Milan is shopping. Milan is expensive. Milan is known the world over as one of the temples of high fashion, with the hallowed streets Montenap and Spiga in the Quadrilatero d’Oro the most popular place of worship. Here D&G, Prada, Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Armani, Ralph Lauren, Versace, and Cavalli all jostle for customers among Milan’s minted fashionistas. More reasonable shopping areas include Via Torino and Corso Buenos Aires, where mid-range international brands proliferate; if you’re clever you can also pick up a designer bargain at outlet store Il Salvagente (Via Fratelli Bronzetti 16; (tel) 02-7611-0328).
Fashion is one Milanese obsession, food is another, and the centro storico has many superb delis from which to purchase the purest of olive oils and fine cheeses: Peck (Via Spadari 9; (tel) 02-802-3161) is still the number-one gourmet spot, although competition is keen from Buongusto (Via Caminadella 2; (tel) 02-8645-2479) for the freshest of pasta in many guises, and Eataly in the basement of Coin’s department store (Piazza V Giornate) for all comestibles Italian. The top floor of La Rinascente department store in Piazza del Duomo, with its Obika mozzarella bar and fine selection of packaged Italian goods, is another haven for foodies (as an added bonus, you get a close-up view of the Duomo).
English-language books are sold at Feltrinelli Librerie and Manadori Multicenter (both on Piazza del Duomo) along with mobile and camera accessories. English-language newspapers can be found on most major newsstands around the centro storico.
Everybody loves a bargain, and there’s no better place to find one than at the colorful, chaotic Viale Papiniano market (Metro: Sant’Agostino). Its sprawl of stalls are open Tuesday and Saturday; some flog designer seconds, others leather basics. Saturdays herald flea markets along Alzaia Naviglio Grande (Metro: Porta Genova) at Fiera di Sinigaglia (Metro: Porta Genova), Sundays at San Donato Metro stop. The biggest of them all is the multi-ethnic Christmas extravaganza Oh Bej! Oh Bej! (roughly, Oh so nice! Oh so nice!), whose stalls subsume the centro storico around Sant’Ambrogio and Parco Sempione and sell everything from leather bags to handcrafted jewelry. Milan’s main food market is undercover at Piazza Wagner at the metro stop of the same name, open every morning except Sunday.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.