Shopping in Milan
We can begin our itinerary from the heart of the luxury shopping area in Milan: Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga and Via Sant'Andrea, elegant streets that together with Via Manzoni, Via Borgospesso and Via Santo Spirito are the outer limits of the famous Fashion Quadrilatero. This area contains the most prestigious boutiques and showrooms in the world, full of minimalist design and high tech, that follow on without any nd to this continuity, and provide a triumph of consumer stimulus that only a select few can respond to. In this square area, that is really extremely expensive, luxury is the true protagonist. Dazzling jewels created by the most famous name, clothes and accessories to die for, to be owned and flaunted, shoes that are works of art. Everything reeks of ostentation and the splendor of a chic, fashionable lifestyle. Many foreign tourists come to the showrooms and come out full of parcels, because Italian fashion continues to attract and fascinate the whole world, and Milan is the most representative symbol of all this.
Lets start from the most famous of all the streets of fashion: Via Montenapoleone. This is where you can find, amongst others, the atelier-showrooms of: Gucci, Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo, Fratelli Rossetti, Etro, Loro Piana, Luis Vuitton, Prada, Valentino, Cartier and Tanino Crisci.
In Via Sant'Andrea, a street that crosses Via Montenapoleone you can find: Chanel, Fendi, Armani, Moschino, Kenzo, Cesare Paciotti, Hermés, Prada and Trussardi.
Via Sant'Andrea crosses the famous Via della Spiga, where you can enjoy the shop windows at: D&G, Krizia, Sergio Rossi, Gianfranco Ferré, Bottega Veneta, Tod's, Genny, Prada, Bulgari and Chopard.
The equally elegant Via Manzoni is home to Spazio Armani at no. 31. This is the Giorgio Armani multi-concept store where you can admire the Emporio Armani showrooms, Armani casa, and Armani fiori. You can also sip an aperitif at the Emporio Armani Cafè, or spend an evening at the restaurant Nobu, with a dinner by the best Japanese chef to emerge in the last 10 years: Nobuyuki Matsuhisa who opened this chain of restaurants together with Robert de Niro.
For more affordable purchases, there are four important streets in the city that are almost entirely dedicated to shopping: Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Corso Buenos Aires, Via Torino and Corso di Porta Ticinese. Corso Vittorio Emanuele links Piazza Duomo with Piazza San Babila, and begins with the Rinascente, the monument to Milanese shopping that owes its name to Gabriele d'Annunzio. In Corso Vittorio Emanuele there are sophisticated label shops, such as Max Mara, Moreschi, Bruno Magli and Pollini, but there are also more popular labels such as H&M, Zara and Furla. Corso Buenos Aires, that is one of the longest streets in Europe, connects Porta Venezia to Piazzale Loreto, and is even more commercial: here you can find Timberland, Mandarina Duck, Benetton, Kookai and Nara Camice.
In Via Torino that stretches between the Duomo and Corso di Porta Ticinese, the average shoppers age is much lower and the casual style is sportier, with Foot Looker, Camper and Energy shops all here.
The nearer you get to the Navigli area, which is the temple of street-style, the more the shop scenario changes. Corso di Porta Ticinese, a continuation of Via Torino that takes you right up to Piazza XXIV Maggio, is the right place for those alternative purchases: Custo-Barcellona, Diesel, Miss Sixteen, Gas and Fornarina stand alongside second-hand clothes shops, shops with bizarre objects for the home, handmade clothes and accessory stores made from silk and other precious materials.
Milan also has some interesting markets. Here are just two of the most interesting and characteristic:
- Fiera di Senigallia in Milan is now an institution: every Saturday morning, Viale d'Annunzio, along the wharf, becomes a picturesque sight, full of noise, color and other smells so typical of flea markets.
You can find everything here: Indian, South American and African craftwork; new and second-hand clothes, old furniture, fake art nouveau lamps, perfumed candles and every kind of essence, books, comics, records, videos and DVDs. There are tidy stalls and messy ones where you can go looking for your bargain. The music of the Senegalese musicians is like a theme tune, as they pound on drums of all sizes, accompanying the people walking around with their frenetic rhythms.
- Mercatone del Naviglio Grande
This takes place along the Alzaia Naviglio Grande on the last Sunday of each month. A large exhibition-market is set up that is dedicated to antiques: furniture, objects for the home, old books, jewelry, and lots more too. The market has 400 exhibitors, some of whom also have their own shops on the banks of the Naviglio grande.
Lets end our itinerary of shopping with a mini-guide to the outlets near Milan.
One of the characteristics of Milan that shopping lovers like is the fact that there are many famous-label outlets in the city center that are usually only found on the city outskirts or in the provinces. Some of the ones in the center are: Diffusione Tessile, which is the Max Mara groups outlet, the Bruno Magli and Etro outlets where you can find items from past collections and also Luciano Soprani, Kookai, Valextra, a sophisticated suitcase company, and Bassetti, where you can buy all the bedding and linen you need for your house.
Near Milan instead, you can find the McArthur Glen Shopping City (Serravalle Scrivia, Alessandria), the Fratelli Rossetti outlet(Parabiago), Dolce & Gabbana outlet (Legnano), Timberland outlet (Pero), Levi's (Cernusco sul Naviglio) and Samsonite (Corsico) outlets, and finally Frette (Concorezzo) and Zucchi (Casorezzo) for bed linen.
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