In the nineteenth century it was considered the most elegant street in Europe; it would be sound a little bit extreme if we compere it than the Parisian boulevard or main streets of London; but two centuries ago Via Manzoni was really considered like that.
Indeed if we give a look at the context in which Via Manzoni is located, we could change our mind; the street is stretching out to Piazza Della Scala, near the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, till Piazza Cavour in from of the entrance to the Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli, the public park where Villa Reale is set.
Before to be dedicated to Alessandro Manzoni, the name of this street was “Corsia del Giardino” (the lane of the Garden) one of most aristocratic, modern and elegant street of the city.
In the nineteenth century via Manzoni became very popular. One of the most beloved café was Cova, an “institution” for Milan since 1817, and that after the bombing of 47’ during the Second World Was it moved in via Montenapoleone. The via Manzoni’s building like Palazzo Gallarati Scotti, Palazzo Borromeo d’Adda and Anguissola Antona Traversi evoke a noble and prestigious Milan. Today via Manzoni is maintaining is prestige.
We suggest you to start your walk from Piazza della Scala, under Alessandro Manzoni’s statue.
Via Manzoni is part of the so-called Quadrilatero Della Moda (Fashion District), which includes Via Montenapoleone and Via Della Spiga. There are many flagship stores and beautiful boutiques: some of the most important fashion brands are located here; Dirk Bikkembergs, La Perla, Kenzo, Trussardi, Prada and Paul Smith just named a few.
Right in front of Via Montenapoleone there is the Armani Store, a building and a multipurpose space; Armani Bamboo is on the seventh floor of this building, a lounge bar which offers a fabulous view on its terrace. Other designer’s shops are present at via Manzoni; less popular but they have nothing to envy towards the big fashion names. We want regard you Elisabetta Franchi; after the successful from the last Milan Fashion Weeks, the Italian designer decided to set in via Manzoni her fist flagship store.
Via Manzoni, however, is not only destination for fashion lovers. The street also offers other attractions. There were shops, cafe’, restaurants and some art galleries like Giangiacomo Poldi Pezzoli’s; between 1846 and 1879, after having inherited his massive mother’s collection, he transformed his house in an exhibition space. If you looking for some art exhibition you can visit the Poldi Pezzoli Museum.
You can spend an evening at the theater Manzoni, located just past the Quadrilatero fashion area; it is one of the best known of the city and offers year-round performances of plays and musicals. Via Manzoni is also animated in the evening. There are several places attempted by those looking for a night life less chaotic than others packed areas like the Navigli district. Also the Armani Bamboo, which we have mentioned before, we suggest the Trussardi Café, well known for its cocktails, and Gerry’s Bar.
Credits preview photo: www.comune.milano.it/wps/portal/ist/en/palazzo_marino_english