Milan’s Golden Rectangle of fashion (Quadrilatero d’Oro), like the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, shows up in pretty much every travel guide, article and message board about the city, and it’s with good reason as it’s one of the world’s most important fashion districts in what’s arguably the world’s fashion capital (though some Paris-partial may disagree).
So, where does the name come from? The rectangle shape is comprised of four streets: Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni, Via della Spiga and Corso Venezia, and intersected along the way with charming streets like Via Sant’Andrea (home to Chanel), Via Gesu (home to the Bagetti Valsecchi Museum) and Via Pietro Verri (home to Alexander McQueen and Celine).
Often compared to Bond Street in London and or Madison Avenue in New York, the Golden Rectangle exudes exclusivity. features pretty much every single high-end designer store under the sun. This is where you want to go for some serious designer garb. You’ll find them all here: Valentino, Prada, Hogan, Cartier, Dolce & Gabbana, La Perla, Hermes, Roberto Cavalli, Gucci, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton and more. It should come as no surprise that the window displays are like works of art in and of themselves, so it’s worth taking a walk down the street just to peruse them and ogle.
If you’re looking to satisfy a sweet tooth, the second location of Pasticceria Marchesi, one of my favorite places in Milan, is here. It’s completely different than the original from an aesthetic standpoint, but you can take a seat and relax here instead of eating on your feet.
Note: While window shopping is fine, the store employees don’t take well to people coming in to browse or try stuff on with no intention of buying anything. If this is part of your plan, make sure you look the part or they will ask you to leave their store. I know it might seem a little un-PC, but at the end of the day, you can’t blame them. They have a job to do and they have to make sales; don’t be that person who takes up their time with no intention of buying anything.