Polished shoes clicking across the cobblestone streets and piazze, dark clothes in materials such as luxurious cashmere, wool, fur and silk, draped over elegant figures that pass through the stone cold city of historic architecture. They pass the colossal marble gothic cathedral that rises up into the fog and blocks out the sun, obscuring the Alps that loom in the distance. If elegance has a temperature, it’s cold. If it has a color, it’s black. And if it has a city, it’s Milan.
Milan is unique among Italian cities in the sense that isn’t driven by tourism; it’s driven by fashion. Here you will find some of the best shopping in the world and you can walk away with some genuine Milanese style, no matter what your price range, as long as you know where to look! The following is a shopping guide to discover where to shop in Milan: from where to find designer labels in Milan, to where to find the department stores, outlet stores and the weekly markets for special finds at fantastic prices.
Where to shop for designers
- Quadrilatero d’oro, or “golden quad”, consists of the streets: Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga, Via Manzoni and Via Sant’Andrea. Here you will find national names such as Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Armani, Missoni, Moschino, Versace, GianFranco Ferre’, Gucci, Prada, Valentino, Alberta Ferretti and many more.
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a beautiful glass roofed structure located next to Milan’s famous cathedral, this shopping center opened in 1867 and is known as the world’s oldest shopping mall. Here you will find the flagship stores of Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada.
Where to shop for designer bargains
Milan is full of shops selling end-of-the-season returns, catwalk castoffs, second hand and vintage clothes boutiques and many outlets that are preferred by locals rather than the flagship designer stores.
- La Rinascente, 8 floors of an upscale department store where you can not only find clothes, but; household and beauty products. The top floor is dedicated to food and has a restaurant and bar where you can relax and enjoy wonderful views of the Duomo cathedral.
- Coin, this department store has various locations around Milan where locals love to find deals and sales on many of their favorite clothing items.
- Lo Scopri Occasioni, this factory outlet’s book lists over 2,000 reputable establishments of discount stores and outlets (also available in English at Milan’s major bookstores) serving as a guide map to finding the stores you want to visit, directions and what to expect when you get there.
Outlets around Corso Vittorio Emanuele
- Salvagente outlet, a famous outlet in Milan is located at Via Fratelli Bronzetti 16
- Dmagazine outlet, located at Via Montenapoleone 26
- 10 Corso Como outlet, hidden behind a courtyard on Corso Como
Outlets outside of the city
- Serravalle Designer outlets, this outlet has over 300 designer brands, and is about a 1 hour outside Milan in Alessandria. A daily shuttle bus from Milan is available.
- FoxTown, this 250-store outlet is located in Mendrisio, right across the Swiss border from Lake Como.
Where to shop for high street labels
- Walk along the streets of Corso Buenos Aires, Via Torino, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Corso Vercelli and Porta Ticinese.
- Brera district for jewelry shops, small boutiques and artists’ handmade fashion items.
Milan has a wide range of weekly flea markets and monthly antique fairs.
- Fiera di Senigallia, located on Viale D’annunzio and is only open on Saturdays.
- Mercato di Viale Papiniano only open on Saturdays.
- Viale Fouche’ only open on Saturdays.
- Mercatone del Naviglio Grande, this market is open the last Sunday of the month and is great for a huge antiques and has over 400 stalls with furniture, books, jewelry and art objects.
- Fiera degli oh Bej oh Bej, this Christmas market is open to mark the Feast of St. Ambrogio on December 7th in Piazza Sant’Ambrogio.
In the month of August, when Ferragosto takes place many stores are closed. Milan doesn’t really have a high or low season, which is ideal for traveling to Italy’s fashion capital. However, there are a few times a year where you can find deals:
- Milan summer sales, beginning the first Saturday in July
- Milan winter sales, beginning the first Saturday in January
Love Milan? What was your favorite item you bought from this city?