Archive for the ‘Shops’ Category

The Brera is one of my favourite areas of Milan.
Found just beyond the Duomo and La Scala, it is an area full of fabulous art galleries, fun shops, excellent restaurants and small B&Bs.

The Pinacotera di Milan, Milan’s famous art gallery is in Via Brera. The gallery houses a world renown collection of renaissance art.

The atmosphere of the Brera is best reflected in Via Fiori Chiari. This cobblestone street, with it’s planter boxes is lined with boutiques, restaurants and antique shops. My favourite shop, ‘Candele Mum’ at No 16 sells beautiful candles of all different shapes and sizes.

Via Fiori Chiari in Milan

Via Fiori Chiari

Cobblestone Streets in the Brera in Milan

Cobblestone Streets in the Brera

Welcome Mat at Torre di Pisa in Milan

Welcome Mat at Torre di Pisa

Another cobblestone street, Via Madonnina leads off from here at Ristorante Il Cestino, winding past intriguing shops and buildings, eventually taking you to the Church of the Santa Maria del Carmine and it’s piazza.

Church of the Santa Maria del Carmine in Milan

Church of the Santa Maria del Carmine

Near here are a couple of my favourite spots, both in Via Cusani.
Da Claudio: By day, it is a fish shop and quick lunch stop. At night it becomes a popular bar where prosecco is on tap and seafood antipasti available. In summer the crowd spills out on to the pavement

Ristorante Da Claudio in Milan

Ristorante Da Claudio

Antonio: Over the road from Da Claudio are three fabulous shops under the name Antonio – Antonio Shoes, Antonio Donna and Antonio Uomi – all displaying the latest fashions

Window at Antonio Uomo in Milan

Window at Antonio Uomo

Milan has a fabulous aperitivo culture. Bars offer a selection of antipasti with drinks, none more so than those in the Brera. The Brera comes alive at night, especially on the weekend. Restaurants and bars are full and people are window shopping or perusing the street markets that line Via Fiori Chiari.

Aperitivo in Milan

Aperitivo snacks

Via Solferino is another busy street in the Brera. There are some interesting shops here. Look out for Jamin Peuch for fabulous bags, AG Spalding & Bros for luggage accessories and L’Artigiano di Brera for great flats. Further up the street, you will find Antica Locanda Solferino, a popular B&B.

Fioraio Bianchi Caffè, is not far from here. Dine amongst the flowers or relax with coffee and cake.

Fioraio Bianchi Caffè in Milan

Fioraio Bianchi Caffè

On Monday or Thursday morning, the Via San Marco markets take place.

Fruit and Vegetables at the San Marco Markets in Milan

Fruit and Vegetable stall

Zucchini Flowers at the Via San Marco Markets in

Zucchini Flowers

On the outskirts of the Brera, Corso Como is where you will find Milan’s eclectic fashion emporium,10 Corso Como. This is also another interesting area with many boutiques, bars and restaurants.

Inside Dieci Corso Como, Milan

10 Corso Como

To get here, take Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi which borders the Brera on one side.
On the way, stop at Radetzky Cafe for coffee, lunch or aperitivo. I can highly recommend Sunday brunch!

Radetzky Caffe in Milan

Radetzky Cafe

Don’t want to explore the Brera on foot. Hire a bike instead!
Like many European cities, Milan has their own bike sharing programme called BikeMi. Dotted around the city are many bike stations where you can pick up or drop off your bike. Hire it for as long as you like, it’s a great way to get from one spot to the other. The first thirty minutes are free!

BikeMi station at the Duomo in Milan

BikeMi station at the Duomo

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Visit Eataly in Turin

Eataly in Turin is one stop shopping, Italian style.
Opened in 2007, this former vermouth factory was the first its kind showcasing the principles of the slow food movement. There are now branches in New York and Bologna.

Eataly in Turin


Often described as a “megastore with a high end food court and learning centre”, the ground floor is dedicated to separate areas displaying an amazing selection of cheese, meat, fish and fresh vegetables.

Fresh vegetable selection at Eataly, Turin

Fresh vegetables

Meat selection at Eataly, Turin

Buy your meat here!

Fabulous cheese selection at Eataly, Turin

Fabulous cheeses

A large gourmet food section offers many different brands of oil, vinegar, pasta, rice and tomato sauce .
I stopped in front of a wall of extra virgin olive oil . There were hundreds to choose from. It was the same with the pasta.

Extra Virgin Oils at Eataly, Turin

Which one do I choose!

Pasta selection at Eataly in Turin

Pasta selection

There’s even a milk vending machine. Simply bring your empty milk bottles and refill them here.

Milk vending machine at Eataly in Turin

Milk vending machine

Dotted around these fresh food areas are the many food counters offering different meal choices
Choose from La Vedura, for a vegetarian lunch or cheese platter. La Carne grills different cuts of meat whilst over at the La Pizza e La Focaccia, a wood fired oven waits for pizza orders. There were also many pasta dishes to order. Finish with dolci from the great selection of cakes, pastries and gelati.Wander around the stations choosing from all on offer but don’t forget to reserve your table first so you are able to give them the table number when you order your meal.

If you prefer to be waited on, downstairs is the restaurant Guido, from Pollenza.

Vegetarian dishes from Le Vedure at Eataly in Turin

Order vegetarian dishes from Le Vedure

The meat counter at Eataly in Turin

The meat counter

We chose a tasty baked fish and vegetables from the seafood restaurant.

Baked fish and vegetables at Eataly in Turin

Baked fish and vegetables

Don’t forget to visit the cellars. There is an extensive selection of wines from all over Italy. The special bottles are found in the Reserve Room! There’s even a beer bar for hubby to try the latest boutique beer whilst you peruse the cook books or look for that special kitchen gadget you must take home.

Wine cellar at Eataly, Turin

Wine cellar

Wines at Eataly, Turin

Wines for sale

My favourite area was the glass fronted coolrooms which are also downstairs.
Wheels of parmesan sit side by side, whilst next door the prosciutto and salamis are hanging around

Parmesan stored in the cellar at Eataly, Turin

Parmesan stored in the cellar

Prosciutto at Eataly, Turin


Coolroom at Eataly, Turin

Proscuitto and Salami in the coolroom


Via Nizza 203/14
Lingotto, Turin

Take the underground from Porta Nuova to Lingotto and walk back past the Fiat Factory




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On Friday, 9th September, 10 Corso Como in Milan celebrates it’s twentieth birthday.

For twenty years, Carla Sozzani’s stylish emporium has been an inspiration to aficionados around the world.

This former garage is not only home to the latest fashion for men and women but is also a cafe and restaurant, art gallery, design store and bookshop. There’s even a B&B called 3 Rooms.

An eclectic range of shoes, bags, accessories, jewellery and clothing from the cream of designers is on display here. It’s very hard not to be tempted to buy a memento.

No trip to Milan is complete without a visit here.
Don’t miss it!

Entrance to Dieci Corso Como in Milan

Entrance to 10 Corso Como

Courtyard Cafe at 10 Corso Como in Milan

Courtyard Cafe

Inside Dieci Corso Como, Milan

Inside 10 Corso Como

Bags from 10 Corso Como in Milan

Bags from 10 Corso Como

Situated in the Porta Garibaldi area of Milan, it is about a 20 minute walk fom the Duomo.
You might prefer to catch a taxi or take the underground to Corso Como and then enjoy a slow walk back through the Brera.



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What to do, where to go in Milan?

Milan is the financial and fashion centre of Italy. It can’t compete with the historical sites of Rome or Florence, so it is often added to an itinerary on the second or third visit to Italy or as a stop on the way to Lake Como. I’m not sure why this happens. Milan is one of my favourite Italian cities to which I return year after year.

Here is my list of the top five places to visit.

1. The Duomo
Because of its position in the heart of Milan, the Duomo is usually the first stop when visiting the city. Don’t miss a walk on the roof, wandering among the spires and statues and taking in the breathtaking views.
You can read about the Duomo here.

The Duomo in Milan

The Duomo

2. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.
This 18th century glass and iron covered gallery is home to many beautiful shops, restaurants and cafes. Look up to see the magnificent central dome. Look down to see the emblems on the mosaic floor representing the cities of Milan, Rome, Florence and Turin. If you want to return to Milan you are supposed to place your heel on the emblem of Turin -the bull- and rotate clockwise!

Galleria Vittoria Emanuele, Milan

Galleria Vittoria Emanuele

The Dome of the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele in Milan

The Dome of the Galleria

Gucci Cafe at the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele in Milan

Gucci Cafe at the Galleria

3. La Scala
It’s an easy walk from the Duomo, through the Galleria and on to La Scala, Milan’s famous opera house which opened in 1778. Here some of the world’s best singers and orchestras can be heard and famous ballets seen. If you cannot book tickets to one of the performances, a visit to the Museo Teatrale alla Scala ( Museum) also includes a visit to one of the boxes where you can look down on the stage. If the theatre is being used, you may not be able to go into the box, so check on the board outside or ask when you buy your tickets

Teatro alla Scala, Milan

Teatro alla Scala, Milan

Rows of private theatre boxes line the walls of La Scala, Milan

Rows of private theatre boxes line the walls of La Scala

Foyer off the boxes at La Scala, Milan

Foyer at La Scala

Poster advertising Romeo et Juliette at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan

Poster advertising Romeo et Juliette

4. The Last Supper
Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, “The Last Supper”, is one of the most famous paintings in the world. It covers a wall in the former dining hall of the monastery attached to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. In order to reduce deterioration, admission is strictly limited to 25 people every fifteen minutes. Tickets are often sold out months in advance, so buy them online as soon as you know you are visiting Milan. I use Tickitaly

Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan

Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie

Bramante's Dome on the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Mila

Bramante Dome

Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" in Milan

Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper"

On you way back from here, stop at Peck’s in Via Spadari, to see Milan’s best food store

5. Visit the Golden Triangle
This is the name given to Milan’s famous shopping streets, Via Monte Napoleone, Via della Spiga and those that run between them, Via San’t Andrea, Via Gesù, Via Borgospesso. Home to the country’s famous designer shops, you should come here to window shop even if buying is not for you.
There are also some wonderful shop interiors and window displays to be seen

Gucci on Via Montenapoleone, Milan

Gucci on Via Montenapoleone

Window at Prada in Milan

Window at Prada

Sergio Rossi window on Via Montenapoleone in Milan

Sergio Rossi window on Via Montenapoleone

Lanvin shop on Via della Spiga, Milan

Lanvin shop on Via della Spiga

Hungry! Near here is Paper Moon, a popular restaurant for pizza, salad or three courses in Via Bagutta.

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Siracusa Market

The food market in Ortigia is a small, relaxed market with a sense of humour as vendors compete for customers by calling out their wares.
Via Benedictus comes to life every morning except Sunday.

Different types of fish, all caught that morning, are on display.

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Lemons and tomatoes are arranged amongst the mussels to brighten their day.

Tuna is expertly into steaks using a large hatchet and gamberi of all different sizes abound.

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Sea urchins make a great display before they are cleaned for sale

Fruit and vegetables tempt.  Small charcoal burners roast capsicums to sell.
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Cedro and fennel are ready for making a salad.

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Fabulous cheeses are on display with the corner store, Il Gusto dei Sapori Smarriti, doing a roaring trade in superb meats, cheese, bread and wine.

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The first of the strawberries are in the market.


Time to practise the italian and shop for a picnic lunch!


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