Allegra's Milan Guide parte tre: Shop until you drop!
As per my first article on Milan, it has been said that the city is a pandora’s box and when it comes to shopping, the concept remains.
As one of the world’s fashion capitals THE boutiques are all there. The good thing is that all the boutiques are concentrated within a few blocks, rather a couple of streets. They are called the Quadrilatero della Moda, which directly translates to “fashion’s quadrilateral”. You have the choice between Gucci, Prada, Versace, Bottega Veneta but don’t forget the transnational boutiques that do not cease to AH-maze.
The quadrilateral is formed the following streets: Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni, Via della Spiga and Corso Venezia. Within these four walls there are other notorious streets that you cannot miss, such as Via Sant’Andrea, Via Borgospesso, Via Gesù, Via Bagutta and Via Santo Spirito.
It seems like a lot, but I assure you it’s very concentrated. Nonetheless I advise you to wear comfy loafers (go local and buy Tod’s or Car Shoe) or for le signor(in)e check out Porselli behind Teatro alla Scala. This small hidden boutique is the official purveyor of the Scala’s ballerinas. Plus, another tip, you are trespassing through the ultimate “bella figura” territory so you might as well put in a little more effort into your looks. Dressing up a little can be great fun! I am not saying that the inner values do not count as much or “oh my gosh how can you be so superficial?”, it’s just a piece of advice and honestly who doesn’t feel good if you look good, giusto? Stick with classic colours, simple straight lines and shapes and add little extra touches like a foulard, a fun pair of sunglasses or some jewellery. That simple!
Even though the budget might not be as flexible for everybody, a quick stroll through those few streets is a must! The window installations are very inspiring and simply, very fun to look at. A little further and there is the more commercial shopping street, which starts from Piazza San Babila and ends at Piazza del Duomo. An insider tip, if you are looking for cool and limited-edition sneakers in Milan, make sure to go to One Block Down. I love to go to the Merry Go Round shop in Via Larga for great and characterful clothes. This little detour will not disappoint you!
Right attached to Duomo the is Via Torino, also a street with plenty of shopping opportunity. Via Santa Marta has become one of the fashionistas not-to-miss spots and the highlight is the boutique Wait and See. This concept store has the super power of putting you a big smile on your face and everything is carefully selected to make a (woman’s) heart beat faster.
Since I aim to pick up both signor(in)e and signori I want to point out to a boutique who needs special attentions when it comes to menswear. Make sure to make a stop at Larusmiani in Via Montenapoleone 7, the eldest brand of this street.
Interesting fact about Larusmiani. What you will find in the Via Montenapoleone boutique skillfully combines absolute quality, elegance and craftsmanship strictly handmade in Italy: the portrait of the classic gentleman with a contemporary twist that pursues the dictates of style and at the same time is the author of changes and innovations.
The collection "gentlemen's essentials" ranges from knives to tableware, from lighters to toileteries to shaving kits. Each piece is entirely handmade by expert craftsmen who carefully select natural materials, thus creating a perfect union between form and function that perfectly matches the taste of tailoring, authentic craftsmanship excellence and attention to detail.
For the local ladies a regular shopping address is the multi brand store Antonia in Via Cusani. A new multibrand store, which is worth taking a little trip, is Norrgatan (super IG Account btw), which is in Monza (psss... the men can go to the F1 race track in the meantime).
What I personally love about Milan are the small no name shops which sell artisan craftmanship, yes ladies shoes. You can find plenty of these small boutiques, but don’t worry, they don’t only make shoes in Brera and Porta Ticinese. Jewellery is my big weakness and my credit card glows right after I have been buying in at La Patty Gelosa, Atelier VM, APM Monaco and Lil Milan.
One last piece of advice, all these shops and streets are picturesque so please enjoy the view and take in as much as you can by talking long walks.
I hope you enjoyed this little adventure and the third part of the Milan series. The sequel will revolve around aperitivis and cocktails,