Travel and Destinations

My Uncomplicated Guide to Shopping Paradise, Milano!

Ciao Bellezze!

Six days and counting… and before I know it, next week this time, I’ll be touching down in a warm and welcoming Milano. My fuschia Cellini suitcases are already packed and this time, I used the lessons learnt from my December shopping trip to pack only the essentials. The great thing about a summer vacation is that tights and sandals occupy so much less space than oversized jackets, thermals and long boots, leaving room for all my handpicked purchases ūüôā

Milan is much more than just the fashion capital of the world… It is the economic heart of Italy…Alot like our Sandton area with it’s style-conscious residents and that unmistakable electric¬†energy that surges through the air, everything costs more here, every exclusive¬†brand has it’s flagship store based¬†here¬†and only the latest and best¬†items hit these shelves.
The first thing to see in Milan is the Duomo which is central to the city. Enter the gothic cathedral and admire the beauty of the pillars, the story-telling carved walls and artwork.
To one¬†side of Duomo Square,¬†lies Milan’s most exclusive ‘mall’ – the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele. This is a stunning building shaped like a cross with entrances at each of the four points. It does not have as many shops¬†as our¬†Gateway Mall or Menlyn¬†because most of Milan‘s shops are on the street instead.
Next to the Galleria, you will find La Rinascente. This is a huge department store with about¬†five stories – I think –¬†of everything fashionable. It’s like the ‘Harrod’s’ of Milan and you will need at least¬†three hours to browse through each section, play dress-up¬†and decide on which dresses to¬†take and which bags to leave.
If you walk from the Duomo through the Galleria and exit on the opposite end, you¬†will be¬†walking in the direction of Milan’s main shopping street, Via Montenapoleone. Here, you will drop over when you see the Alta Moda at sky high prices. There’s one very expensive coffee shop on this street where ordering a hot chocolate drink¬†will have you served¬†with a cup of pure melted chocolate at a ¬†cost of about R120. It’s worth sitting down here¬† just for the experience. You could sip an espresso while standing at the bar but¬†the inside decor¬†is so quaint that¬†you will need some time to marvel… Note that you’re not¬†allowed to take pictures ūüôĀ
For more affordable shopping, walk down Via Torino where you will find a few factory outlets and more affordable eating places. This street is on the right of the Duomo (if u r facing it). You will also find a CNA-type store called FNAC where you can check your emails and update your Facebook friends.
Now, if you have¬†several days in Milan, you must take a few hours out of your day to¬†visit Lake Como, just outside of the City. Ask for directions to the train station at¬†your hotel reception (not Milans¬†main train station). You can buy¬†your ticket for a few euros at the station and in about 30 – 40 minutes you will arrive in Como. It is the most stunning place that I have ever been to and since I love the sight and sound of water, a romantic ferry ride is a must… ūüôā
Happy travelling… Happy shopping…
Ci vediamo ūüôā

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