There is an unspoken universal understanding that one comes to Milan to shop. If you are not in Milan to shop, you seriously need to reassess why you are there at all! On its long tradition of offering the finest, most beautiful and well crafted of products, Milan continues today to be at the forefront of fashion and design. Whilst, not normally a traditionalist myself, shopping is exactly what i did in my most recent trip to Milan. Though thankfully not on my own, as that can become easily overwhelming. Instead I had a few local friends who were able to help me out with their own specialty insider knowledge covering homewares, fashion and food.
At the risk of putting my sexual identity into question, I have to admit, I love homewares. It’s actually more of a passion, I even get giddy with excitement when the Ikea magazine arrives in the mail. Come to Milan and I am virtually eating my heart out.
Arform - Should always be a first port of call for the true homeware fans amongst us, particularly if you are in search of tablewares and home decor. Situated on Via Moscova, it carries all the artistic inspiration of the nearby artistic Brera district. A step inside brings you into an authentic and totally charming Milanese shopping experience filled with coloured glass vases, bamboo salad bowls and smooth wooden dishes. Owned by the same family for over 50 years, each and every guest is warmly welcomed into the shop as the owners, or their children, will quite happily give you a few tips on how to decorate your home. But even if you don’t have any plans for home decoration is still certainly worthwhile just for the visual spectacle of many of the items on display.
Artform; 22, Via della Moscova, 20121 Milan; +39 02 655 4691
I once had a girlfriend who wrote in my journal “Here’s to chasing your dreams, in the cutest pair of shoes you know”. As much as I laughed at it at the time, I think there is a grain of truth to be learnt, if you are going to dedicate your life to pursuing your dreams, there is no better way to do it, than by looking smashing. Milan, the fashion capital, answers this need without leaving no roll of fabric unturned.
10 Corso Como - A fashion outlet, concept store, will have the marbles rolling in that noggin of yours as it’s crammed with visually effective and artistic ideas. It also happens to be the only place in Milan that holds Azzedine Alaia’s designs, which was more than enough reason for my friendly tourist guide, Celia. Before we even entered the shop, she rhapsodised on the unforetold benefits of having brand names such as KTZ and Gareth Pugh rub shoulders with brands like Comme des Garcons and Maison Martin Margiela. A step inside the store and she was akin to a little girl at a candy shop, bubbling with delight. I just had to take her word for it, If I was a chick maybe I could appreciate this smidgen more than what I did. Rather to my relief attached to the shop was an art gallery and book shop that I retreated to once the thrills of women’s fashion all too quickly wore off on me. Celia, on the other hand fluttered like a butterfly across a bed of posies from one clothing rack to the next. I eventually found her upstairs amidst an entire floor dedicated to fashion books. Geez some people take fashion way too seriously!
10 Corso Como; 20154 Milan; +39 02 654831
My grandmother used to say that if you ever find a person who doesn’t like to eat, they ain’t worth getting to know. If the inverse is true, in light of her size she would clearly make a fascinating person. But still, I think she had a point that becomes especially apparent in Milan where gastronomic food is a passion that has certainly left this great Italian nation worth getting to know.
Mercato Comunale Coperto Wagner - My food connoisseur was none other than my old friend Pablo who is a good all-rounded fellow, both in character and in size. Once we met up, he straight away took me to what he holds to be as the best food market in the city. Located in Piazza Wagner, the covered market is busting to capacity with seasonal fruit and vegetables, bunches of colourful flowers, cheese shops, delicatessens, fish merchants and butchers. The thick mix of aromas is strong and engulfs you as you walk further in. Pablo stopped to buy some fresh cakes which we both sat down to share and the tastes was indeed delicious. Certainly doing well to live up to some high expectations. How Italians manage to juggle slimming fashions with a passion for food, I do not know. But they seem to do it effortlessly, without any tension. Loving both, with that great Italian passion.
For the chance to put this shopping plan to practice hire a luxury car in Milan, and automatically win the respect and admiration of the city’s resident locals.