Perhaps it´s a bold statement, but this city, or more specifically, these four main streets that bring to life the religion of fashion, is not affected by global recession or austerity and cuts.
It´s a world, at this point, almost unaccessible for mere mortals, but fashion is wrapped in this halo of impeccable and divine glamour. So much so that even a ´sale´ sign would be a vulgarity. However, this is the world of unwritten appearances where sales stay in the interior and, due to the mediocrity that it implies, they aren´t announced with signs on the street but exist inside the shop so that they can go as unnoticed as possible.
Among the four streets that make up the quadrilatero della moda, the quadrilateral of fashion, all the most exquisite fashion wheeling and dealing takes place. Strategically placed in the centre of Milan, these streets draw up an imaginary quadrilateral on which the best fashion shops are lined up: Via Montenapoleone, Via Alessandro Manzoni, Via della Spiga and Via Sant´Andrea.
The access to this area is total and thanks to its strategic location, these stores are visited regularly by window shoppers and buyers. This Quadrilateral is the profane temple that cannot be left unvisited, the Mount Olympus of fashion. It is probably the most characteristic aspect of this city, even more so than its artistic legacy, since its famous list of shoe shops, jewellery stores, fashion boutiques and other unique and luxurious services sell goods that would be worthy of being part of collections of connoisseurs. For this reason, the capital of Lombardy bears the title of being one of the most influential and prosperous industries of this field.
In this city, cradle of fashion, live many Italian designers that give their name to most of the important labels. Like in art, many of these designers were born here, live here or have spent a few years here to absorb all the necessary things that Milan has to offer in this field, the university of fashion.
In Milan there´s a settled and consolidated shopping industry. You can window shop as well, but it´s hard not to give up to the most exquisite charms of Italian fashion, all those you can imagine.
Here´s a small guide to start with. The rest you can discover for yourself by walking around that famous milanese quadrilateral of fashion.
Prada, Dior, Ralph Lauren, Versace, Ermenegildo Zegna and Bvlgari, on Via Montenapoleone.
Tiffany & Co, Acqua di Parma and Santoni can be found on Gesú.
Armani and Chanel are on Via Sant´Andrea
Dolce&Gabbana and Uomo on Corso Venezia.
This is just a brief guide of what you can find. These are days to relax and shop. In order not to cram it all in a single day, you can spend a few days in apartments in Milan city center . If the holidays allow you more time, make the most of this flexible accommodation and go and watch some ´calcio´, the word Italians use for football, and go to the San Siro stadium to watch AC Milan or Inter Milan. You choose who to support.