Milan, The Five Days AD 1848

The Five Days Uprising in Milan, AD 1848

The Five Days of Milan, 18-22 March 1848
Le cinque giornate di Milano, 18-22 Marzo 1848
Next edition dates to be announced (the event was last held in 2016)
Milano (Lombardia region)

The Event

Milan, located in the north western Italy, between the Po Valley and the first reliefs of the Alps, is the capital of Lombardy region, the second-largest city and the main industrial, commercial and financial centre of Italy, as well as a major world fashion and design capital. Milan hosts several cultural institutions and universities, the headquarters of many banks and companies, and many international events and fairs, like the upcoming 2015 Universal Exposition. The city is also well-known for its remarkable museums, theatres and landmarks (including the Duomo, the Castello Sforzesco and Santa Maria delle Grazie decorated with Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings and listed by UNESCO). Milan was founded by the Celtic tribe of the Insubres, and then conquered by the Romans in 222 BC. From 286 until 402 AD it became the capital of the Western Roman Empire, and during the High Middle Ages was one of the wealthiest Italian cities. Later on the Duchy of Milan was ruled by Visconti and Sforza Signorie, and the Spanish Kingdom before being occupied by the Austrian Empire until 1796, when it was freed by Napoleon, and then again from 1815 to 1859, when the city finally annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia played a key role during the Risorgimento (the 19th century Italian unification movement) and led the industrial development of the new born Kingdom of Italy.

Every year Milan commemorates one of the most glorious episodes of its rich history as well as of the whole Italian Risorgimento: the “Five Days of Milan”, the rebellion of the Milanese citizens against the Austrian rule from the 18th to 22nd March 1848, the year of the liberal revolutions throughout Europe. The city was at that time the capital of the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, part of the Habsburg Empire, and occupied by a well-organized Austrian garrison of about 15.000 men-at-arms led by Marshal Josef Radetzky (1766-1858, a Czech nobleman, and famous general). Following a new tax on tobacco e cigars, the popular anger against the Austrian domination turned into an open revolt with men and women from all walks of life and backgrounds, uprising, fighting in the streets, raising barricades, shooting and throwing all kind of objects and projectiles from roofs and windows, and sending balloons to the countryside to encourage the villagers to join the revolt. And thanks to the will, patriotism and heroism of the Milanese citizens the Austrians were first forced to retreat in the Castello Sforzesco, and then finally to leave the city, being defeated by unprofessional and badly armed "troops" but united by the dream of freedom. The rich programme of events includes conferences and lectures, exhibitions, music and theatre shows, displays of the civil and military daily life of the period thanks to the many reenactors in the historical camps, while the old town, from the Castello Sforzesco to the Duomo square and the picturesque Brera artists’ neighborhood become the set of several tableaux vivants reenacting that glorious uprising.

The Programme

Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.

Info & Contact

Milan Town Council
Tel.: +39 02 795892
E-mail: online form

Tourism Office Milano

Provincia Milano


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Video reportages from the event:



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