Ever woman dream about Milan! This city is the embodiment of taste and style. Here work and live a number of talented designers who excite the fashion world every new season. This place is a homeland of such talented people like Armani, Prada, Valentino. On Milan’s streets, you'll find numerous boutiques of famous designers from around the world.
I love shopping in Milan for:
- A huge variety of goods;
- The uniqueness and quality of brand items;
- The real price for clothes, especially for Italian brands, and especially during sales;
- That all clothes are brand new;
- I love stylish people and Milan street-style, well-groomed men and beautiful women. Sometimes, I take inspiration in their colorful outfits and smart accessories.
And I really like window shopping in Milan. Milan’s shop windows look like a piece of art with installations, decorations and almost alive mennequin.
There is a myth that only rich people go shopping to Milan. The real Italian shopping - is to buy a beautiful and things of good quality for little money. In addition to the expensive boutiques, in the capital of Lombardy, there are many shops of local brands with law prices. And perhaps, Milan is a paradise for people who love high-quality stylish clothes, shoes, bags by Italian designers. All you can find in inexpensive stores with brands which are not as famous as Dolce and Gabanna, but still good.
We must understand that Milan is a one huge shopping center. It is unlikely to find here at least one street without a small shop. Strolling down Milan’s street, we constantly look through shop windows, but unfortunately, we cannot visit every store because it would take an eternity. So, in this article I’d like to point out the most famous fashion streets and prospects of the city. By the way, street in Italian is via, and prospect is corso. With my help, you can think about your shopping route in advance.
This place is the concentration of the most popular fashion trends, it is here you can buy the latest collections from Milan’ Fashion Week. On the four streets that form a square are located the most famous luxurious boutiques. The shops of well-known brands, which every lady wants to have. Clothes from this street means not only excellent quality and trendy collections, but also high-status. Shopping in "Quadrilatero della Moda" is for wealthy customer.
The Montenapoleone Street (Via Montenapoleone)
Metro Station: San Babila or Montenapoleone.
The Note: the most expensive shopping street in Milan.
In old XIX century buildings, there are signs of world famous fashion brands: Baldinini, Fabi, Alberta Ferretti, La Perla, Louis Vuitton (can you imagine three floors of Louis Vuitton? Bags, suitcases, shoes, clothing, accessories…). Everything is marked by sign "Do not touch!". And you even think that you are in a museum. The cheapest Louis Vuitton are wallets and card holders for 300-500 euros. But if you want something exclusive and unique (in only one copy), something from the collection but with different buttons "the same, but with gold buttons," that shop assistants are happy to discuss the details in a private cozy room. Everything you want for your money. Gucci, Prada, Ralph Lauren (here you will find lots of American brands), Valentino, Etro, Montblanc, Celine, Mario Buccelati, YSLaurent, Sergio Rossi (patent calfskin, soft eel skin, shiny python skin, the insole of sheepskin leather - women's shoes and sandals by Sergio Rossi are made under the motto "exclusivity, sexuality and comfort"), Cartier, Fratelli Rossetti, Iseberg, Rolex, Simonetta Ravizza (fur coats and original accessories, such as, for example, a mink backpack), Salvatore Ferragamo, Versace, Emilio Pucci (famous style with the recognizable bright patterns), Dior, Vertu, Versace (five floors of luxury by the head of Medusa the Gorgon), Hogan (Italian is not a real Italian, if he does not wearing running shoes by Hogan) .
The Della Spiga Street (Via della Spiga)
The Note: many boutiques for children and teenagers.
Cobblestone street Kolos is closed to traffic. There are about 70 stores: Tiffany & CO, Fay, Miu Miu, Vicini (shoes and bags made from the best leather and suede, decorated with crystals Swarovski), D & G Donna Accessori, Bulgari, GF Ferre, Gherardini, Gilli (bags with funny prints), Chopard, Prada, Tods, Miss Blumarine, Gio Moretti Baby (children's boutique by the world's best designers), Marni, Roberto Cavalli, Colombo (bags of all types of skin, even such exotic, like lizard skin, anacondas and crocodile), Juicy Couture, De Nicola (fur coats and cashmere coats, suede poncho, elegant crocodile skin gloves).
The Sant'Andrea Street (Via Sant 'Andrea)
The Note: A lot of shoe stores.
In this, closed to the transport street, thirty boutiques open their doors every day: Missoni, Chanel (the temple of high fashion), Doriani, Michael Kors, Moschino (every clothes enjoys the recognizable Moschino style – “classics with humor"), Fendi, Hermes, GianfrancoFerre (the entire collection of the brand), Casadei, Trussardi.
The Manzoni Street (Via Alessandro Manzoni)
Note: prices are high, but more modest than Montenapoleone.
Via Manzoni is a long street, which starts from La Scala Theatre and ends in front of the city park in Piazza Cavour. This street enjoys famous boutiques: Armani (this is the largest store of the designer, here you’ll find all collections - Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani, Armani Jeans, cosmetics, bedding, dishes), Frette, Bon Point, Frey Wille, Pal Zileri (the paradise for man’s shopping). A special personal service "albo privato" for Vip-clients is offered there. A tailor in a couple of hours takes your height, weight and other 55 things, and put your personal data to the database, then you can order your favorite costumes from new collections, and be sure they will fit you perfectly. By the way, it is not common to put things on before buying. La Perla Uomo, Patrizia Pepe, Bottega del Cashmere, Wolford, Mila Schon (Mila Sean designed a form for Milan football players, for "Alitalia" airlines workers, and for "Iran Air", and also for Italian athletes in 1992 during the Olympic games in Barcelona. Her motto is "brightness and grace").
The Note: for those who appreciate elegance, but love to keep everything simple, shopping here will be a thing.
Corso Venezia is one of the most elegant avenues in Milan. At the beginning of the avenue, if you walk from the center, you will see lots of fashionable shops with trendy clothes and shoes. And if one walk to the north, they will see a nice green area - a city park “Giardini Pubblici”. Since The Venice Avenue is a part of the "Golden Square", there are many outstanding boutiques by the world-famous designers: Braccialini (the two-story store with lady’s things: handbags, wallets, sunglasses, shoes), Dodo, Prada, Missoni, Pinko, Marlboro Classic, D & G , Armani Collezioni, Liu Jo Girl (clothes for little princess of the age 0 to 14 years), Mosca, Nero Giardini, Nero Giardini Junior (footwear and accessories for teens), Flavio Castellani, Nomination (steel and gold jewelry, the famous bracelets Composable). The length of the Venice Avenue is about one kilometer.
Metro: “Porta Venezia” metro station (the beginning of the prospect), “Lima” metro station (center), “Loreto” metro station (its end).
After the Avenue Venice, there is Corso Buenos Aires with familiar to everyone shopping in big shopping centers. This shop-route is not for wimps: a five-kilometer marathon through more than three hundred shops, which feature hundreds of brands catering for people on a budget. But still, there are famous brand stores such as Guess, Guess Kids, Max Mara, Lacoste, Adidas, Boggi (men's clothing in the Anglo-American style), Stefanel, Marina Rinaldi, Chicco (a three-story shop for children), Yamamay, Intimissimi, Zara, Promod, H & M, Prenatal, Nadine, United Solors of Benetton, Kiko.
Also enjoys numerous local Italian brands: Marano (Italian jewelry, which Italians love so much), Nannini, Silvia, Nara Camicie (a well-known Italian brand of high quality women's blouses and shirts), Du Pareil (a shop for children caters for babies and kids to 14 years old), Tezenis (lingerie, hosiery products), Marco (shoes), Blu Sand (new Italian brand of fashion for youngsters), Luisa Spagnoli (fashionable and knitwear for women, the store is popular among Italians), Nadine (women's clothes, shoes, accessories), Elena Miro (clothes for women with big forms), CArt (a three-story gift shop, where you’ll find pet products, accessories for children and adults, things for the home - all very bright and unique).
Numerous small shoe shops are a godsend for fashionistas. Of course, pay attention to the quality of the goods. But here you can find spring and autumn ankle genuine leather boots for 40 euros, which will please you for more than one season. Most of these shops are located at the end of Buenos Aires Avenue, adjacent to “Lima” metro station.
Popular bag brands are also could be found in the avenue: Furla, Braccialini and Coccinelle. Furla is popular among foreign people, but among the Italians Braccialini and Coccinelle bags are more preferable. In any case, the quality of production of any of these brands are nice, and the price is. During sales, shops offer a great discount up to 80%.
Go to "Corso" during weekdays, because it is popular not only among tourists, but also among Milanese. And on the weekends the trading arcade is very noisy and crowded with long queues to the fitting rooms and to the cash desks. By the way, next to the Avenue, there is the city park where you can relax from the shops bustle in the shade of the trees. And to the center of Milan, to Piazza del Duomo, just 15-20 walk from the Avenue.
Metro: “Duomo” metro station.
The Note: it is better to shop at Corso Vittorio Emanuele in the evening - many shops open until 21:00.
Corso Vittorio Emanuele II is a pedestrian street in the center of Milan, stretching from the Duomo to San Babila Square. Despite its status of one of the main streets, here luxury boutiques coexist with the mass-market shops with affordable prices: Benneton, GAP, Zara, Mango, Disney (the dream of all children and of some adults), Michael Kors (the main store with the latest collections by the famous designer), Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Pollini, Tezenis, Yamamay, Intimissimi, Furla, Liu-Jo, Max Mara - Penny Black, Max & Go, Marella, Max Mara Week End.
Metro: “Cairoli” metro station, “Cordusio” metro station.
Via Dante is colorful and bright street with a huge variety of brand shops: Celio, Lush, Lacoste, Guess, Yamamay, Benetton, Nadine, Geox, Triumph, Levi's, Max & Co, Chicco, Camicissima. The store Le Coq Sportif (Via Dante, 17) is a perfect choice for sport-fashion lovers. Le Coq Sportif is the famous French brand of sports clothing and shoes, which are good and qualitative, comfortable. Women will appreciate this street because cosmetics and perfume shops: L'Occitane, Kiehl's, Sephora, Kiko. Also, there is a large selection of bookstores.
By the way, Via Dante is a pedestrian zone, which is always crowded. After all, this street leads to one of the most important attractions of Milan – to Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco), and Sempione Park. Where you can chill and relax in a peaceful atmosphere.
The note: the local shops cater for the middle class and for people who prefer casual style.
This district of the city is just glows by life and creativity. The local bohemians love this city’s area and in the evenings, go the cafes there. But in the day, the narrow streets of "old Milan" is not crowdy at all. Shopping in Brera is an interesting process - there are lots of shops of local designers. There you will find affordable prices and unique goods. In addition to bags, the works of young Italian designers and unusual goods for home, Brera is famous by jewelry shops. Small exclusive jewelry boutiques offer unique handmade jewelry made in gold, silver, platinum and steel.
For perfumery fans, for those who are looking for new perfume, and simply for those who look for new experience, we advise to visit the salon L'Olfattorio - Bar a Parfums (Via Brera, 23). The Fragrance Bar attracts by a truly rich selection of rare and unfamiliar fragrances for men and women of well-known brands and of new local brands. Moreover, here you can find a perfect perfume for home. Visitors of the bar are offered special "fragrant glasses" with a spray perfume on them. The paper cups can store smells for a long time, so visitors can make their choice.
Also on this street, there is a pet boutique “Brera Bau House” with a huge selection of goods for pets: food, clothing, accessories, veterinary preparations.
The Note: shopping in Corso Porta Ticinese appeal to those who like to dress unusual and extravagant.
Along the prospect there is numerous brand shops of well-known names in a fashion world and shops of local designers: Miss Sixty, Diesel, Home/Club and Street Wear boutique (funny t-shirts, vintage jeans Levi's, Milkshop bags, Kinder Surprise necklaces), Silvia (cheap leather goods, Colors of California boots which cost around 50 euros, of different colors and styles). There are vintage shops and shops which offer only clothing made from natural materials, the studios, the workshops with hand-made accessories and items for home decoration. Here you can purchase unusual and rare in one exemplar.
This place caters for those who like strange but fashionable style, who appreciate the real fashion.
The note: shops in Navigli will be liked by those who loves Hand Made things.
Metro: “Porta Genova” metro station.
The city block starts from Porta Ticinese (Porta Ticinese). Local fashion is developing here not according to the famous Italian designers. There are lots of small, original art craft shops of eccentric fashion, where you can find antique knick-knacks and souvenirs. Shops for punk rockers, clothing in "millitari" style, tattoo parlors, plugs for piercing and more stuff for all residents and guests of Milan.
Go to Navigli to visit the real Italian market:
- Every last Sunday of each month, the Grand Canal hosts the largest antique market in Italy “Mercatone dell'Antiquariato”. Not less than five hundred collectors and antique dealers sell rare works of art, books, furniture, ornaments, kitchenware and toys;
- Each Saturday, once in a month, there are two markets “Mercato del Sabato” – the flea market and the usual market with food.
On weekdays, the Navigli district is a true paradise for those who just love strolling up and down the streets. Nice little bridges, barges, charming houses, cozy cafes, antique shops, art galleries, shops, studios of unknown young designers will adore you. But who knows, perhaps in a few years, some of them will open a luxury store in the "Golden Squarel"?
There is no time limit for Milan’s stores. According to the liberalization law, every owner has the right to decide for himself the working hours of their store.
The main part of Milan’s shops and boutiques work from 15:30 (16:00) to 19:00 (19:30) on Monday. From Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 (or 9:30) and to 19:00 (19:30), a break for a siesta is from 12:30 (13:00) to 15:00 (15:30), in summer the siesta may last until 16:00. Sunday -is a day off (the exception - the last Sunday before Christmas).
August is a period of holiday-breaks- a kind of compensation for the work in the New Year holidays. Most shops are closed for at least two weeks before or after August 15, during the celebration of the national holiday Ferragosto (Ferragosto).
Only large multi-brand department stores and boutiques of major designers work seven days a week and do not close for siesta. Such shops can be found in the "Golden Square". Also, some shops which are located in the main Milan’s streets are opened until 20:00 (21:00), because of the numerous tourists.
Public holidays in Italy (during them all shops are closed):
- 1 January - The New Year;
- 6 January – The Epiphany;
- 25 April - The Liberation Day;
- 1 May – The Labour Day;
- 2 June - The Proclamation of the Republic;
- 15 August - The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin;
- 1 November - The All Saints Day;
- 7 December - The Day of St. Ambrosia, the patron saint of Milan;
- 8 December - The Immaculate Conception;
- 24-25 December - Christmas Days;
- The first and second days of Easter (Sunday, Monday);
- 31 December – another public holiday.
If you are planning a trip to the capital of Lombardy, try to choose the time during the period of sales and discounts. Believe me, you will be pleased with the prices. And your dream to buy a handbag with famous logo will come true.
The magic word in the windows of shops in Milan is "Sconti" (discounts), and "Saldi" (sale) appear twice a year, in summer and in winter. Winter sale starts right after the holidays, on the first Saturday of January. In summer in the end of the first week of July, usually in the first Saturday of July. According to Italian law, the date of the start of the sales season each year is strictly fixed and every shop must obey this law. The sale season, in the average, lasts about 60 days, the “old” unsold collections go to the numerous Outlets. Discounts begin with 20-30% up to 80%. Therefore, everyone chooses – to buy a good amazing thing or just a cheap thing. Usually all shops are overcrowded in the first month of Saldi. But some luxury brands, do not offer discounts, for example Louis Vuitton.
Sometimes, you can see the inscription "Liquidazione totale" (total elimination) in the shop window. It means a good sale because the store will be closed soon. In such stores, you can purchase some really good clothes for small price.
If you don’t live in Europe, you can save the VAT (in Italian IVA): 12% for the purchase of clothing and footwear; 35% for fur and jewelry. For this you need:
- Buy something for more than 154.94 euros in one store;
- Issue the Tax Refund Cheque (check tax-free), you’ll need your passport and a special form;
- When leaving the country, at customs, put a stamp on the check for a tax refund. Show the purchased goods in packaging with all tags and price tags to the air-port worker, the application form, your passport (the form and passport must be presented by the person who made the purchase);
- Present a tax-free check with your passport and a credit card in the office to return the payments. VAT refund will be issued immediately, the money will be transferred to your credit card.
If you are time limited time or you do not want to look for a perfect dress in numerous shops, we advise you to hire a personal shopping consultant. This is a person who will make everything to please you and to find clothes of your dream. He will make a shopping route based on your preferences and desires, help to find the latest collections, will act as an interpreter between you and the seller. Ask for the shopping guide at the hotel reception.