Is your money burning a hole in your pocket? Do you fancy spending some time in the sunny weather perusing some of Milan’s many shopping districts? Then July is the perfect month for you. As the weather gets warmer, people shed their winter layers and the locals typically head out of town for vacations; it’s also the best time to hit the shops.
Being the home of many famous brand names, boutiques and the world-famous Fashion Week, this city is one of the fashion capitals of the world. There’s no place better than this to shop till you drop!
For those with the largest wallets, districts like the Quadrilatero della Moda (namely the Rectangular Fashion District, with the famous Via Montenapoleone in the center) are lined with a multitude of lavish, highly-expensive brand name stores. Similar price tags are to be found in the elegant Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a don’t-miss for its architecture as well. Corso Como is more known for its night-life than anything else, but this tiny street hosts more than restaurants and bars. There is also a selection of brands and a few boutiques, though not exactly cheap.
And let’s not forget Brera, once a very poor bohemian area, it is now arguably the most famous art district in Milan with its galleries and museums – as well as its trendy shops and specialty stores. It can be expensive but is a great place to spend a few hours exploring this very European Milanese area. Make sure to get off the main path of Via Maddonnina and explore some of the smaller streets that branch off, including Fiori Chiari – which has become one of the city’s most popular shopping streets.
However if your budget limits you to only window shopping at these places, it may seem like there is nowhere that you can actually afford. But Milan is home to stores at any price-point, you just need to know where to look. Don’t be fooled in this town: a name isn’t everything. But if you like finding one-of-a-kind pieces to fit any kind of personality, this city can deliver.
The trendy Navigli canal district is another place known for its nightlife and restaurants, but the area also has tons of stores selling clothes, handmade jewelry, antiques and almost anything else you could want. Both sides of the canals are highly frequented by tourists, but make sure to stray away from the popular tourist track and stroll into the side streets for unique pieces and more varied prices.
If it’s high street names you’re after, one of the best places to check out no matter what you’re looking for is Corso Buenos Aires. Don’t worry, we’re still talking about Milan and not Argentina. The street is home to the world’s most popular logos but there are also other boutiques and cheap one off stores that would suit the smaller wallet. Many of the streets around the Duomo offer a similar selection of famous affordable brands including quieter Via Dante and Via Torino and tourist’s favourite, Corso Vittorio Emanuele.
For the really small wallet and the chance to haggle over prices to spend even less, have fun perusing one of Milan’s many street markets. These are less frequented by travelers but certainly packed with locals. At least one takes place every day of the week throughout the city. They are the cheapest option yet, and are open from around 8 to noon. Go later in the day for the best deals, though there will be less choice. Unlike street markets foreigners may be used to, these in Milan sell everything from underwear to wholesale shampoos and soap to locally grown fruit and meat to parakeets! They represent a true taste of Milanese life and with such a wide range of products available there’s almost no reason to shop anywhere else. They are also a great place to score some deals on one-of-a-kind clothes, shoes and homemade jewelry – as well as discounted items from name brands.
For a very large, diverse range of products there is a market Wednesday mornings at Via Llarione Rancati that is worth visiting. There is also an antique market every last Sunday of the month in the Naviglio Grande canal area that has over 400 exhibitors. By shopping like a local you can save a lot of money and still score some great finds.
If you’ll be in Milan this month, rejoice because in the beginning of every July starts a 60 day long summer sale, which accounts for about 30 percent of the year’s turnover, according to the Federmoda Trade Association. There are two sales like this every year in Italy – one in January and one in July. The prices at almost every store are discounted. Not only popular among the Italians, people from all over the world flock to the city to take advantage of these unbelievable deals. So be sure to head out to one of the many shopping districts – and whatever size it is – don’t forget your wallet!