Milan, one of the world’s fashion capitals along with London, Paris and New York, stands out for offering so many boutiques, concept stores and prestigious handicraft shops that it is impossible for anyone to go home empty-handed.
This itinerary is dedicated to shopping addicted, a route across the most famous fashion streets, the coolest districts and the most original stores. Say stop to the usual souvenirs and treat yourself with something unique!
Dress up your stay in Milan with an exclusive experience, the best fashion brands, the top Made In Italy manufacturers and the emerging companies are waiting for you.
If you cannot wait for a full-immersion in the most fashionable streets of the Milan stage, you just need to get to Porta Venezia till Via Montenapoleone. You will be able to immerse yourself in the prestigious Quadrilatero della Moda and in its mix of maisons, boutiques and ateliers of the main Italian and international brands such as Gianni Versace, Loro Piana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Miuccia Prada, Dolce e Gabbana, Alberta Ferretti, Brunello Cuccinelli, Missoni, Moschino, Etro, Blumarine. Considered the sixth most expensive street in the world, Via Montenapoleone is the heart of this notorious neighbourhood, along with Via della Spiga.
Before being overwhelmed by the multitude of fascinating shop windows on Via Montenapoleone, we recommend you to take a look at the sophisticated Armani multi-store in Via Manzoni, behind you as soon as you exit the metro. On ground floor you will find men’s wear and women’s wear, accessories, jewellery, perfumes, sweets as well as the Emporio Armani cafe and Nobu lounge bar. Of the latter two, you will find the restaurant version on the first floor along with Armani Books and Armani Jeans. The Armani Casa and Armani Privè collections are located in the basement.
Walking down Via Manzoni in the direction of the city-centre you will reach another milestone of luxury shopping, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, majestic home to prestigious brands, famous cafes and restaurants, as well as historical bookshops. Indeed, it is a wonderful transit between the Teatro alla Scala and the Duomo with thousands of options where to take a break: you can indulge in the pleasure of sipping coffee at Camparino, be charmed by the cute hats by Borsalino or stop for an aperitivo at Savini.
But most of all, when in the Galleria, you should stop at the Prada store, the venue that witnessed the start of the great history of the brand, founded in 1913 as a shop of leather bags and accessories, and known as Fratelli Prada.
Once you walk out of the Galleria, take Corso Vittorio Emanuele and in a few steps you will reach the spectacular building of La Rinascente that with its 7 floors of fashion offers a wide choice of clothing, jewellery, home and high-tech innovations items. La Rinascente is an air-conditioned mixture of the fashion district, ideal for those with little time to shop. Do not miss the food hall on the top floor where you will be able to delight your palate in a unique setting, with a breath-taking view of the Duomo spires.
Without straying too far from the DUOMO area, here is one of the new city “must-go-to-places”: the Excelsior. The Gruppo Coin luxury department store takes the place of a former cinema turned into a pearl of avant-garde design by Jean Nouvel. The Excelsior welcomes you at ground floor with an exceptional range of perfumes of the most prestigious brands in the work. With its 7 floors of luxury, oriented towards the search of emerging and unusual designers, it is the answer to those not satisfied with the conventional who want to go beyond established brands to find equally fascinating niche brands.
The Excelsior is also a high-end food market and restaurant in the three versions of “now,” fast “and” slow”: a stylish take-away, a bistro and restaurant.
Exiting the Excelsior, along Via Vittorio Emanuele towards San Babila, you will walk past low-cost concept stores like Banana Republic, Zara, Alcott, Gap, Mango, H&M and its latest perla & Other Stories, which is renowned for its wide range of prêt-à-porter clothing and accessories of high quality and great attention to design, with versatile prices. This new brand also focuses on a line of cosmetics and exclusive limited-edition creations.
Once in Piazza San Babila, you cannot miss the Brian & Barry Building in via Durini 28, in the 1950s palace designed by Giovanni Muzio. It is a shopping experience factory open 7/7 from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, with mono-brand boutiques and dedicated multi-brand areas including: Fashion with the best Italian and international brands, Technology, Home and Design with Ecliss, Beauty with Sephora, Jewels & Watches with brands such as Chopard, Pasquale Bruni and Recarlo.
There is also an excellent restaurant area that spans from Eataly cafe and Rossopomodoro to Piadineria and Hamburgeria to the tea room “Arte del Ricevere “.
To start another rich fashion route: the meeting point between Corso Como and Piazza XXV Aprile. Here you will find High Tech, an emporium of ideas where the creativity and innovation for home furniture never lacks. The collection favours ethnic, unusual and avant-garde design products.
A few steps away, always in piazza XXV Aprile, Eataly Smeraldo, the space dedicated to culinary excellence, where products are selected directly from Eataly, with no intermediaries. In addition, handicraft products are associated with educational information to allow customers to choose consciously what to buy and why.
It is interesting to know that every Eataly is linked to a value, and the one in piazza XXV Aprile is linked to music, as the food and wine emporium stands where famous former Smeraldo theatre used to, where great artists such as Bob Dylan and Ray Charles, and Italian Enzo Giannacci, Renato Zero, Adriano Celentano performed.
In the heart of Corso Como, awaits 10Corso Como: a universe created from uncontested fashion priestess and discoverer of young talents, Carla Sozzani (sister of famous Franca Sozzani, editor of Vogue Italia).
It is a cutting edge angle of Milan, characterised by a relaxing atmosphere and a cosmopolitan inflection. This concept store is an icon of emerging haute couture where you will find, among other brands, a wide variety of clothing items by Azzedina Alaia.
And it is here that you will find notorious Galleria Carla Sozzani, where interesting exhibitions are held, free of admission. The other nucleuses of this rich scenery are the luxurious cafe-restaurants in the countryside, and a single bookshop with art, photography, graphic design, fashion, design and architecture books.
Leaving Corso Como behind, continue walking down Corso Garibaldi, one of the most historical streets of Milan. Before 1860 it was called Corso di Porta Comasina, which literally means ‘that leads to Como’, as it was the main Milan-Como route.
It is curious that while today’s Corso Garibaldi sees a succession of class craft boutiques and trendy shops and restaurants, it used to be a humble folk village.
Today you can find fashion gems such as the Italian house of bijoux Sharra Pagano, whose collections are a perpetual great success, both in the prêt-à-porter world, and as accessories requested by the world’s most famous designers.
You cannot miss the shop of well-known Italian brand Bialetti, which has always associated the values of tradition, quality, design and safety to cooking tools, kitchen accessories and its renowned coffee makers.
Corso Garibaldi also welcomes craft shops, such as the historic Bormioli Luigi glassware store, which is renowned for the fascinating beauty with which glass, destined to both high-end perfume stores and for home and dining, is crafted.
Impossible not to stop at Don Quijote, leader in the sale of the original western Boot in Europe, with more than 200 models of Tex-Mex boots.
Another must-see in this amusing Milanese road is 120% lino, known for the high quality linen, cashmere and silk garments reinterpreted by high fashion design.
At the end of Corso Garibaldi, once walking down via Pontaccio, you will reach the ancient house of architect Gianfranco Ferrè, now seat of the Italian brand of sartorial excellence, which has now become international: Kiton.
The works were managed directly by founder Ciro Paone, and have made the building appearance as a charming residence, especially the main floor where Ferrè catwalk shows were held. Inside you will be able to enjoy paintings and antiques, all to enhance the masculine elegance of excellence where you will be able to savour the notorious Kiton motto “the best of the best plus one.”
Once at the end of Via Pontaccio, you will see to your left via Solferino with other fashion stores, including notorious Peserico, to your right Via Brera, and after a few meters, always to your right, the fascinating via Fiori Chiari. You are entering the heart of Brera, one of the best preserved and romantic corners of old Milan, which with its Risorgimento-like poetry and charm has nothing to envy to Rome’s Trastevere or certain London and Parisian neighbourhoods.
Brera is a village of artists, antique shops, fortune tellers, and small restaurants, religiously pedestrian. Far from the hustle and bustle, it looks like an old village, framed by small restaurants.
Along Via Fiori Chiari and turning left, we find ourselves in one of the most romantic streets of the city, via Madonnina. Worth mentioning are: prestigious De Simone jewellery store, Diego dalla Palma make-up store, and fantastic jewellery by Angela Caputi, who chose Milan as one of the few exclusive cities in which to locate her stores.
This walk ends in piazza del Carmine, which overlooks the Marc Jacobs store and cafe, and where you will be able to admire the spectacular church of Santa Maria del Carmine. Walking down via del Carmine, the side street to the church, you will be able to resume via Brera and, following in the direction of via Verdi, you will end up in front of Palazzo Marino and Teatro alla Scala.