If you cannot wait for a full-immersion in the most fashionable streets of the Milan stage, a 3-minute walk to Piazza della Repubblica, and two metro stops on the yellow line to Montenapoleone stop, will satisfy you. You will be able to immerse yourself in the prestigious Quadrilatero della Moda and in its mix of maisons, boutiques and ateliers of the main Italian and international brands such as Gianni Versace, Loro Piana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Miuccia Prada, Dolce e Gabbana, Alberta Ferretti, Brunello Cuccinelli, Missoni, Moschino, Etro, Blumarine. Considered the sixth most expensive street in the world, Via Montenapoleone is the heart of this notorious neighbourhood, along with Via della Spiga.
Before being overwhelmed by the multitude of fascinating shop windows on Via Montenapoleone, we recommend you to take a look at the sophisticated Armani multi-store in Via Manzoni, behind you as soon as you exit the metro.
On ground floor you will find men’s wear and women’s wear, accessories, jewellery, perfumes, sweets as well as the Emporio Armani cafe and Nobu lounge bar. Of the latter two, you will find the restaurant version on the first floor along with Armani Books and Armani Jeans. The Armani Casa and Armani Privè collections are located in the basement.
Walking down Via Manzoni in the direction of the city-centre you will reach another milestone of luxury shopping, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, majestic home to prestigious brands, famous cafes and restaurants, as well as historical bookshops.
Indeed, it is a wonderful transit between the Teatro alla Scala and the Duomo with thousands of options where to take a break: you can indulge in the pleasure of sipping coffee at Camparino, be charmed by the cute hats by Borsalino or stop for an aperitivo at Savini.
But most of all, when in the Galleria, you should stop at the Prada store, the venue that witnessed the start of the great history of the brand, founded in 1913 as a shop of leather bags and accessories, and known as Fratelli Prada.
Once you walk out of the Galleria, take Corso Vittorio Emanuele and in a few steps you will reach the spectacular building of La Rinascente that with its 7 floors of fashion offers a wide choice of clothing, jewellery, home and high-tech innovations items. La Rinascente is an air-conditioned mixture of the fashion district, ideal for those with little time to shop. Do not miss the food hall on the top floor where you will be able to delight your palate in a unique setting, with a breath-taking view of the Duomo spires.
Leaving the Windsor Hotel head down via Montesanto and you will find another trendy location within walking distance, from where to begin another rich journey in the name of fashion: the meeting point between Corso Como and Piazza XXV Aprile.
Here you will find High Tech, an emporium of ideas where the creativity and innovation for home furniture never lacks. The collection favours ethnic, unusual and avant-garde design products.
A few steps away, always in piazza XXV Aprile, Eataly Smeraldo, the space dedicated to culinary excellence, where products are selected directly from Eataly, with no intermediaries. In addition, handicraft products are associated with educational information to allow customers to choose consciously what to buy and why.
It is interesting to know that every Eataly is linked to a value, and the one in piazza XXV Aprile is linked to music, as the food and wine emporium stands where famous former Smeraldo theatre used to, where great artists such as Bob Dylan and Ray Charles, and Italian Enzo Giannacci, Renato Zero, Adriano Celentano performed.
Leaving Corso Como behind, continue walking down Corso Garibaldi, one of the most historical streets of Milan. Before 1860 it was called Corso di Porta Comasina, which literally means ‘that leads to Como’, as it was the main Milan-Como route.
It is curious that while today’s Corso Garibaldi sees a succession of class craft boutiques and trendy shops and restaurants, it used to be a humble folk village.
Today you can find fashion gems such as the Italian house of bijoux Sharra Pagano, whose collections are a perpetual great success, both in the prêt-à-porter world, and as accessories requested by the world’s most famous designers.
Once at the end of Via Pontaccio, you will see to your left via Solferino with other fashion stores, including notorious Peserico, to your right Via Brera, and after a few meters, always to your right, the fascinating via Fiori Chiari. You are entering the heart of Brera, one of the best preserved and romantic corners of old Milan, which with its Risorgimento-like poetry and charm has nothing to envy to Rome’s Trastevere or certain London and Parisian neighbourhoods.
Brera is a village of artists, antique shops, fortune tellers, and small restaurants, religiously pedestrian. Far from the hustle and bustle, it looks like an old village, framed by small restaurants.
Along Via Fiori Chiari and turning left, we find ourselves in one of the most romantic streets of the city, via Madonnina. Worth mentioning are: prestigious De Simone jewellery store, Diego dalla Palma make-up store, and fantastic jewellery by Angela Caputi, who chose Milan as one of the few exclusive cities in which to locate her stores.
Hotel Windsor Milano
Via Galilei, 2
Tel.: +39 (02) 6346
Fax: +39 (02) 6555543
PER LE AGENZIE
Amadeus: OK MILWIN
Galileo: OK 27861
Sabre: OK 52089
Worldspan: OK 41297
Pegasus ADS: OK MILWIN