Milan has a long and illustrious history of being a central hub of activity on the international scene. Its appeal among business enterprises, fashionistas, art lovers and socialites alike have put it on the map as a worldwide shopping capital. Though visitors to Milan come for many different purposes, what they have in common is the one certainty that all of them will be making some kind of purchase. Be it new clothes for a special occasion, a meal à la Milanese or trendy Italian design accents to take back home – shoppers will find it here. To help our readers with the absolute musts in Milan we've assembled our suggestions on the essential shopping stops.
The areas high end shoppers should give their attention to are first and foremost the Quadrilatero d'Oro (the Golden Quadrilateral), the Galleria adjacent to Milan's Duomo, and Corso Como.
The Quadrilatero d'Oro is located in the centre of Milan by the Montenapoleone or San Babila Metro stations. The area is known to have the highest concentration of high end luxury brands. It comprises several streets including: Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga, Via Sant'Andrea, Via Borgospesso and Via Manzoni. On Montenapoleone you'll find brands like Valentino, Christian Dior, Versace, Ermenegildo Zegna and Fratelli Rossetti. Between shopping, check out the historic Pasticceria Cova on the street for an espresso and something sweet.
Via della Spiga is home to brands like Lanvin, Max Mara, Stuart Weitzman and the Dolce & Gabbana Spiga 2 boutique which is definitely worth a walk in to admire its architectural design and collections by new and promising designers endorsed by the brand. If the finest in Italian jewellery is what you're after, take a stroll down to Via San Pietro all'Orto where you'll find the Pomellato Boutique.
Via Sant'Andrea is brimming with luxury brands from Chanel and Cesare Paciotti to Michael Kors and Moschino, while Giorgio Armani has his 8,000 square foot flagship megastore on Via Manzoni. If you've got a hankering for sashimi and uramaki, you can find the famous NYC Nobu sushibar located in the Armani complex. For trendy furniture and design pieces be sure to visit Driade, also on Via Manzoni. The interior has an original 14th century salon with Renaissance paintings, one of the few spaces to survive WWII bombings of the area.
Once finished with the Golden Quadrilateral, multitask with a little shopping & sightseeing to the west, at the nearby Duomo di Milano. Adjacent to the Cathedral is the stunning Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The shopping arcade is an especially great venue during the warmer seasons to retreat into the shade. Brands in the Galleria include Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton.
If you're in the mood for a guilty snack, then be sure to stop into the famous Luini Panzerotti or Cioccolati Italiani located just behind the Galleria on Via San Radegonda. Also here is La Rinascente, a giant high end department store with everything from multi-brand collections and home and design fixtures to cafés and restaurants. The trek up to the seventh floor is well worth it for the view of the Duomo and surrounding piazza from up high. La Rinascente's rooftop patio is definitely a status location for a late lunch with friends.
Heading north of the Duomo to Corso Como will give visitors a new environment to explore. The 10 Corso Como boutique-slash-restaurant-slash-art gallery owned by Carla Sozzani (sister to Vogue Italy Editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani) has made the street one of the trendiest in Milan, especially in the evening when the locals flock to the bars and restaurants lining it. For a true Milanese dinner, be sure to make a reservation at La Cotoletteria on Corso Garibaldi where they serve up sumptuous breaded veal cutlets – a plate traditional of the Lombard region.
Whether you have time to shop in just one of these districts or all of them, be sure to check out our Boutique Listings for all of the essential addresses. Enjoy!
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Milan City Guide