Shopping Streets and Spots (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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Shopping Streets and Spots Map

Guide Name: Shopping Streets and Spots
Guide Location: Italy » Milan (See other walking tours in Milan)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 14
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 Km or 3.5 Miles
Author: kane
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Corso Buenos Aires
  • Grand Café & Tre Marie
  • Fratelli Freni
  • Via della Spiga
  • Illulian
  • Patrizia Pepe
  • Via Monte Napoleone
  • Alessi
  • Corso Vittorio Emanuele II
  • Hoepli
  • La Rinascente
  • Via Torino
  • La Coloniale
  • Scarazzini’s
1
Corso Buenos Aires

1) 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
2
Grand Café & Tre Marie

2) Grand Café & Tre Marie

What to buy here: Panettone.

If you’re likely to be in Milan at Christmas get the most traditional (and tasty) local cake of this holiday season. Panettone is a Milanese patisserie must. It’s a sweet and fluffy bread loaf, whose cupola shape is quite characteristic. It contains candied orange, citron, and lemon zest, as well as raisins, which are added dry and not soaked. Many other variations are available such as plain or with chocolate. It is served in slices, vertically cut, accompanied with sweet hot beverages or a sweet wine, such as Asti or Moscato d'Asti. In some regions of Italy, it is served either with “crema di mascarpone”, a cream made from mascarpone, eggs and a sweet liqueur such as Amaretto, or “zabaglione”, made of egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala wine. Historically dating from the 15th century, the Panettone is nowadays made in many bakeries and patisseries, but you should look for Le Tre Marie, known as the most traditional Panettone in town. At Grand Café & Tre Marie, they realize special limited editions for unique presents every year, which you can also accompany with a hand written dedication to emphasize the spirit of your Christmas greetings. The average weight of a Panettone is around 1 kg, but it varies according to the brands and their creativity. At Grand Café & Tre Marie it costs 31 euros.
3
Fratelli Freni

3) Fratelli Freni

As a city primarily famous for its fashion industry, Fratelli Freni puts Milan on the candy-seeker's map with its delicious sweets and chocolates. Italian chocolate may not be as well known as Belgian chocolate, but here you will find more uniquely shaped, tasty confections. Buy some for yourself and take some home to your friends!
4
Via della Spiga

4) 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!
5
Illulian

5) Illulian

Established at Via Manzoni in Milan, Illulian is an antique store known internationally for its assortment of home luxury items. Having been in business for more than 50 years, Illulian specializes in antique carpets and has a wide collection of rugs and tapestries. The store was started in 1960 by Massoud Illulian and is currently run by Shahnaz Illulian and her two sons, Davis and Bendis Illulian. Illulian regularly participates in the most prestigious trade shows, such as Milano Internazionale Antiquariato, Mostra Mercanto Antiquari Milanesi, Maison & Objet, etc.
6
Patrizia Pepe

6) Patrizia Pepe

Patrizia Pepe is one of the many local designers with a storefront, but it is the only one regarded as the best for meeting the needs of urban women. Here you may buy or admire simple, but beautiful clothing. Patrizia Pepe's clothes are rich in color and character, so be sure to visit and find an outfit to suit your style.
7
Via Monte Napoleone

7) Via Monte Napoleone (must see)

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.

Tip:
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.
8
Alessi

8) Alessi

You may not yet have heard of Alessi, but it is "the brand" when speaking about household design, i.e. fashion for the kitchen and home. Furthermore, Alessi is the leader in contemporary home design. You can find some of the funniest and most creative gadgets for your home at Alessi's main Milan location.
9
Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

9) Corso Vittorio Emanuele II (must see)

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.
10
Hoepli

10) Hoepli

Hoepli is all about books and is the biggest bookstore in Italy. Spread over six floors and containing an amazing half a million books, Hoepli is definitely the place to visit if you're looking for a book or just want to browse the shelves. Here they have an amazing selection - books for kids, cookbooks, the latest bestsellers, professional literature - you name it.

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday 10 am - 7.30 pm.
11
La Rinascente

11) La Rinascente (must see)

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.

Tip:
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
12
Via Torino

12) Via Torino

Via Torino is one of the main shopping streets of Milan. It connects Piazza Duomo with the typical Ticinese district. Via Torino is famous for its specialty in shoes – one of the woman’s favorite product. Full of shops selling shoes, the street is famous for its wide range of shoes merchandise – from all-terrain boots to dainty sandals. In recent years Via Torino has developed a shoe mall, with a large number of shops selling shoes mainly to the young people. Price range varies from inexpensive to the medium-to-high priced along with the difference in quality.

At the other end of the Via Torino, down from the Duomo, is the Ticinese district which offers a selection of small shops and workshops.

Milan has been defined as a rich city dedicated to art and pleasure. It is, no doubt, an active participant in the fashion race of the world's capital cities along with Paris, Tokyo and London. Here you can find anything you can dream of. With the wide variety of shoes available and the prices ranging from very low to very high, you will surely find something that matches your style and your budget. If you have a love for shoes, you must visit this street, you will be baffled with the choices available for you.
13
La Coloniale

13) La Coloniale

What to buy here: Martini Bianco (White Martini).

The Milanese aperitivo is an occasion for meeting friends, socializing and having a chat with them over an (often) expensive drink and a variety of food on a buffet you can choose from without extra costs. You may also want to host an “aperitivo” at home. In this case, try Martini Bianco, which makes very delicious Martinis. Although Martini has become the most acclaimed and cosmopolitan Italian drinks brand in the world, its white variety is not enough popular abroad. Martini Bianco is a fine blend of Italian white wine infused with herbs and sweet floral botanicals and produces an aromatic yet delicate drink (a sweet vermouth) with notes of vanilla and citrus. Drink it over ice with soda and a slice of lemon to have an Italian “spritz”, but try it also with a slice of orange if you prefer a sweeter taste. You can find Martini Bianco in almost every “common supermarket” at an average price of 8 to 10 € per bottle. Look for it in the aperitif area. When in Corso Genova for example, you could enter La Coloniale (Corso Genova, 19) and buy it there. Should you want to try it before buying it, you can visit Terrazza Martini, a very exclusive lounge bar located in a terrace on top of a tower building in Piazza Armando Diaz, 7. As the name suggests, their Martini cocktails are exactly as they should be and the view from there is unbeatable.
14
Scarazzini’s

14) Scarazzini’s

What to buy here: Unusual umbrellas.

Milan’s known as the Italian capital of design. And design in Milan is applied to even the most unusual objects. Umbrellas are amongst these, especially those made by Francesco Maglia. Francesco Maglia's hand-made design umbrellas set the trends thanks to their originality and innovation. In his Milanese workshop you can find silk umbrellas, rain umbrellas turning into beach umbrellas and of course bespoke umbrellas based on your creativity. His workshop in via Ripamonti 194 (enter the building without hesitation) is actually a source of ideas where umbrellas come to life, either thought for women, men or for curious applications, all made with a huge variety of wooden handles and countless coating patterns. Each is a real masterpiece you may want to become unique with small variations from its original design, choosing every imaginable detail (for example, you can ask for the handle to be braided with leather or other materials, the umbrella to be made of your favorite fabric etc: nothing is impossible as long as you are willing to pay for it and prices for customized umbrellas often go over 500 euros). Should you prefer to buy a ready-made umbrella which is made according to the same quality standards as their bespoke counterparts, prices stand between 70 and 250 euros.

You can find Maglia’s umbrellas at Scarazzini’s (Corso Genova, 28) a typically old fashioned shop dedicated to high quality articles including razors, knives and walking sticks. They’re the only ones in town equipped with both fabrics, wood and technique to realize a Maglia bespoke umbrella.

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