Posted: 2009-10-14

Shopping Milan

Milan is the fashion and design capitol of the world.  A lot of the big fashion names have their design studios here - Gucci, Prada, D&G, Armani and Versace - and shopping is one of Milan’s leisure activities.  People will spend hours strolling down the sidewalk and window-shopping while they gossip with their friends.  Chad says that, when he was here in 2006, he saw a guy in a suit driving his Vespa scooter down the street who veered up onto the sidewalk, stopped to admire a coat, and then drove back onto the street to continue on his way.  Chad and I decided that we should embrace the local culture and do some shopping of our own.  He did not buy the coat we saw for 15,000 euros ($22,300) in the designer shopping area, and I did not buy the dress that I saw for 985 euros ($1,465) in the outlet store.  Yes, the outlet store.  However, we did find some things that we could afford.

I got a new jacket

Ballerina shoes are “in” so I got a pair

This giant pink shoe is actually a bathtub - want me to bring one back for you?

For those of you who care, current fashion trends include the following:
—Louis Vuitton handbags and Ralph Lauren polo shirts, both of which made me question which decade I am living in because these were also popular when I was in junior high/high school
—black leggings - apparently women of all ages can wear these, so I bought some
—silver or gold running shoes - thought these were a fad when I was in Italy 2 years ago, nope, it’s fashion
—“creative” hairstyles, particularly popular with teenage and early 20-something guys
—high-water pants for guys - I know, seriously?
—boots for women - riding, cowboy, pirate, slouchy, studded, ankle, thigh-high à la Pretty Woman with…
—mini and micro-mini skirts/dresses - again, for women of all ages
—skinny jeans and pants
—suits and nice shoes for guys
—looking stylish - for men and women, all ages

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the prototype for the modern-day shopping mall.  There is an open-air pedestrian area in the shape of a cross with a glass roof above.  Each quadrant of the cross has a building in it.  This galleria is filled with shops and cafés, and it’s fun to stroll through.

One of the entrances to the galleria

The heart of the galleria where the two arms of the cross meet

The galleria in the evening with its “streetlights” on

In addition to fashion shopping, Milan has some great street markets that take place on different days of the week.  Chad has been making the rounds to check them out.  On market day, the street is closed down for a few blocks, and the vendors set up their stalls in the street.  You can buy food, clothes, dishes, books, shoes, espresso percolators, you name it.

Vendors in the street on market day

A produce stall

A fish vendor

Flowers for sale

The cheese and wine cart

-Julia Abbott



Hmmm. Do I want fish, fruit, flowers or cheese? Hard to decide.

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