Think Italy, think fashion. Runway shows with the best in the business, legendary shopping streets, prêt-à-porter, and of course, major houses of fashion. While fashion is the name of the game, here are some of the places you should visit for the latest threads.
The city has architectural gems everywhere—from the Colosseum to the Trevi fountain, St Peter’s square to the Pantheon, the city is dotted with history. Just next to Milan, Roma is home to many fashion brands and is one of the most popular hubs for tourists and citizens alike. While the Tridente area caters to high fashion, it’s said this is the most expensive area in the city. Don’t forget to check out Via di Campo Marzio, an old district famous for high-end products, prevalent since the times of Emperor Augustus. Tourists can often also be found in Via del Corso which is also nearby, but caters to a much pocket-friendly crowd.
A little over an hour away from Rome by train, Florence is a delight for art and fashion lovers. Once you’ve experienced the museums and seen the statues, turn your attention to leather goods and craftsmanship, which the city is known for. Via de’ Tornabuoni is possibly the most famous luxury shopping street since the 19th century, while Via del Parione showcases the artisanal side of Florence with modern boutiques and vintage clothing.
Joining Paris, New York city and London, Milan has long been known as a fashion and design capital. With over 10,000 fashion companies and plenty of major fashion houses, Milan is the place to be if that’s your calling. While Milan Fashion Week is held in high esteem by industry experts, buyers and models; its legendary shopping street is your best bet to bag the newest designs before or after they’ve hit the runway. You must head to Via Monte Napoleaone, the essential luxury shopping destination in Italy’s economic capital. It’s part of Milan’s golden quadrilateral of luxury shopping streets offering the best haute couture and famous Italian brand names. Also, don’t forget to check out the world’s oldest mall—Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II next to the magnificent Duomo.
Authentic Italian souvenirs you must take home:
> ALCOHOL: Limoncello is Italy, Italy is limoncello. Most famous in Capri, the sweet liqueur is what ends a grand Italian meal on a high.
> DRY PASTA: Easier to carry and make when back home, it brings back the flavours of Italy when far away from the country. Just choose the shape you loved the most.
> DRIED PORCINI/TRUFFLES: Who doesn’t like truffles? Look around Rome, Umbria and Lazio for the authentic ones. Dried porcini can lift any dish and supermarkets can be a friend here.
> GLASSWARE: Murano is most famous for this and the artisans can make anything out of glass—earrings to chandeliers.
> CERAMICS: When in Amalfi, head to Vietri sul Mare where majolica (brightly coloured earthenware) is created and sold.
> SILK: Como and its surrounding regions have been dealing with silk since the 4th century. How about a scarf or tie to take back from here?
> MASKS: The Venetian mask is most popular among tourists and with its glitter and feathers, it makes for a unique souvenir.