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Best Shopping Streets and Malls (Self Guided), Milan

Milan is a world-renown fashion and design capital. Here, you can find most of the world's top fashion brands, from Gucci, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana to Levi's and Diesel. Fashion is the second religion in Milan and this self-guided tour will take you to the worship places of the fashionistas and shopaholics.
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Best Shopping Streets and Malls Map

Guide Name: Best Shopping Streets and Malls
Guide Location: Italy » Milan (See other walking tours in Milan)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Author: kane
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
  • La Rinascente
  • Corso Vittorio Emanuele II
  • Via Montenapoleone (Montenapoleone Street)
  • Via Manzoni (Manzoni Street)
  • Via della Spiga
  • Corso Venezia (Venezia Street)
  • Corso Buenos Aires
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

1) Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (must see)

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a fashionable five-storey mall covered in curved glass, topped with iron roof and lavishly decorated with patriotic mosaics and statues – legacy of the chaotic era of Italian unification, manifesting the country's newly-acquired self-confidence.

It was built between 1865 and 1877 by architect Giuseppe Mengoni – also credited with the monumental design of the whole area between the Milan Cathedral and La Scala Opera – and is named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of unified Italy. Officially inaugurated on September 15, 1867, the Galleria's completion took another ten years of continuous work. Tragically, just a day before it was complete, in December 1877, Giuseppe Mengoni died in an accident, falling down from the top of the triumphal arch.

Formed like a Latin cross, the gallery comprises two glass-vaulted covered passages – with a longer one being 196 meters and the shorter 105.5 meters long – crossing in an octagonal central piazza below an impressive 47 meter high, 36-meter wide glass dome. Incorporating iron and arching glass, the Galleria's architectural design proved groundbreaking for the creation of enclosed shopping malls in the 19th century. The use of iron structure inspired the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

An interesting feature of the gallery is the floor featuring rare marble mosaic depicting emblems of main Italian cities. Spinning on the picture of the bull with the heel of a right foot is supposed to bring good luck. The locals duly observe this tradition thanks to which there's now a hole in the pavement.

Why You Should Visit:
Like walking in the best picture of 19th-century Milan – with lights, colors, windows and landscaping views that will never leave your memory.
There are a few restaurants (incidentally not very expensive considering the mall) where you can relax, eat, and watch the crowds go by.
There's also a very nice Leonardo Museum at the end of the mall, bang opposite the statue of Leonardo da Vinci.

Visit the gallery late at night or early in the morning when there aren't too many people yet.
Don't forget to find the "bull" on the floor in the middle of the Galleria and have fun!
La Rinascente

2) La Rinascente

Founded in 1865, La Rinascente is a classical fashion department store in Milan that has been recognized as the most modern shopping place. It is an eight-storey huge shopping mall that sells nearly everything one can think of, from lingerie to colorful ceramics. All the departmental stores selling the latest cosmetics, accessories and footwear are situated here. The top floor is the home of innumerable gastro bars and a delicatessen: Italian cuisine, sushi bar, a branch of Obikà mozzarella bar, etc., along with the wine, juice, chocolate and cheese bars. It also treats visitors to a panoramic view of the Duomo cathedral. The top floor has an indoor-outdoor cafe where hot chocolate and coffee can be enjoyed while appreciating the beauty of the Duomo.

La Rinascente was renovated during the summer of 2008; its former mall-like feel has been replaced by a boutique feel. All in all, a great place to look around, to do shopping and to enjoy a drink or a meal while sitting in the comfy environment of the many on-site restaurants.

They have clean bathrooms on the top floor, and there is no fee. While you're there, just walk over to the big windows and get a bird's eye view of the Duomo while enjoying the air conditioning.
If you need to do Tax Refund, collect all your receipts from La Rinascente and process them on the same day on the same top floor. The receipts are only valid for tax refund if done the same day, so it is better to do all your shopping from La Rinascente in one day, then proceed to the Tax Refund and complete a single form including all receipts.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu: 9:30am-9pm; Fri, Sat: 9:30am-10pm; Sun: 10am-9pm (hours change monthly)
Sight description based on wikipedia
Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

3) Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

Corso Vittorio Emanuele is a popular shopping street lined on both sides with boutiques selling clothes and accessories, situated behind the Milan Cathedral and connecting Piazza Duomo with Piazza San Babila. Named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of unified Italy, this is the second largest pedestrian area in downtown Milan, ideal for shopping and passing time away. Extending from its side are a number of small covered shopping galleries emerged as a result of post-war renovations. Other than luxurious shops offering latest collections of Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada and other top brands, the passage houses a number of cinemas, restaurants and cafes equally worthy of one's time and money.

Why You Should Visit:
If you want a quick round through the shops, this is one of the best – very good looking and classy, even for Milan standards! It has really been spruced up for Expo 2015.
Via Montenapoleone (Montenapoleone Street)

4) Via Montenapoleone (Montenapoleone Street)

Nicknamed ‘Montenapo’ by the Milanese, this stylish and luxurious street in Milan is famous for its ready-to-wear clothes and jewelry shops. Many distinguished Italian fashion designers, as well as designers from all over the world, have their exquisite boutiques and stores in this most significant street of the Milan Fashion District. Also known as the 'Quadrilatero della moda', it houses many exclusive Italian shoe stores and the headquarters, major offices or large emporia of several of the world's top fashion.

Milan, one of the major fashion capitals in the world, was renovated in the Neoclassical style at the beginning of the 19th century. Upper class used to live here in palaces. Roman city walls erected by Emperor Maximian can also be seen at places in this street. After World War II, Monte Napoleone became one of the foremost fashion streets similar to other world’s famous streets like Bond Street or Oxford Street in London and Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré in Paris.

Its name dates back to 1804 at the peak of the Napoleonic era. Since Milan was always a centre of art and pleasure, foreigners used to gather into the city. They not only discussed business but also visited Milan as being a wealthy city dedicated to art and pleasure. With its narrow side streets branching off, Via Monte Napoleone is one of the most elegant streets in Milan, and one of the most stylish in Europe.

Why You Should Visit:
The fancy part of Milan – fun to browse (temptation is nigh!), and even more fun to people watch.
The people working here will treat you like a King or Queen regardless if you buy anything or not.

Walking the length of Via Monte Napoleone is definitely worth it. You can walk from it to La Scala in about 10 minutes or you can get to Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and the Galleria for more shopping.
Via Manzoni (Manzoni Street)

5) Via Manzoni (Manzoni Street)

Via Manzoni, is a busy and fashionable street in the Italian city of Milan which leads from the Piazza della Scala north-west towards Piazza Cavour. Notable buildings include the Museo Poldi Pezzoli, the elegant Grand Hotel et de Milan, which was the place of Giuseppe Verdi’s death in 1901, and several fine palazzi. The impressive refined-air street lined with aristocratic apartment blocks and opulent churches.

In 1990, when the Montenapoleone station was opened, a fountain designed by Aldo Rossi was placed in Via Croce Rossa, as a monument to Sandro Pertini.

Today, it is also one of the city's premier shopping streets, and is noted for containing the Armani Megastore. A part of the street forms the approximate north-western boundary of the quadrilatero della moda, Milan’s up-market fashion district. Fashion retailers here include Anna Rita N, Antonini, Armani Casa, Artemide, Bolaffi, Bottega del Cashmere, Coccinelle, E. Marinella, Frette, Gattinoni, Grimoldi, Les Copains, Mila Schön, Napapjri, Pal Zileri, Patrizia Pepe, Paul Smith, Scappino and El Ganso.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Via della Spiga

6) Via della Spiga

Via della Spiga is one of the chicest shopping areas of Milan, situated in the north-east of the deluxe Quadrilatero della Moda district along with Corso Venezia, Via Monte Napoleone, Via Sant’Andrea and Via Manzoni. The street is famous for its sophisticated elegance manifested in stylish clothing, shoes, handbags and other accessories put on sale. Among the famous brands presented here are Dolce & Gabanna, Sergio Rossi, Tod’s, Bulgari, Gianfranco Ferre, etc. to mention but a few. At #2 is the enormous David Chipperfield designer boutique. #23 is reserved to Krizia who introduced a mini skirt and knitted dresses to the world's fashion. At #28 there is a vintage space and the store for women accessories is found at #26. Roberto Cavalli, a Florentine designer, renowned for its animal print, architectural and geometric motifs sweaters and dresses much loved by the youth, has opened a new store at #42. The Moschino brand and its wicked style are also part of the streetscape. A true paradise for fashionistas, this street is well worth spending one's time and, sure enough, money!
Corso Venezia (Venezia Street)

7) Corso Venezia (Venezia Street)

Corso Venezia is one of the city's most exclusive and elegant avenues, being part of the city's upscale Quadrilatero della moda shopping district, along with Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga, Via Sant'Andrea and Via Manzoni.

It also boasts a great collection of Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Neo-classical palaces, parks and gardens. The street contains several important (notably Baroque and Neoclassical, but also Medieval and Renaissance), such as the Palazzo Serbelloni and the Villa Reale, found in the landscaped Giardini Pubblici of the street. In the Giardini Pubblici there is also the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano, which was founded in 1838 when Giuseppe de Cristoforis (1803–1837) donated his collections to the city.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Corso Buenos Aires

8) Corso Buenos Aires

Corso Buenos Aires is the main communication artery and the most important shopping street in north-eastern Milan. It is about 1.2 km long connecting Milan's centre at the Duomo to the nearby city of Monza. Corso Buenos Aires is one of the busiest streets of Milan having more than 350 stores, shops and outlets. During the Christmas holidays, it becomes even busier when it sells most of the city's decorations.

Being the longest shopping artery in Milan and one of the biggest in Europe, it hosts hundreds of shops, many of them part of the big chain stores. It features the highest concentration of clothing stores in the whole Europe. The street is mostly dotted with neo-classical and art nouveau buildings featuring the late 19th and 20th Century style.

Corso Buenos Aires is generally more inclined towards products of mass consumption like ready-to-wear type clothes. Connecting the centre of Milan to Monza, Corso Buenos Aires was originally an old street known as "stradone di Loreto". In the late 19th Century, the old road was demolished. The horse cars that used to serve this route were replaced by trams. In the mid 1950s the trams were also abolished and were replaced by the modern subway line. Shops selling high fashion products have replaced the small shops that used to sell traditional Milanese products. Similarly, modern buildings and flats have taken the place of old buildings. Prices, on average, are accessible. During sales periods, after Christmas and in mid-summer, the two-mile long street attracts the shoppers with colorful price tags. At that time, it becomes a great place for bargains.

Once you enter the street, you are sure to leave the street loaded with bags of goodies. Defined as a rich city dedicated for art and pleasure, Milan is a place for fashion and shopping. It is rightly said about Corso Buenos Aires that it will make you “Shop till you Drop.”
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Milan, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Milan

Create Your Own Walk in Milan

Creating your own self-guided walk in Milan is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
City Center Museums and Galleries

City Center Museums and Galleries

Milan is not only the business and fashion center of Italy, it also a cultural center. The city of Milan offers numerous cultural activities, as well as countless art galleries and museums that exhibit some of the world's most famous and imposing artworks and artifacts. Most of these cultural centers are located in the very heart of Milan and within a pleasant walk.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Historic Center Walking Tour

Historic Center Walking Tour

Milan is a city that boasts both historic and modern architecture. It is also a strategic economic center for Italy and is home to the country's stock exchange. Thousands of tourists are attracted to the city's striking historic sites like the La Scala opera house and the famous Duomo, as well as designer shops and other great places to explore.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Milan Introduction Walk

Milan Introduction Walk

Throughout its 2,000+ year-long history Milan has accumulated an impressive collection of architectural monuments, thanks to some of the best artists and architects this world had ever seen who blessed the city with their presence. Masterpieces like the Gothic Duomo di Milano cathedral and the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent, housing Leonardo da Vinci’s mural “The Last Supper,” vividly...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Historical Churches Walking Tour

Historical Churches Walking Tour

Milan may be a world fashion capital and a European financial capital, but religion, and "the church" in particular, remain a major part of Milanese life. The city boasts a number of world-class religious buildings that include Milan Cathedral, which is the third largest religious structure in Europe, San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, also known as "Sistine Chapel of Milan"...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Central Milan Souvenir Shopping

Central Milan Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Milan without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of shops selling unique gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Milan, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit. Take this self guided tour to find the right Milanese products to bring home.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles

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