Milan is a hub of activity for high fashion and boasts names such as Versace and Armani; brands that are synonymous with this culturally diverse city. If you love to shop ’til you drop, there is no better place for it, book a weekend in Milan and reinvigorate your wardrobe.
Haute Couture and Brands
Fashion lovers flying into Milan should visit Quadrilatero d’Oro (Golden Quad) and Via Sant’Andrea. These areas are rife with haute couture and boutique fashion shops. On Via Monzani and Via della Spiga you will find the big name fashion houses such as Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Prada, Valentino and Versace. This area is just north of the incredible Duomo of Milan, so you can mix a little sightseeing with shopping.
The largest shopping street is Via Montenapoleone, and similar to New York’s Fifth Avenue or London’s Oxford Street. You will find tourists and locals alike down this road that runs through the centre circle of the city.
Antiques and Boutiques
If don’t want to wander around the four floors of Versace couture, then you can pleasantly window-shop in the Via della Spig, where traffic is banned and shoppers can easily stroll the long avenues. L’Armadio de Laura and Via Voghera 2 have some great off-beat shops that sell some quirky pieces and traditional Italian clothing.
Antique fairs are commonplace and popular on weekends around the Naviglio Grande, and you can pick up some real gems for only a few Euros. This is a fantastic area for restaurants too, so you can relax with a glass of wine overlooking the Naviglio after you’re done rummaging for vintage treasure. On the other side of the city, in Brera, you will find the Via Fiori Chiari, which has been fully pedestrianized and it is here where you can find more alternative clothing stores. There are tons of cafes and bars in this area too, where you can throw on your latest fashion purchase and head out for a night on the town.
Though shopping centres may not seem as appealing as cobble-stoned streets with boutique stores, no one does shopping centres the way the Italians do. Stop by the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a lovely glass-roofed arcade, which was originally constructed in 1867 and holds under its roof some of the biggest names in fashion, including Prada’s flagship store, which opened its doors in this mall in 1913. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious shopping malls in the world and was built to join the Piazza del Duomo to the Piazza della Scala. This is a place of extremes, where you will find high-end branded stores nestled up to independent stores. Browse the Galleria’s options, and don’t forget to pick up a gelato on your way out.
Milan is a fashionista’s paradise, being chic runs in the city’s veins, and you don’t have to go far to find fabulous pieces outside of the named brands that will have all your friends begging to know where you got them.
Image by Filip Maljković used under the Creative Commons license.