Milan, Italy – The World’s Fashion Capital and Much More

With a 2009 population of 1,301,000 and located in the northern part of Italy, Milan has by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy. Milan is renowned for being the true fashion capital of the world, serving as headquarters for fashion houses such as Prada, Gucci, Versace, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and many more. Milan is also a major financial, industrial center that has become one of Europe’s richest cities.

Milan features many great sights and museums; chief among them is the majestic Duomo Cathedral, which is a massive Gothic structure that is second in size in Italy only to St. Peter’s, and is the fourth largest Cathedral in the world. This magnificent structure was started in the late 14th century and finally completed in the 19th. Contained within is the world’s largest collection of marble statues.

There are many fine museums in Milan – to view some great masterpieces be sure to visit the galleries at the Pinacoteca di Brera in the Brera Palace and at the Balgetti Valsecchi Museum. The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is the home of DaVinci’s most famous painting, The Last Supper, and if you want to see it you’ll have to book it four weeks in advance.

Milan is also home to one of the world’s most famous opera houses, the Teatro alla Scala, which was opened in 1778. The Scala Museum is annexed and contains many great pieces of art related to opera.

Other monuments not to miss include the lofty double arcade completed in 1877 called Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II, featuring a glass roof and central dome. Also be sure to visit the 15th century Sforza Castle which is now an art gallery that houses Michelangelo’s last sculpture.

There is so much heritage and culture in Milan that we could easily fill an entire book describing it all – the city is a fast-moving, ahead-of-the-curve metropolis that sets the pace not only in the fashion world but in many other areas as well.

Fashion and Your Italian Vacation

If you love fashion and everything to do with it then on your Italian Vacation you will be able to witness the best of it. Along with the other important fashion capitals such as London, Paris and Rome, Italy is also able to hold its fort in the fashion world.

The Italian Vacation will allow you to not only see the best of the countryside and architecture but the most fashionable stores. You will have brands like Armani, Versace, Fendi, Prada and Valentino all vying with one another for your attention. The best of shoes and clothes come from here. If you are a Fashionista then you can pick up the best of fashion on your Italian Vacation. There are several fashion exhibits and shows held and you can find out if there are any. Most of them are held in Rome or Milan.

This is the place wherein you will find all the great stores of Italian designers. Even before they hit the stores in other countries you can pick them up out here. Every Italian man or woman is extremely fashion conscious and they go all out to ensure that they are well turned out at all times.

When on your Italian Vacation you must go to the world famous shopping strip called the Via Montenapoleone in Milan. This is the place that houses all the famous boutiques for Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana and Fendi. The best of haute couture can be bought out here. You are certainly going to have a lot to carry back home.

Milan, Fashion Capital of Italy!

Milan is the business, fashion and design capital of Italy, with numerous fashion and trade fairs in the Rho` district of the city (previously held in the Fiera district). It is also Italy’s second largest and richest city. The city is split into 9 zones and full of beautiful architecture, lively nightlife and many museums and exhibitions. As Milan is based in the very north of Italy, Switzerland is only a short distance by train, so worth a day trip if visiting the city. The stunning scenery of Lake Como and Lake Lecco is also worth a day trip and again a very short journey by train.

Centro Storico (the historical centre) is full of life, with many things to see and do. In this area you will find the huge Piazza Duomo and Duomo Cathedral, (see above photo) the castle Castello Sforzesco, the world renowned opera house La Scala, and stunning shopping gallery, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.(see below photo). Also, just a few minutes walk away from Piazza Duomo, are Via della Spiga, and Via Montenapoleone, two of the most famous influential fashion streets possibly in the whole world. These streets are richly concentrated with fashion designers, jewellers and furriers. Every designer imaginable has a shop or two in these streets: Armani, Iceberg, Luois Vitton, Dior, Bottega Veneta, to name just a small handful. When Milan holds fashion trade fairs at numerous times of the year, these streets can be seen full of people from the fashion industry (designers, manufacturers, buyers etc) both day and night, visiting the shops and shop windows observing what new fashions ‘are in’,getting new ideas and looking at the impressive window displays..

Navigli is a lively and fashionable (canal)district (the Navigli Canal runs through Milan), where you will find many bars, cafes, live jazz concerts and antique shops. (photo below of Navigli district by night)

Brera, is a very fashionable district not far from the centre, which used to be known as the ‘artists’ quarter’, and very bohemian in it’s day, inhabited and frequented by poets and artists. It remains a very ‘in’ area today, and is a very exclusive and fashionable district, with boutique shops, ‘sophisticated bohemian’ homeware shops, bookshops, restaurants, and bars. This area is also where you can find the famous Pinacoteca di Brera, one of milan’s most fashionable art galleries, exhibiting works from many well known artists, including Rubens and Canaletto. This art gallery is housed in the 18th century palace Palazzo Brera. This area is also home to the very exclusive fashionable 10 Corso Como, which can be found along equally fashionable Corso Como (many bars and restaurants frequented by the rich and beautiful). 10 Corso Como is a shop, restaurant and bar housed in a beautiful courtyard lit up with candles and fairy lights at night, and definitely somewhere to go if you want to impresss anyone, such as business clients for a meal, or maybe a romantic date….the shop sells and exhibits luxury high fashion designer wear, jewellry, shoes and other various items. It remains open most nights with the bar and restaurants, and you are offered complimentary glasses of champagne while you browse. Brera also houses some of Milan’s famous nightclubs, frequented by models, footballers and the ‘in’ party crowd. Corso Como is an ideal place to go out at night time; you can start early with an aperitivo, move on to a restaurant, then nightclub. It is the perfect location to stay, although may be a little expensive!

St.Ambrogio is the city’s patron saint, and the Basilica of St.Ambrogio in the heart of the city, is one of the oldest churches in Milan. Every year from the 7th to 9th December it’s the patron saint’s day, and there is a lot of celebrating and events to be found throughout the city. There are many various stalls, including food stalls, music etc in Piazza Sant’Ambrogio and the surrounding area. It is the city’s most traditional festival, and a nice way to get you in the festivities spirit, at the start of the Christmas period!