Italians are known around the world for their fashion, design and general style. Many of the most famous fashion houses in the world are found in Italy and each year a large number of tourists visit the country with the intention of setting foot into the major retail outlets that every year set the fashions that the rest of the world will follow.
It is not only clothes and shoes that lead the way but also cars. The country is home to some of the most stylish and attractive sports cars that are purchased each year. The leading company is Ferrari and they have been able to cross over from producing world championship winning Formula 1 sports cars to also supply the domestic market.
These cars are not for the vast majority of purchasers as they simply cost too much. Despite this, there is always a waiting list for the new models that people are willing to pay over 150,000 US dollars for. The home of Ferrari is in the small town of Maranello near Modena in Italy and visitors come in their thousands each year to visit the Enzo Ferrari museum which was opened in 2012.
Modena is located in the Po valley, yet the vast majority of Italian fashion houses are found in Milan, which is 180 km to the North West. Milan is home to some of the country’s designers such as Versace, who opened its first boutique in Via della Spiga in 1978. Today the company is famous around the world, but its headquarters are found in Milan.
There are many other designers that are located in the city, having first been established elsewhere in the country. Names such as Armani, Moschino, Dolce & Gabbana, Canali and Moshino are just a few of the companies that now centre their activities in the city.
The shopping districts are known around the world, with the Via Monte Napoleane being ranked as the sixth most expensive shopping street on the planet. Other famous areas include the Piazza del Duomo and the Quadrilatero della Moda which both attract huge numbers of shoppers from both other parts of Italy and various areas of the world.
The Milan fashion week is another event that attracts huge numbers of people into the city. It is held twice a year, with the first occasion being in September to showcase the winter collection. It then returns in March to show the summer collections.
The event has been running since 1958 and includes 40 shows that take place around the city. The favorite venues are the Palazzo Reale and the Palazzo Serbelloni, but there are many other establishments around the city that host the events.
Even though Milan is strongly associated with Italian fashion, it would be wrong to assume that it is the only city that has a strong fashion reputation in the country. Florence is the home to Gucci, Emilio Pucci and Roberto Carvalli and has also attracted designers from Turkey and Africa.
This blending of international styles makes it quite different from Milan and tourists enjoy the contrast in styles that they experience when they venture into Tuscany. Another different type of experience is shared when Rome is the destination, as the beauty of Italy and that high-end style is found through its many urban centres.