Shopping or Fashion District, Milan
The core of the fashion district in Milan is definitely Via Montenapoleone.
Luxurious boutiques of top Italian and international designers, antique shops, and tearooms are the physical proofs of Milan’s status of Europe's fashion capital.
Via Montenapoleone is the most important street of the Milan's Fashion District, called in Italian "Quadrilatero della moda" made of Via della Spiga, Via Manzoni, Via Sant'Andrea and Via Montenapoleone.
All major Italian fashion designers have their main ateliers and shops here: Giorgio Armani, Dolce&Gabbana, Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Kenzo, Krizia, Prada, Valentino, Versace, Vuitton or Zegna.
Milan is one of the fashion centers of europe and shopping here is like heaven for the many fashionista's. The stores are really fabulous. And if you're lucky enuff to come here during the sales there will be some unique bargains to be found here.
But to be honest for most people...shopping here tends to be limited to the window variety.
If you are not here during the sale you can head out to the local Outlets with Il Salvagente being the best. But these shops are relatively small.
If you are serious about your shopping and looking for some real bargains...head out to the Outletmalls.
There are 2 near Milan. One is across the border in Switserland at Mendrissio and there are bus trips that arrange the shoppingtrips here.(http://www.foxtown.ch/mendrisio/it/welcome.html)
And there is another one on the road to Genoa at Serravella Scrivia.(http://www.mcarthurglen.com/centres/home_europe.cfm?centre=serravalle)
Here an update: 6 feb 2012
Just back rom a visit to Milan. A lightning visit.just shopping and food.
We drove thru Switzerland so fox town came first. Wow this place is still huge, has all the brands. But the collection they had was disappointing and the discounts quite poor. And worse of all...food was very expensive. McDonald's meal medium..13€.
So we decided the next day to visit serravalle. Since my last visit this place according to its website is the biggest outlet center in Europe. Well here we weren't disappointed great shops with great collections. And discounts were incredible. Up to 70%.
What we missed here was an Armani outlet.
Logical because their factory store is in vertemate just north of Milan. Not been there yet. Will report it next time.
These are all quite far. At least an hour drive from Milan. But IMO these places are worth it. And frankly when you're in Italy it's a crime NOT to shop for clothes and if you really want to buy something and take shopping seriously these malls are must-visits.
Even if you don't like shopping these places are worth the visit. I think fashion from italy are the perfect gifts/souvenir. Haven't heard anyone complained yet.
Have fun and happy hunting.
Milan is a fashion capital, and so no visit to the city would be complete without a walk through its fashion district. While there are actually streets with more expensive and exclusive fashion shops in Milan, the Via Montenapoleone is world famous for the place to be seen in the fashion world. This is the street all the best shops, and the best dressed shoppers, want to be and be seen by the world. Here, and in many of the streets branching off it, you can find the most expensive items of clothing from Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Versace and others. The street even has its own website.
Milan is known as the fashion capital of Italy, so it is the centre of the industry. This is reflected in its glitzy shopping district located in the "Golden Quad" or Quadrilatero d'Oro where many of the original signature shops of top-end Italian designers are found. Gucci, Prada, Versace, and Armani to name a few. Other world-famous designers have a presence here too making the area quite a scene. A stroll down Via Spiga or Via Monte Napoleone, which define the Quad, is essential whether or not one has the extra cash to spend! All those Ferrari owners probably do...
Starting on the right side of the Dome and ending in Piazza San Babila, Corso Vittorio Emanuele is a famous shopping area in Milan.
Important Italian and international brands, such as H&M, Zara, Calzedonia, own stores on Corso Vittorio Emanuele and although is a rather crowded area many visitors came here for feeling the city vibration.
Located in the heart of the city, from Piazza Cordusio to Castello Sforzesco, Via Dante is a lively commercial street of Milan.
Numerous shops (not fashion), but also restaurants and coffeehouses are attracting both tourists and natives.
Being close to the heart of Milan’s financial life (Piazza degli Affari - Piazza Cordusio), during lunch time many Milanese business men and banker can be seen taking the lunch or just a walk in this area.
Between the Duomo and the Castello/Parco Sempione you’ll find yourself walking on the Via Dante. A big street famous for all the banks that’s situated there, but also for all the shops and restaurants. All the way down from the cathedral is crowded with nice shops, for both men and women, fine restaurants, wine shops and then in the middle, at Piazza Cordusio, you’ll find all the banks.
Keep in mind though, that the restaurants here are quite expensive and touristy. The same goes for the shops, although they might be a bit specialized. I have hardly ever bought anything on Via Dante, but there are for sure some good shops there.
The Corso Buenos Aires is a long wide boulevard stretching from the north of Milan to Porta Venezia. It is reputed to have the most shops per square metre than any other street on the planet, making it the densest shopping street in the world. Certainly if you walk along it you will see shop after shop after shop, with barely a restaurant, bar, or museum in between.
If you like Ferrari then do not miss their shop in the Montenapoleone elite shopping area on Piazza Liberty. The store is in a five storey building whose interiors contain sales area and an exhibition illustrating the famous automobile maker's history.
I looked around in the store and I have to say it is very impressive. It is definitely not a two-dollar shop, it is rather a candy shop … it is difficult to walk out without buying something. The shop is designed to appeal largely to people who can’t afford a Ferrari but like the brand.
The cheapest item is a €6 ($10) sticker, but a realistic professionally assembled 1/12 scale model of the Ferrari Enzo Street 2002 is already €300 ($500).
The most expensive was a Ferrari road car with a top speed of 350kph +, 0-100kph in 3.65 seconds, 0-200kph in 9.5 seconds!!... and the price, €700,000.
It is the best place for a windows-shopping, or if you are really brave you might even buy something. I myself bought nothing, and would recommend you to take a look without buying what you do not need and do not want, simply enjoy .
Milan is a well known fashion city and it is associated with some of the most famous Italian designers. Walking along Via Napoleone and the surrounding streets you will pass many expensive stores like Gucci, Versace, Valentino, dolce & Gabana etc. Well, you may not just pass them, but enter them, But I didn’t. I had a small hot chocolate at Cova though. It was 10 Euros and that says something about the prices in this district.
Via Napoleone runs parallel to where the old Roman walls used to stand.
Milan is, at least according to me, the most famous fashion-city in the whole world. You can see that from all the designers who lives and works there, from all the famous shops in Milan, but also from the two huge Fashion Weeks that every year happens in the Italian town.
The first is the last week in February, while the second one is during the first week of October.
I would be lying if you’ll see the fashion-theme all over town, as you might even miss it if you don’t know what you should be looking for. But on the other side, try to get a hotel in Milan during these two weeks… Book loooong time in advance, won’t say more… People from the whole world invades Milan for these weeks, and there are fashion shows about everywhere. Even at the central trainstation…
Last year I had forgotten about the fashion week, and it took me 3-4 days before I could understand where all these extra beautiful women came from… :D
Milan is the fashion capital of Italy and a very wealthy town. Most of the stores around the Quadrifoglio d'Oro (bounded by Via Montenapoleone, Via Spiga, Via Sant'Andrea, and Via Manzoni) are super chi chi--Prada, Armani, etc. For more mid-range and/or unique stuff, head to the Porta Ticinese area, or Corso Garibaldi.
Yes, I'm referring to 10 Corso Como.
If there is a mecca for the Milanese shopper and foreigner, 10 Corso Como is it. This is definitely the hippest department store in the whole of Milan and Italy. No, make that the entire Planet Earth. Don't believe me? C'mon in here and see it for yourself.
This whole mall (if you can call it as that) consists of a collection of open-air souks, laid out a la bazaar-style - perhaps best described as what you might do if you were to sell everything you owned at an elegant garage sale.
After browsing through the many eclectic departments within 10 Corso Como, you'll soon want to pop in to the 10 Corso Como Cafe and unwind over a refreshing glass of... perhaps...fruit juice or smoothies.
Hungry? No problem.
May I humbly recommend their equally delicious hummus and couscous. Yes, you'll be spoilt for choices here... and to think you don't even need to fly over to Morocco to taste delicious couscous!
Take a short stroll along the street Via Dante connecting the Piazza del Duomo to the Castello Sforzesco.
Via Dante is lined with shops and restuarants. You can see at the far end the Castello Sforzesco.
When I was there in Oct 04, Via Dante was lined with huge photos of various people and places around the world (right side on the picture)
Walk along the street Vittorio Emanuele II behind the Duomo cathedral. It is lined with shops and restaurants on both sides. You will also see a church at Paizza Carlo along the street.
This is me with a gelato. Behind me at the end of the street is the Duomo.