Today, we spent a lot of time walking around Milan’s fashion district. Our first stop was at 10 Corso Como, a prototype fashion establishment. They sell artwork and fashion from famous and aspiring artists, serving as a brick and mortar “magazine” for high fashion. Some fashion and art is traditional, but most of it is very experimental. You can find brands like Gucci here alongside smaller artists.
We then took a walking tour through the middle of historic Milan to
Quadrilatero d’Oro. Also known as the “Golden Rectangle”, this fashion district is responsible for 12% of the city’s income. The ENTIRE Milano region income. It is literally one large block, bordered by four main streets and cut with smaller thoroughfares.
To try to give some reference for the exorbitant wealth in this district, renting a single square meter of retail space starts at 5,000€. It can reach 12,000€ for some spaces! You can obviously find brands like Hermes, Armani, and Versace here. It is interesting to look at the region from a historical perspective, because the streets that these shops are on used to be the homes of some of the poorest of Milan. 10 Corso Como in particular is in a building that would have been lived in by several lower class families, all sharing a courtyard, with families of 10 or more sharing only a couple of rooms. Now, these old buildings are considered to be very trendy, along with old cobblestone streets (which are awful to walk on). Cobblestone was a cheap, plentiful material, so it was used to pave the streets of the less affluent. Now, it is very chic.
I’ll miss Milan, as today is our last day here before we head to Verona for four days. We will be back here before we return to the States, but only for a day or two. I’ll really miss the beautiful culture, and Milan’s mix of Italian heritage and the advent of new green urban living in its vibrant heart. I’m looking forward to the drive to Verona, as we should pass through some beautiful stretch of Italian countryside for part of the journey!