Shopping in Milan

For a shopping masterclass hit Italy's most fashionable streets

Shopping in Milan Quadrilatero d'Oro ('rectangle of gold') - © Olivia Rutherford/Time Out
By Tristan Rutherford and Kathryn Tomasetti

Along with design and finance, fashion is the city's biggest draw. Its influence spreads to the worlds of publishing, dining, partying and commerce, so you'll be hard pressed to avoid it. What's more, people do actually wear the wacky garments you see paraded at the city's twice-yearly fashion weeks: many a Milan street looks like a photo shoot for Italian Vogue.

But what's di moda in the fashion capital one month becomes 'so last season' the next, which means a wealth of cast-offs at the many outlets and seconds stores; and because styles generally reach London and New York around a year after launch in Italy, if you fly home laden with shopping bags, you'll be up to date for a while yet. Guilds as diverse as jewellers, pasticcerie (speciality bakers) and milliners (who derive their name from the city) have catered to a discerning elite for half a millennium, so quality and choice are superb.

Where to shop for... big names

Milan is a haute couture powerhouse, where fashions jump from catwalk to clothes rail in weeks. But unlike the sprawling fashion district in Paris, Milan's boutiques fit into a square known as the Quadrilatero d'Oro ('rectangle of gold'):

Via della Spiga

D&G accessories, no.2; Fendi, no.9; Prada accessories, no.18; Armani accessories, no.19; D&G woman, no.26; Just Cavalli, no.30; Byblos, no.33; Roberto Cavalli, no.42; Marni, no.50.

Via Manzoni

Armani Superstore, no.31; Paul Smith, no.32; Armani Casa, no.37.

Via Sant'Andrea

Missoni, no.2; Trussardi, no.5; Kenzo, no.9; Giorgio Armani, no.9; Chanel, no.10; Moschino, no.12; Gianni Versace, no.14; Gianfranco Ferré, no.15; Barbara Bui, no.17; Miu Miu, no.21; Hermès, no.21; Prada sport, no.21.

Via Montenapoleone

La Perla, no.1; Louis Vuitton, no.2; Ralph Lauren, no.4; Bottega Venezia, no.5; Sergio Rossi, no.6; Gucci, no.7; Prada women, no.8; Armani Junior, no.10; Gianni Versace, no.11; Valentino, no.20; Alberta Ferretti, no.21; Christian Dior, no.21.

Even if the price tags are larger than your budget, you can spend many a happy hour admiring the window displays. And if you can only just afford €500 on a pair of Miu Miu boots, rest assured: the shopkeepers will happily accept plastic.

And when you've shopped your heart out, Caffè Baglioni, with its private entrance at via della Spiga 6, is a chic spot to stop. The area is best reached from metro Montenapoleone or San Babila, by bus 61 or 94, or tram 1, 2 or 20.

Gallerie Vittorio Emanuele II

Another historic shopping spot is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the glass-roofed arcade near the Duomo. It opened in 1867, which makes it one of the oldest shopping malls in the world. Prada's flagship store has been in business here since 1913, joined more recently by Louis Vuitton and Gucci.

Where to shop for... alternative & high street labels

Anyone with a big-brand allergy should head to the smaller, more alternative stores on corso di Porta Ticinese or in Brera. Other zones worth a look are corso Vercelli (the western extension of corso Magenta) and the Isola area, behind Stazione Garibaldi. For the Italian version of high-street shopping, try corso Buenos Aires, via Torino or corso Vittorio Emanuele; many of the shoppers on these streets may still look intimidatingly smart, but head-to-toe Versace is not obligatory.

Where to shop for... designer bargains

There are many ways to bag a bargain throughout the city, if you know where to look. Shops selling end-of-season returns, catwalk cast-offs and seconds abound, as do second-hand and vintage clothes boutiques. You'll also find heart-stopping deals in the markets, from Gucci shoes to cashmere jumpers.

The Milanese joke that only tourists shop at the Prada flagship store in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Locals, on the other hand, prefer the city's many outlet stores, and are prepared to elbow their way through rack after rack of cut-price catwalk fashions to find the best bargains.

Such treasure troves are packed full of end-of-season shop and warehouse returns, stock from boutiques that have closed down, and some factory seconds. There's one drawback: even at discounts of 50-70 per cent, the price tags can still provoke the occasional 'Ouch!' Also, bear in mind that refunds are pretty much unheard of, so try before you buy.

Try the outlets around the corso Vittorio Emanuele II. They employ none too subtle marketing gimmicks to ratchet up the thrill of the hunt, like letting a queue form outside the store, or sealing your handbag inside a special security bag so you're not tempted to snaffle any of the awesome bargains. Serious shopaholics should invest in a copy of the factory outlets bible Scoprioccasioni (www.scoprioccasioni.it; also available in English at Milan's major bookstores), which lists over 1,000 reputable establishments.

Among Milan's best known and longest established outlets is Il Salvagente ('the lifesaver'), which has three floors of top stuff for men and women, all carefully arranged by size and colour; for children there's a separate location called Salvagente Bimbi (Via Balzaretti 28, Easy, 02 2668 0764). Equally worthwhile bargains can be found at discount outlets with more convenient, central locations – places like Dmagazine Outlet, wedged between the full-price stores on the city's main shopping drag. It's small, hot and hectic, with some pricey women's lines (€500 per item for the likes of Miu Miu and Marni) for as little as 20 per cent of their original value. Be prepared to dig deep; for men's lines it's best to try elsewhere.

Basement – housed, as the name suggests, in a cellar – is for women's fashion only. It caters to a more upmarket shopper, and is more boutique, less snakepit. Come here for price slashes of 50-70 per cent on brands including Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and YSL.

Top tips

Vogue readers on a budget: head for the 10 Corso Como Outlet, a slightly shabbier version of the übercool original store (10 Corso Como), with endless racks of mostly black clothes by Helmut Lang, Chloé, Comme des Garçons et al. But even with prices slashed by half, it's expensive.

Out-of-town outlets: many tourist offices around the lakes keep flyers handy for the big out-of-town outlets. These have many more discounted brand shops under one roof: one example is the mega 250-store Fox Town (+41 (0)848 828 888, www.foxtown.ch) in Mendrisio, just across the Swiss border from Lago di Como.

End-of-season sales: these sales, strictly sanctioned by the local government for a few weeks each January and July, are a bargain hunter's heaven.

Opening hours

Traditionally, Tuesday to Saturday retail hours are 9.30am-12.30pm and 3.30-7.30pm, with a half day on Monday (3.30-7.30pm). The majority of shops still close on Sundays, though fashion stores stay open during the major fairs, and, in these cash-starved times, at other times throughout the year. Few shops in central Milan still close for lunch, but much of the city shuts down in August. Sales take place at state appointed times in January and July.

Tax refunds

Non-EU residents can claim back the value added tax ('IVA' in Italian) on purchases totalling over €154.94 from a single store that displays a 'Tax-Free Shopping' sign. To do so, ask for a 'VAT back' form at the moment of purchase, keep your receipts, and pack your unworn new goods at the top of your suitcase (you may have to show them). Then have the receipts stamped at customs when you leave Italy, and hand over your 'VAT back' paperwork. Next, head for a refund centre (those at Malpensa and Linate airports are open 7am-11pm and 6am-10pm daily, respectively); or post the paperwork when you get back home.

There's also a tax-free centre on the basement level of La Rinascente department store, where you can get your cash back before leaving the country (9am-10pm Mon-Sat, 10am-10pm Sun). However, you'll still have to queue to clear documents at the airport. For more details, go to www.globalrefund.com.

Our listings

While every effort and care has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this guide, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors it may contain. Before you go out of your way, we strongly advise you to phone ahead and check the particulars.

See all shops in Milan

Share your thoughts

  • or log in into My Time Out
  • *
  • *
* Mandatory fields for leaving a comment

Comments

By satin - Nov 29 2012

@K.Mohavi @andressa_dums @Jamie Moore @demonic coobar @coobar @soccergrlprobs #Jamie #Moore #demonic #coobar #gym630 #satin #c3jhdv9 #soccergrlprobs @Mike

-liquid darisol liquid darium liquid clarium liquid harium liquid sarium liquid charium liquid clarisol liquid claridrill liquid clearoseal liquid clearodroid

Report
By Domenico - Nov 28 2012

Milan is the capital of fashion and design, to visit the city would be wonderful thanks to Silk Gift Milan.. the best agency for personal shopping & image consulting in Milan! Visit their website www.silkgiftmilan.com! I call them,and earn money and time!!!

Report
By genmgkeon - Nov 21 2012

I absolutely love this product. At first I was a little iffy about it because ,<a href=http://karenmillenoutletonline.webs.com/#34505>karen millen outlet uk</a>

Report
By rslakmackf - Nov 20 2012

The Makeup is very good. ,<a href=http://karenmillencoats.webs.com/#33379>karen millen online</a>

Report
By hrgvrhrhr - Nov 16 2012

to get a proportion of every single sale you create. You can endorse items complementary for your own, ,<a href=http://karenmillen-outlet.webs.com/#75746>karen millen online</a>

Report
By gegejojitk - Nov 10 2012

I have really long eyelashes, and i had to put on a lot of this Product to actually see the length. ,<a href=http://libenefitmakeupuks.webs.com/#97749>cheap benefit makeup</a>

Report
By ghawhgwerg - Nov 7 2012

I have to say that now that I have it, it does not disappoint. ,<a href=http://grairmax90sithe.webs.com/#15443>air max sale</a>

Report
By hrgvrhrhr - Nov 7 2012

then you are lost. Some of these comments are not even in English; ,<a href=http://mensoakeleysunglasses.webs.com/#87589>mens oakley sunglasses</a>

Report
By highgezwei - Oct 23 2012

A term referring to the level of calories you input relative to the energy you output. ,<a href=http://listmacmakeupsalehx.webs.com/#34294>cheap mac makeup uk</a>

Report
By nicklovebr - Oct 23 2012

but I could not stand this product, I had to exchange it. ,<a href=http://hrairmax2012hx.webs.com/#81835>Nike Air Max Cheap</a>

Report
By highgezwei - Oct 21 2012

You could place a mirror on a side wall but do not place a mirror directly in front of the main door. ,<a href=http://theairamaxhyf.webs.com/#26559>Nike Air Max Hyperfuse</a>

Report
By christianeshop - Sep 25 2012

Chick-Chock even has an option for shoppers without a credit card; they accept paypal as a form of payment on the site.
http://www.christianeshop.co.uk/

Report
By iwyjarlg - Sep 14 2012

60 While if you're stuck in the traffic when, in spite of leaving early on an appointment, and still inevitably be locked up from the traffic, Microsoft’s new association with Bing has taken forward a gadget which will cater to your requirements. This gadget, Traffic by Msn Maps, gives a quick article on the real moment traffic conditions instantly and will help to find the best alternative approach to reach your destination punctually. Till now solely Canada and US users are classified as the only beneficiaries.
<a href=http://windows8key.webeden.co.uk/>windows 8</a>
80 Throughout the frequent Windows 7 Migration, you can count on that some programs will not function, icons are about to be lost, documents (which are allowed to be saved to the server, not the desktop) have left forever. Additionally there might not be just enough valium for you to calm everyone straight down. Not everybody wants change as well as the effect suggested is really a big one. Going from Or windows 7 to 7 gifts substantial changes.
<a href=http://windows8key.webeden.co.uk/>windows 8</a>
67 In case the machine remains unbootable and also data inaccessible on account of Error 0?—50, you can choose to Windows Partition Recovery utility to recover lost data. The applications are the most appropriate to use when backup is just not available. Windows Data Healing software are hard disk drive scanning based products built to extract lost in addition to inaccessible data. The tools can be utilized in even instances like partition file corruption, formatting or removal. These utilities are safe to make use of and easy to control.
<a href=http://windows8key.webeden.co.uk/#7750>windows 8 enterprise key</a>
78 Thankfully, you'll discover alternatives for the standard Windows 7 Migration. Virtualization of systems has changed into a preferred choice for it divisions. This concept can also be called cloud research, dependent upon the particular setup involved. For virtualization to take place, all software programs and in many cases major operating systems are put on a number of servers that will enable the IT department to grant access to the particular techniques. The desktops won't house the programs and information to perform the job.
<a href=http://windows8key.webeden.co.uk/>windows 8 professional key</a>
78 Thankfully, you'll discover alternatives to the standard Windows 7 Migration. Virtualization of systems has changed into a preferred choice for it divisions. This concept will also be called cloud calculating, dependent upon the actual setup involved. For virtualization to take place, all software programs and also major operating systems are put on many servers that will enable the IT department to grant access to the particular systems. The desktops will no longer house the software systems and information to get the job done.
<a href=http://windows8key.webeden.co.uk/>windows 7 license key purchase
</a>
http://windows8key.webeden.co.uk/

Report
By TheaguehaxTar - Jun 19 2012

ohjk <a href="http://cheapraybansunglasses.info/">ray ban sunglasses</a> ezoa <a href="http://cheapraybansunglasses.info/">rayban sunglasses</a> bpsq <a href="http://cheapraybansunglasses.info/">ray ban sunglasses cheap</a> smmp http://cheapraybansunglasses.info/

Report
By Chris Duckle - Feb 27 2012

ooh thats cool...im 15 too......wanna meet up??

Report
By Chris Duckle - Feb 27 2012

hey. i am going to Milan with my family this summer too

Report
By Scarlet Seckie - Feb 27 2012

hayyy peeps!! i am going to Milan, Paris, and London by myself this summer!!!! i am only 15!!! i am soooo excited!!!!!!!!!!

Report
By Kasra NOBAHAR - Dec 8 2011

Hello,
Are the shops in Milano generally open on monday January 2. 2012 .
Best regards
Kasra NOBAHAR

Report
By Kasra NOBAHAR - Dec 8 2011

Hello,
Are the shops generally open on January 2. 2012 in Milano ?
Best regards
Kasra NOBAHAR

Report
By LotBeegeSex - Nov 26 2011

GVMGNOGXXGZUY http://www.formerlyso.com ODEKGMRDIBRPP http://zf-productions.net SBVYOISZEXCVC

Report
By Elisabeth Page - Jun 5 2010

Milan is a fashion and design capital, and so no visit to the city would be complete without a walk through its Shopping District. The Via Montenapoleone is the street where all the best shops and the best dressed shoppers, want to be and be seen by the world.
Via Montenapoleone has a dedicated site that displays the shops windows in real time and offer infos and maps about all the stores of the Via Montenapoleone Shopping District. The site has English and Italian versions. Online shopping available too. http://www.viamontenapoleone.org

Report
| 1 |  ...  | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 |