Napoleon who said to his troops “Follow me to Italy where there are opulent towns with clothing stores on every block” and his troops cried out in one voice “Vive l’Empereur”.
Shopping in Italy is like shopping no where else. Italian manufacturers and artisans present you with products made by that “fine Italian hand”. One of a kind specialty shops and couture fashion emporiums to open air markets and street vendors – Italy has it all. Every town and city has its own unique products that are particular to the region whether it be food, wine, cheese, ceramics, linens, cashmere and the list goes on.The Holy Trinity of shopping begins in Milano and continues into Firenze and Rome.
These cities represent Italian shopping in all its glory! But don’t overlook the towns and villages along the way. Some of my most memorable shopping experiences have been off the beaten track and in the “zona artigianale” regions of Italy where products are handcrafted according to age-old traditions. When in Milan I take Napoleon’s advice and walk along Via Monte Napoleone, down della Spiga and Sant’Andrea, sightseeing Etro and Bottega Veneta, shopping at La Rinascente and Zara and making sure to stop at Peck’s. Just remember that you are walking into the cathedrals of high fashion so reverence for the products is expected. The 7th floor of Milan’s venerable department store La Rinascente overlooks the Milan’s great cathedral the Duomo, each reflecting the style and spirituality of one of Northern Italy’s most intriguing cities.
Having a detailed map of the area like the one below will help you navigate the landscape of Milan’s Quadrilatero d’Oro (Golden Triangle of Shopping).