Discover the Magnificent Milan: Six Tips for a Trip to Italy's Fashion Capital
If you love fashion and are always up-to-date on the latest trends, there’s no better place to visit than Milan, Italy. Milan is a gorgeous city in which to experience the best of Italian food, architecture, and history with its wide variety of historic cathedrals, walking areas, and museums, but its fashion-centered experiences are truly unmatched. You may even get to experience emerging fashion trends in real time.
If you need some recommendations on what to see in Milan and how to make the most of your trip, look no further! Whether you’re looking for the best places to shop, window-shop, or learn about the history of fashion in Milan, these recommendations and tips are sure to make your trip exciting—and help reduce travel stress, too.
1. Choose an Itinerary
If you’re looking to center your trip around fashion, it will definitely help you to plan an itinerary and make reservations in advance. Some people prefer to travel and explore spontaneously, but that’s not as easy to do when you’re traveling internationally.
Need recommendations for your itinerary? No problem! You will want to visit Milan’s fashion district, Quadrilatero della moda, to look at luxury brands like Versace, Armani, and Balenciaga.
If you’re looking for fashion-themed experiences that you can’t find in any other city—beyond the usual shops and boutiques—Milan offers a few different restaurants owned by fashion brands. Marchesi 1824 is one such restaurant. The cafe is owned by Prada and overlooks Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy’s oldest shopping gallery. You can also check out Ceresio 7, a restaurant and bar owned by Dsquared². This gorgeous restaurant overlooks the entirety of Milan and is the perfect place to find delicious cocktails and unforgettable views all in one.
Finally, if you’re looking to learn more about the history of fashion in Milan, don’t miss Palazzo Morando, a museum with a rotating collection of fashion exhibits.
2. Perfect Your Coffee Order in Advance
Italy has some of the best and most authentic coffee, but ordering from the menu at an Italian cafe is going to look a little different than ordering from an American coffee shop. For instance, you will need to be more specific when ordering a latte. Italians order lattes based on the amount of milk, so make sure you know the difference between an Italian cappuccino, caffe latte, caffe macchiato, and latte macchiato.
3. Take a Crash Course in Italian
Unlike some other European countries, Italian is the primary language spoken in Italy, so you will need to learn some basic phrases and expressions. If you don’t have time to complete a beginner’s course in Italian, just ensure you know a few basic phrases like “Where is the bathroom?” or “Can you help me find this train station?” Milan does have an extensive metro system and it’s easy to get lost on foreign subway lines if you don’t speak that country’s language.
If you want to challenge yourself to speak even more Italian, ordering food at a restaurant in Italian is a safe way to practice your basic grammar.
4. Keep Your Luggage and Valuables Safe
When traveling to any foreign country, ensure that you keep track of your luggage and any valuable identifying documents, including your passport or visa. If you’re not used to keeping track of so many paper documents (everything is digital nowadays, after all), it may help to bring a clear folder that you can keep with you at all times.
If you need a safe space to store your luggage while shopping or sightseeing around Milan, you can find Milan luggage storage options for as little as five euros per bag. There are secure locations in Milan where you can store your luggage. These local shops and hotels partner with Bounce to keep your belongings safe while you’re on the go.
5. Steer Clear of Duomo for a More Authentic Experience
If you prefer “living like the locals” while traveling, you will want to avoid Duomo di Milano, Milan’s most famous cathedral. The cathedral has gorgeous French Gothic architecture and even showcases gargoyles, but there is never a time when it’s not busy. There are other neighborhoods in Milan, like Isola and Porta Venezia, that also offer unique experiences with fewer people.
6. Prepare Early for Milan Fashion Week
Milan Fashion Week is famous across the globe and for good reason. These fashion shows are exclusive and only accessible to celebrities and industry professionals. Milan Fashion Week usually takes place in late February or early March. While most MFW events are exclusive, there are some other fashion events that are open to the public. Milan is all about fashion during that entire week, so it’s good to keep an eye open for any exciting events. Just be aware of scammers offering tickets to exclusive events.
From local shops and fashion history museums to designer-owned restaurants and Milan Fashion Week, you’re sure to fill your time in Milan with lots of exciting experiences. Hopefully, these insider tips will help you make the most of your time in Italy and maybe even try your hand at designing your own clothing line.