in Italy
Lake Garda with the Family
La Foce: An Idyllic Year-Round Retreat in Tuscany
The History of the Viareggio Carnival
Exploring Old Rome Without Air (or Time) Travel
Raising Bilingual Children: The Most Successful Methods
A Day in Naples with the Kids
Sundays in Chiusi - Adjusting to Family Life in Italy
An Inspirational Learning Environment - The Reggio Emilia Method
Keeping Children Safe in and around the Water
The Eternal City - Fun for Everyone!
Beautiful But Lonely - Not All of Italy's Museums Get Crowded
Interview with CiaoBambino.com founder Amie O'Shaughnessy
Tips on Bilingualism
FESTA Brings Alice and Wonderland to Teatro Lungo Binario in Florence
Celebrate La Mamma this Mother's Day
American kids discover whole other selves in Italy
Europe strengthens commitment to healthy environments for children
Labor of Love in Milan
Kids' camp in Tuscany provides families with a fun alternative to traditional sightseeing
International Team Rebuilds Ancient Rome Digitally