Photograph by Davide BongianniMy Italian summer concluded with a trip to Milan. Walking the city streets made me feel as though I was living in the pages of Vogue Italia. Fashionable women and men mill seamlessly in and out of exclusive boutiques. The flow of traffic suggests that some of the lesser-known designers are influencing the larger high fashion brands (such as Bulgari, Dolce & Gabana, Versace, and Armani). Although some may refer to the fashion created in Milan as “haute couture”, I was surprised to learn that this term is a legally protected label in France.
Photograph (of Duomo Cathedral) by Yen Baet
In addition to Milan being a high fashion mecca, it is also a great place for the Arts. The Teatro alla Scala is the largest fine arts venue in Milan. It is an opera house that promotes itself as a non-elitist public service - open to all citizens. If you’re an opera fan who craves hearing powerful vocal chords, or, would enjoy a unique music sampler, the Teatro alla Scala is the place to visit.
Photograph by Stephen StorkMy last day in Italy was spent going to three intriguing places: one religious, one stylistic, and one culinary. The first was the Plaza Duomo - a genuinely breathtaking architectural structure. Unlike many grand cathedrals that appear extremely dense and heavy - this cathedral has delicate lace-like towers that connect to seemingly weightless walls and arches.
The next destination was a contemporary contrast to the Duomo. The “Design Supemarket” is a wildly diverse collection of the biggest names in fashion, fragrance, and houseware design. Brand names from all over the world are found under one roof, across five floors of undivided shopping debauchery. This is the most famous, over the top example, of conspicuous consumption I have ever seen.
Photograph by Yuichi Shiraishi
More to my personal taste, the Peck Food Store in Milan was a stop that left me speechless and hungry to return. Here you can find 5,000 selections amongst the 14,000 wine bottles that are available on site. Peck is a culinary paradise for those who like to try a vast array of different olive oils, charcuterie, and cheeses from the different regions of Italy. It makes for an expensive picnic but it is truly worth the visit.