Milan is widely known as a shopper’s paradise, but even in this fashion-centric city there are some places that are more conducive to chic shopping than others. One of the best shopping areas is right in the city center, and known as the Quadrilatero d’Oro, or “Golden Rectangle.” It’s the neighborhood where most of the big fashion houses have their flagship stores, and even if you can’t afford to buy anything it’s some of the best window shopping you’ll ever see.
The Quadrilatero d’Oro is made up of streets called Via della Spiga, Via Montenapoleone, Via Sant’Andrea, and Via Manzoni. It’s a short walk from the Duomo, so it’s easy to venture over and stroll the boutique-lined streets – and they’re very pedestrian-friendly, too. The kinds of shops you’ll find here include Prada, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Cavalli, Missoni, Trussardi, Chanel, Versace, Moschino, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, Byblos, and many more. This is haute couture at its haute-est.
With high fashion comes high prices, so be prepared to fork over hefty sums to be one of the people toting shopping bags with designer names on them. But, as mentioned, this is prime real estate for window shopping and people watching – this is where the beautiful people shop.
Even if you’re “just looking,” it’s okay to peek at the goodies inside the stores – especially when you’re en route to the restaurant. The huge Armani store on Via Manzoni, for instance, has a Nobu sushi bar as well as a cafe. There are other cafes in the area where you can enjoy a snack while you watch more of those beautiful shoppers glide by.