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The shopping streets: seven ad hoc itineraries for fashionistas

A trip to Italy just to go shopping isn’t such a crazy idea. On the contrary.

30 December 2022

5 minutes

Each city boasts shops, historic boutiques, ateliers and workshops where craftsmanship and creativity unite precious materials and refined details. Take a journey within a journey that smacks of culture, history of fashion as well as trends and unmistakable style.

From Milan to Florence, passing through Naples and Rome and the super fashionable Porto Cervo, Taormina and Cortina: shopping in Italy isn’t just about materialism, it involves taking home a piece of history.

So let's set off to discover all the shopping streets from north to south, where you can discover the beauty of Made in Italy.

Where to go shopping in Milan

where to go shopping in milan

Milan is the undisputed capital of fashion, home to the country's main fashion brands, but also to Milan Fashion Week, which enlivens the city four times a year and catalyzes the world's attention on the Italian catwalks. Obviously, there is no shortage of boutiques, concentrated in the famous fashion district the Quadrilatero della moda, a true fashion district, bounded by Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni, Corso Venezia and Via della Spiga. Within it, Via del Gesù, Via Sant'Andrea, Via Pisoni, Via Santo Spirito and Via Verri. What to aim for? It depends on what you like and of course, how much you are willing to spend. Prada, Armani, Versace and all the most famous brands of Italian high fashion have their ateliers in these streets, but there is no shortage of more accessible shops, such as those in Via Torino and Vittorio Emanuele or the shops - including vintage ones - of the 5 Vie district. Having fun won’t be difficult at all.

The shopping streets of Florence, brands meet tradition

in florence between designer labels and tradition

Florence is also perfect for a shopping holiday. The exclusive Via de' Tornabuoni hosts all the most famous fashion brands, from Gucci to Tod's, to name two very Tuscan brands. In the city it's nice to get away from the typical, to see aspects of Italian workmanship firsthand. Among renowned local products, leather goods stand out due to a long standing tradition in the area. Bags, belts and small objects have been handmade there for centuries. Leather work took root in Florence essentially due to the proximity to the Arno river (water is essential in the tanning process). Jewelry too has deep roots here. On Ponte Vecchio, in the heart of the city, goldsmiths have long been established. A real district dedicated to the art of goldsmithing, as desired by Ferdinando I De' Medici in the 16th century. The Grand Duke wanted the city's most famous promenade to only have space for shops of a certain decorum, so he moved butchers and tanneries elsewhere. However, the art of goldsmithing in Florence is much older. Lorenzo De' Medici, who lived a hundred years earlier, was a collector as well as a lover of precious objects and patronized many shops in his city.

The elite of men's fashion - and not only - meet in Florence for Pitti Immagine, one of the most prestigious events in the world for men’s fashion.

Shopping streets in the heart of Rome

the shopping streets in the heart of rome

In Rome, the main fashion streets are all nearby: between Piazza di Spagna and the Trevi Fountain you’ll find Via dei Condotti, Via Frattina and Via del Babuino. The area, with limited traffic, is perfect for a walk at any time of the year.

Among the places not to be missed are, the Fendi boutique and that of Valentino which have their historic headquarters in Rome.

In the capital there is no shortage of tailors and haute couture ateliers. It is certainly no coincidence that Haute Couture enthusiasts meet there for AltaRoma, twice a year.
If you arrive by train, the best choice is to take the metro in the direction of Spagna. If you go by car, leave it in the underground car park of Villa Borghese, it will also be a great opportunity to visit the park and its wonders.

The luxury shopping streets of Naples

shopping streets naples luxury shopping

The south has certainly no less when it comes to shopping. In Naples luxury shopping is synonymous with Chiaia, one of the chicest districts of the city. Around Piazza dei Martiri there are boutiques and showrooms, as well as in the nearby Via Gaetano Filangieri and Via Mille. In addition to fashion brands, you will also find high end jewelry shops, such as Bvlgari and Damiani as well as local artisans, unmissable. If you are in Naples, why not organize a trip to the very fashionable Capri. In addition to the splendid sea, and restaurants frequented by VIPs, Capri has many refined artisanal shops where you can even get custom-made sandals, for example.

Shopping in Taormina and the legend of the Moorish heads

shopping in taormina

Heading a little further south, Corso Umberto is the luxury shopping street in Taormina. Many other places in Sicily offer unusual ideas for typical purchases. The most typical souvenirs to note would be the Moorish heads, symbolic of the island. Made of Caltagirone ceramic, they have an interesting legend behind them. According to tradition, a woman, betrayed by her man, decided to behead him. After the assassination, she planted basil in his head and displayed it on her balcony. Improbable most definitely, yet so rooted in the territory's folklore that it is impossible to visit the island without being fascinated by the beauty of these objects, still made in the traditional way today.

Don’t forget to try some typical and irresistible Sicilian desserts, from almond paste to marzipan fruit. 

Shopping in Cortina and Porto Cervo, elegance between the mountains and the sea

cortina and porto cervo shopping

A completely different style for mountain lovers. In Cortina the most important shops are on Corso Italia, a pedestrianized street in the heart of the town. The Corso is also home to the well-stocked Cortina Cooperative, 4000 square meters distributed over six sales floors. There, you can really find everything, from clothing to local crafts, to gastronomy.

If your passion is the sea, well then it is better to focus on Sardinia. In Porto Cervo, in the Municipality of Arzachena, shopping is all about luxury. The shopping streets include the Promenade du Port, the Marina of Porto Cervo, the Piazza del Principe and the Waterfront along the quayside of the port. It’s like a real lounge room overlooking the sea, designed by the architect Gio Pagani. It houses all the most famous brands and is only open in the summer, when the luxury yachts arrive. All that remains now to do, is book your holiday to the Costa Smeralda.

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