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Shopping in Milan

Home to Armani and Versace, Milan is a temple to fashion. Naturally it delights the high priests and priestesses of style with all manner of labels, stores, boutiques and independent shops.

Key areas

Top of the list for fashion lovers in Milan is the Quadrilaterod'Oro (Golden Quad), formed by Via Monte Napoleone, Via Sant'Andrea, Via Monzani, Gesù and Via della Spiga. Names such as Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Prada, Valentino and Versace read like an ABC of Italian chic. L'Armadio de Laura, Via Voghera 25, has some fine offbeat thrift and end-of-season returns, while the pedestrianised Via Fiori Chiari is a particularly pleasant spot for browsing galleries, with a number of good cafés along the way.

Markets

For those who prefer the bustle of street markets, Viale Papiniano (metro San Agostino) is open all day Saturday and from 0800 to 1400 on Tuesday mornings. The flea market at Fiera di Sinigaglia takes place along the Darsena basin on Saturdays. Antique fairs are popular at the weekends around the Naviglio Grande.

Shopping centres

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a 19th-century glass-roofed four-storey arcade, is one of the oldest shopping malls in the world. Locals come to browse the exclusive shops and sip Campari and soda in the bars. Prada has had its flagship store here since 1913 and was joined recently by Louis Vuitton and Gucci. 10 Corso Como, a design emporium with clothes, books and even its own bed and breakfast is a haven for fashionistas.

Visit outlet malls for hefty discounts: try Il Salvagente at Via Fratelli Bronzetti, 16 and the Dmagazine Outlet (locally known as DMAG) at Via Manzoni, 44.

Opening hours

Shops are generally open 0930-1230 and 1530-1930 from Tuesday to Sunday, although bigger stores stay open all day. Some shops close on Sunday and reopen on Monday afternoon from about 1530-1930. Many shops close for much of August.

Souvenirs

If you can’t afford high fashion, opt for smaller leather items such as gloves, shoes, wallets, belts and purses.

Tax information

Value added tax is 22%. Non-EU citizens can reclaim VAT on their larger purchases from a single shop displaying a 'tax-free shopping' sign and in duty free shops.

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Magna Pars Suites

If you want to spend the night as a supermodel might, then these huge stylish suites in a converted perfume factory are just the ticket. Located in the fashionable Forcella district, which is awash with designers in fashion week, this suite-only hotel has every mod con.

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Just a stone's throw from the Duomo, this is Europe's first 7-star hotel. It offers guests an in-room coiffeur and spa service, free Wi-Fi, and a fully stocked minibar that is refurbished daily. They offer a choice of contemporary suites overlook the Galleria. Exclusive and opulent, it gives guests serious bragging rights.

Hotel Lancaster

Located near the calm of Parco Sempione, this simply furnished, art nouveau hotel is a good budget option. The rooms are clean, while staff are friendly and helpful. It is also outside the congestion charge zone, so a good choice if driving. We suggest asking for a room with a balcony for a fantastic view.

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