I compiled a list of 5 things that I would recommend you do if you ever decide to visit this fast-paced city of fashion. I have also included a few tips I wish I knew before visiting the city that should save you time, money and effort.
This cathedral is world famous and with good reason. Whether you’re religious or not, it’s certainly something you want to see. If you don’t feel like queuing or buying a ticket, looking at the outside and taking in the architecture won’t leave you dissatisfied.
When you visit the Duomo there are a few options available when it comes to buying tickets. Tickets just to enter the cathedral are the cheapest option and the most expensive option is the Duomo Pass. We went for the Duomo pass since we wanted to see everything that we could. If I had to choose one thing to visit I would choose the terraces. To visit the terraces by foot is cheaper but, you can also visit them by elevator. The queues for this part of the Duomo were very long however. The first 30 minutes of queuing were actually enjoyable because it was the first time we stopped and took in the city, but in total we were waiting the bones of 2 hours which was very long especially when you only have 4 days to do as much as possible.
I would recommend pre- booking your tickets and going to the cathedral early in the morning to avoid queuing for the terraces as much as possible. You must collect or buy your tickets before you queue up for the attractions, the ticket office is to the right of the Duomo when facing the front entrance.The queue for the cathedral itself wasn’t actually that long. You should also be aware that there are strict rules you must adhere to when entering the cathedral and the terraces. For the cathedral you cannot show your knees or shoulders (that’s why I wore leggings with my dress in post 1). There are security checks completed on each person before they enter, so make sure you read the signs to know what you can and can’t bring with you.
2. Clothing Outlets
Milan is a fashion capital so along with it’s luxury clothing stores come the clothing outlets. Here, you can find designer items for lower prices. We didn’t have time to take a day trip to one of the larger outlet villages, so we had to take what we could get when it came to stand alone stores. The 2 that we visited were Il Salvagente and DMAG.
Il Salvagente is a 2 storey outlet store that contains women’s and men’s clothing. When you first enter, the clothing is separated into high profile brands and designers then as you go through the store and upstairs it’s separated by item and size. Check the size guide before you shop as Italian sizes are different to the standard European sizes. Size guides can be found on the wall next to the dressing rooms.
If you’re looking for discounts on brands such as Versace, Max Mara, Marni and Emilio Picci this could be the place for you. Searching through the clothes does take some time so make sure to clear around 2 hours from your schedule if you want to be thorough. Il Salvagente is located just outside the city, it was convenient for us to visit because we were staying close by but if you are on the other side of the city the journey out might not be worth your while if you don’t find anything. If you’re not prepared to search, this place is not for you, but I have to say that I enjoyed it and I would visit it again.
DMAG is the other store we visited and this one is more central. Since it is located right on the fashion district the designer labels are bigger but so are the prices. Here you can find designers such as Chloé, Miu Miu, Stella McCartney, Gucci, Prada as well as other smaller designer labels.
The store itself is less organised than Il Salvagente so you really do have to dig for what you want. Some sections are organised by designer, but others just have a bit of everything. If you’re looking for the high designer labels stay near the front of the store but be aware that a bargain here is a reduction from €2000 to €1000. I would recommend going here if you’re looking for designer bags and accessories because that’s where the real bargains are. Scarves, belts and bags come with around 50% off and they are definitely worth taking a look at. This outlet store is also 2 storeys, with women’s on the ground floor and men’s on the first floor. Definitely give this a look if you are on the fashion district.
3. Il Quadrilatero D’oro / Della Moda
This is it. This is the reason I wanted to go to Milan in the first place and I would say that I am definitely not alone. If you want to experience luxury high-end fashion first hand this is where you need to be.
I’m sure that entering the stores and buying all the luxurious clothes is fun, but honestly walking through the streets and looking at each decadent window still gives the desired experience. It’s not everyday that you can walk past stores containing huge labels like Prada, Gucci, Chanel, Hérmes, Bvlgari. Each set of double doors is guarded by security guards and sales associates- it really is the stuff of movies.
The cobble-stone streets are gorgeous and mainly pedestrianised so it really is an escape from the real world. We first walked into the fashion district by accident and even though we had no idea where we were beforehand the second I saw the designer labels I knew exactly where we were. If you have a love for fashion this place is one for the bucket list.
4. Naviglio Grande
These are Milan’s canals and they are certainly worth a visit. On the walk there we discovered more of the city and also found some shops with clothes made in Italy without the extremely high price tag.
The canals are surrounded by mainly restaurant’s, bars and bakeries but you can also find things like bookstores and art stores in the area. If you want to experience all the canals have to offer come late in evening, that is when they really come to life. The price of the restaurants here are much more reasonable than those in the centre aswell and you will get to experience real Italian food as opposed to something that is called ‘Italian’ just to lure tourists.
We ate in a little restaurant called ‘Vetusta Insigna’ and it was really nice. The prices were manageable and the food and portion sizes were just right.
5. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Just off the Duomo is this gorgeous shopping mall with intricate glass ceilings and old Italian design and architecture. If you do visit Milan you will probably stumble upon this multiple times, since it is in the centre of things.
Inside you will find designer stores such as Versace and Gucci as well as some Italian restaurants. It’s hard to take it all in in such a small period of time so visiting it more than once is a must and since it is so intricate it looks different every time.
Thanks for checking out part 2 of this mini -series! Part 1 was on what I wore in Milan. If you haven’t seen that one yet you can see it here. The final part of this mini-series will be live next week.
See you all then ❤