Without a doubt, Milan is the capital of Italian and International fashion. Headquarters of prêt-à-porter clothing, the city is home to the so-called “Golden quadrilateral of Fashion – Fashion district”with jewellery stores, design boutiques and home furnishing stores and many of the showrooms of the most important designer brands, an experience to do during a weekend in Milan.
The district is defined by four streets – Via Monte Napoleone, Via Alessandro Manzoni, Via della Spiga and Corso Venezia – the “Quadrilateral of Fashion” is the district where the leading fashion designers offer their extraordinary and unique creations. Many fashion victims from every part of the world come precisely to these streets to shop in the showrooms and the boutiques, or simply to admire the windows, which are themselves examples of top level design.
Taking a walk in the district is a unique chance for tourists to breathe in the magical atmosphere of Milan among the lights of the shops, the elegance of the showrooms, the colourful windows, the charm of the perfume shops, without ever getting tired of it, and surrounded by the world’s greatest designer brands: Armani, Versace, Alberta Ferretti, Dolce e Gabbana, Prada, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Bulgari, Cartier, Valentino and Gianfranco Ferrè.
The main streets…
The beating heart of the entire district is via Monte Napoleone, considered among the world’s most expensive and prestigious streets, on a par with New York’s Fifth Avenue or the Avenue des Champs Elysées in Paris. The origins of the name of this street date back to 1804, period of Napoleonic domination. Already in those times Milan was frequented by foreigners who came to the city for visits of pleasure or business. We have to however wait until the 1950s before we see the street impose itself as one of the most important avenues in the world for shopping.
Even Viale Manzoni, (first called Corsia del Giardino and later dedicated to Alessandro Manzoni after his death) in the early part of the 19th century was already considered as the most elegant street in the entire city of Milan.
Within the Quadrilateral of Fashion there are some very elegant roads, such as via Borgospesso, via Santo Spirito, via Gesù, via Sant’Andrea and via Bagutta and the entire area is also very vibrant from a cultural point of view. Among these splendid boutiques in fact one finds numerous interesting places, sites of historic and prestigious buildings.
Just steps away from the Quadrilateral of Fashion runs Corso Vittorio Emanuele, a wide street, today a pedestrian zone that connects Piazza Duomo to Piazza San Babila. With its arcades that are home to an abundance of clothing and accessory shops, even Corso Vittorio, together with the covered arcade Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, is considered among the absolute musts of Milanese shopping.
Fashion boutiques and shops, but also department stores, workshops of jewellery-makers and antiques dealers, antique buildings, museums, trendy cafés, cinemas and bookstores all make the Quadrilateral of Fashion an enchanted place, especially for shopping in Milan.