When you think of Italy then fashion is going to be up there with food, football and weather.
The Italians are a race that look beautiful enough even without their clothes on so it’s almost unfair they dress so well too. Although people are fashion conscious in the most far-flung villages in the Italian countryside, the hubbub of fashion is, and always will be, the northern city of Milan. The streets are full of the biggest and most famous designers as well as being awash with high street names you all know and love. Here is a quick run down of the best places to drag your hundreds of shopping bags along to.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan
Perhaps the most contained and grand area for shopping in Milan, the Galleria Vittorio is a must-see. If you head for the Piazza del Duomo entrance then you can’t miss the beautiful stone arch leading you in to the shopping mall. The inside is laid out like an octagon, with a majestic glass ceiling that never makes one feel claustrophobic but only enhances the feeling of class. In the very centre of the octagon, all roads lead to the dome, where the glass roof makes you feel like you’re in a see-through cathedral. The history of the building has always been rooted in clothing. For over 120 years there has been dressmaking and tailoring on the site. But now there are dozens of catwalk labels and high street names from Gucci to H & M.
Via Dante, Milan
If you like to be out in the sunshine then this subtle little pedestrian street is a brilliant walkway for shopping in Milan. Found between the Renaissance castle Castello Sforzesco and one of the most famous and lively squares in town, the Piazza Cordusio, this quaint cobbled street has some brilliant little stores where you’ll find something a little different from the norm. It’s not all clothes though. There’s jewellery and knick-knacks and also some perfect little cafes and bistros, where certain male members of your party might like to take the weight off for a little while.
Fashion Quadrilatero, Milan
This is where things get very serious. There are a few big streets in this area that add up to being the most important fashion area in Milan and then possible the world. Via Montenapoleone, Via Sant’Andrea, Via della Spiga, three street names you have to tattoo on your arm before you find an item of clothing to cover it with. The boutiques around this area have some of the most distinctive and glamorous items of clothing for both men and women. From Prada, to Armani, to Kenzo, to Gucci, Versace, Luis Vitton, D&G and YSL. If you want to come home with no money but the coolest clothes in the world, then this is where you should spend most of the day.
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Picture of Vittorio Emanuele II Shopping Gallery in Milan, Italy, by Dan Kamminga