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Snow in Milano is something many dream about, especially during Italy's festive season. However, if you're expecting a Christmas market in Milan to be blanketed in white powder, you might be disappointed.
If you're wondering if it'll snow in Milan for your December trip, the answer is - probably not. Snow in Milan is a rare sight these days. Despite spending two chilly winters here, I have yet to experience even a light dusting of snow.
Milan's Missing Snowfall
As locals and weather records confirm, the average snowfall in Milan, Italy has significantly reduced in the last decade.
Many years ago, snowfall was possible and fairly frequent in Milan's city center, but times have changed. Due to climate change, Milanese residents are lucky to see snow every 2-3 years, as this Redditor and Milanese local pointed out during a surprise dusting in 2020:
If you visit Milan during the winter months, bring your wool coat, but leave your snow boots at home.
Seeking Snow Near Milan? Head North!
Milan is not entirely devoid of snow; you just need to venture a bit further from the city. Thankfully, Milano's central location offers easy access to the Alps and the Dolomites.
Reaching the Snow by Train
To reach the snow by train, book a ticket from Milan's Central Station to Turin, Trento, or Brixen. Turin is a 1.5-hour train ride from Milan, and Trento and Brixen are closer to 3.5 hours (but worth the extra effort!).
Turin sits at the base of the Alps, and it occasionally receives snowfall. From Turin, it's possible to take a second train to Bardonecchia, the region's most famous ski resort.
Trento and Brixen are located near the Dolomites in Italy's Trentino-Alto Adige region. These cities have a high chance of snowfall during the winter months, and they also have frequent buses to nearby ski resorts and top-notch wellness hotels.
Reaching the Snow by Car
The closest ski resorts to Milan are Piani di Bobbio and Presolana. Both of these ski areas are only 1.5 hours from the city, making them ideal for a day trip.
A bit further away is Bormio, which is well-known by Lombardy locals for its thermal baths and winter sports. It's approximately a 3-hour drive from Milan.
If you're looking for a more upscale stay, I highly recommend visiting Italy's Trentino-Alto Adige region. This autonomous region has an interesting mix of Austrian and Italian influence, and the ski resorts, spas, and wellness hotels are both phenomenal and affordable. This region is also home to the famous Italian Dolomites—a Unesco World Heritage site, and one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world.
If you're traveling to Trentino-Alto Adige, my favorite hotel for a snow day is Hotel Tyrol. Their half-board option includes an excellent breakfast buffet and a 4-course dinner, and the ski resort is within walking distance from the hotel!
The Weather in Milan
What Milan lacks in snowfall, it makes up for in random hailstorms, rain, and the occasional tornado.
After living here for two years, I've realized that the weather in Milan changes by the hour. During the spring and summer months, lightning and thunderstorms often appear out of nowhere, sending tourists and locals alike into shops and cafes to take cover. In the winter, snowfall isn't common, but severe rainstorms and spectacular lightning displays are common while hanging up your clothes on the balcony.
Thankfully, the rain in Milan tends to disappear as quickly as it comes! If you're visiting this beautiful city, rest assured that you'll have at least one sunny day during your travels—even during the winter months.
It is Italy, after all.
While Milan's snow days are dwindling, the city's central location and excellent train network ensure that you're never more than 2 hours away from a stunning winter landscape. Between Piedmont, Lombardy, and Trentino-Alto Adige, your only problem will be picking which getaway to book first!