Milan: shopping in the Italian fashion capital
Milan is universally recognized as the Italian fashion capital. Every day thousands of people walk through its most elegant street, "Via Montenapoleone", where the most sophisticated, (and expensive) fashion shops of Armani, Gucci, Versace and other famous Italian fashion designers are located. People come here from all over the word and buy the "famous Italian fashion": especially in times of discounts, it can even happen to see long queues of Chinese, Russian or other wealthy foreigners waiting to get inside these boutiques.
Milan can be easily reached from Malpensa and Orio al Serio airports through several services of bus shuttles that connect the airports to the Milan central railways station, "Stazione Centrale". From "Stazione Centrale" take the line 3 of the subway (The yellow one) in the direction of "San Donato" and get out of the train at "Montenapoleone".
Here we are! Mainly Via Montenapoleone but also the adjacent streets are the heart of the Italian Fashion. The boutiques of Prada, Armani, Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Laura Biagiotti, Fendi, Renato Balestra, Rocco Barocco, Genny, Krizia, Gucci, Missoni, Trussardi, Moschino, Mila Schön, Fiorucci and many other top fashion brands are all lined up in this area.
After shopping here, walk down via Montenapoleone, cross Piazza San Babila, a modern looking square, and take Corso Vittorio Emanuele, another great street, full of elegant boutiques and shops. Zara, H & M, Benetton, are only some of the famous brands that you will find along this very popular street. At the end of Corso Emanuele, you will find Rinascente, the best department store in the town. On its top, there is a nice café offering an amazing view of the Duomo and where it is possible to rest a bit while sipping one's own cup of a nice Italian espresso.
From Rinascente go back to Piazza San Babila and take Corso di Porta Venezia. Walk past the boutique of Dolce and Gabbana and reach Porta Venezia. Corso Buenos Aires, the most popular street for shopping in Milan starts just here. It is an uninterrupted succession of boutiques and shops: Kalvin Klein, Benetton, H & M, Zara, Hilfiger, Denim, etc, but also, you will find some cheaper shops here. During the period of hard discounts ( January - February, and July - August) Corso Bueno Aires is so crowded that is almost impossible to walk.
In Milan, fashion means not only shopping but also culture. Armani Silos, located at via Bergognone 40, hosts a huge exhibition of dresses that inspired the famous Italian stylist Giorgio Armani from 1980 up to now. Fondazione Prada, located in Largo Isarco, 2 in a former distillery, hosts important temporary exhibitions of contemporary artists in a scenic space of over 11000 square meters.
At the end of the day, when your shopping is over it could be a good idea to take a walk along Navigli, two water canals located on the southern side of the town and surrounded by old, picturesque houses and where there is a pulsing, lively nightlife every day of the week. Choose one of the many restaurants there and enjoy the "happy hour", a special formula to eat as much as you wish for only some Euros. Naturally, this food is mostly trash food and snacks, but they often offer also cheese, ham, and sausages.
If you do not like snacks and think that the idea of "happy hour" sounds simply appalling, do not worry! Milan is packed with any sort of restaurants of any quality, and in addition, here all the cuisines of the world are represented.
Cosmopolitan and curious, Milan's inhabitants love exploring new tastes and exotic dishes, to the point that "Sushi" has become their most popular dish! This is probably the reason why the local cuisine is now neglected. However, if you wish to taste it, Rise with saffron, cutlets breaded and fried, "Ossobuco" (sliced veal shank), mixed boiled meat, and "casseula" (cabbages and pork) are the best-known dishes.
More about Milan: Milan: art, culture and history of this cosmopolitan city
Some pictures of Milan, the Italian fashion capital:
Giorgio Armani Boutique, via Montenapoleone (pic n°1); Versace Boutique, via Montenapoleone (pic n°2); Prada Boutique, via Montenapoleone (pic n°3); Dolce Gabbana Boutique, via Sant'Andrea (pic n°4); Rinascente Store, near Duomo (pic n°5); I Navigli, the Milan nightlife (pic n°6);