The Golden Quad - A Shopping Mecca
Step outside your charming Milan centre hotel and catch a cab or walk towards the Quadrilatero d'Oro - the Golden Quad. This is the heart of Milan's fashion district and is home to the very best the city has to offer. Truly, this is a shopping Mecca for those who admire the unsurpassed quality of top Italian designers. The boutiques of world-famous designers from Italy and around the globe line the streets. Everything from Armani to Versace is within easy reach.
Via Montenapeleone is home to many of the signature stores of these world-famous designers. Stop and shop at the Armani store, Valentino's or Cartier. Visit Tanino Crisci or Uomo. Shoppers can locate the chic boutiques of Missoni, Dolce and Gabhan, Chanel and Prada on the Via Sant'Andrea. The famous brands of Bulgari, Bottega Veneta and Sergio Rossi, meanwhile, are on via Della Spiga.
The Style of Armani - Its Megastore
From the main door of your Milan centre hotel, it is easy to follow the crowds to the popular, yet stylish Armani Megastore. This is one store you simply must visit if you are a fashionista. Located on Via Manzoni in the Golden Quad, the Armani Megastore is the flagship for all things Armani. Inside, you can wander through 8,000 square feet of Armani fashion.
Wander through the Emporio Armani or Armani Jeans. There is also the latest retail offering - Armani Casa. Here, you can purchase elegant items for your home. Armani Casa offers home furnishings, books and artwork, all designed to make your surroundings as elegant as Armani clothing.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II - An Elegant Mall
For those staying in a Milan centre hotel not far from the historical district, getting to the city's most famous mall is easy. This 19th century structure is nothing if not elegant. Originally designed and supervised by Giuseppe Mengoni in 1861, the Galleria first opened in 1878. Since it began, this early example of urban renewal created a stir amongst the upper class. Its flair and excellence has earned it the name - Il Salotto di Milano (the drawing room of Milan).
Shop beneath a magnificent, double arcade. The vaulted iron and corrugated glass dome runs the length of the building, forming a cross structure. Large eagles made of plaster support it. The interior has neo-Renaissance elements as well as a marble mosaic floor. This treasure, restored in 1966, features emblems of various Italian cities. Look down to see a wolf representing Rome, a red cross on a white flag standing for Milan, a lily for Florence and a bull for Turin. If you can, stand on one foot on the bull's genitalia and spin round three times. This, according to local custom, will bring you good luck.
Before heading back to your Milan centre hotel, sip an aperitif inside the Art Nouveau Bar Zucca, or dine in the nearby Savini, a stylish restaurant. Purchase a book at one of Milan's finest bookstores: Bocca, Garzanti or Rizzoli. Wander through the elegance that is Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton. Afterwards, leave by the triumphal arch that forms the southern entrance to admire one of the most famous landmarks of the city - the world-famous Teatro Alla Scala (La Scala). Alternatively, exit from the north to view the breathtaking Gothic Milan Cathedral (Duomo).