The mind of any fashion enthusiast wanders first to Milan when thinking of Italy. The 52 unique spires of the Duomo support nearly 2,250 marble statues and have inspired artists, architects, and designers since its establishment in the 14th century and subsequent completion in the 19th century. The style of the architecture, art, and music of the city evokes powerful emotions connected to the works of the famous composer Giuseppe Verdi, sculptures by Michelangelo, and paintings by Leonardo da Vinci. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II was the first shopping mall in Europe and continues to embody awe in the boutique shops and graceful domes first erected between 1865 and 1877.
Your private transfer greets you at Malpensa Airport in a luxurious Mercedes, escorting you to the heart of Italian fashion to arrive at the Armani Hotel, located in the city center near the endless movement of the legendary Fashion District. The Armani Hotel is a five-star establishment committed to the dignity of the brand name inside each of the 95 guestrooms and suites. Lifestyle managers represent the importance of hospitality to Armani, ensuring you have a luxurious stay during your time in Milan with personalized touches. Rooms range from the elegant privacy of a nearly 475-square foot deluxe to a 755-square foot suite, each providing ample views to the prestigious fashion of the city moving below.
You also have the option of staying at the Bulgari Hotel, an equally exclusive accommodation on a private street connected to the renovated 18th-century Palazzo. The five-star hotel contains over 43,000 square feet of private gardens for a touch of tranquility amidst the bustling streets of Milan. The fine furnishings and graceful décor relate to the intimate luxuries of the Bulgari brand. In the evening, you can enjoy the immersion into the distinctive world of fashion, and the fascinating life of Milan, with a fabulous drink at Gattopardo Milano Disco Club. The space evokes the pleasures of creativity and reconstitution by filling a refurbished church with lively music, vivacious dancing, and indelible spirit.
Your personal shopper awaits your arrival, eager to introduce you to the true cultural aesthetic and fashionable heritage of Milan with a visit to Quadrilatero d’Oro, the Fashion District made up of four streets beginning at Montenapoleone. The luxury shopping street has a length of 1,150 feet and features the most exclusive shops, including a selection of elite shoemakers. The aroma of elegant cakes drifts from the elaborate window and display case of Caffé Cova. The footsteps of graceful Italian women walking through the portico in heels echo against the stone facades. Your private shopper directs you to the boutiques such as the swimwear of Fisico by Cristina Ferrari to the handbags of Coccinelle.
You have the freedom to visit the stores you are keen on entering with the guidance, wisdom, and aesthetic of a private personal shopper whose entire occupation is to help find you clothing in which you look your absolute best. After shopping, you venture to the Rolex Orologeria, a boutique gallery known as the location at which connoisseurs shop for priceless stylish watches. The shop is deep and vertical with sleek, stylish furnishings. The nearly 20-foot long aqua glass counter guides your eye to the platinum spiral staircase. Expert watchmakers populate the second floor, offering service, information, and a focused understanding of the ways a watch can accentuate an outfit or stand alone as its own significant statement.
Milan lives up to its reputation as a city of workers in the morning when the metro and streets fill with locals venturing to work. They stop at the corner bars in the traditional Italian style and sip espressos or nibble on fresh brioches before reaching the office. The pinnacle of your time in Italy begins with a tour of Museo del Novecento, the Brand New Museum of the Twentieth Century, located inside the Palazzo dell’Arengario. The complex was erected in the 1930s and completed in the 1950s in Piazza del Duomo.
The word arengario refers to the palace’s function as the seat of the local government during Italy’s Fascist era. The interior museum features art from the 20th century with a collection renowned for Futurist paintings that seemingly contrast the view of the staggering cathedral, which acts as a pristine example of Italian Gothic architecture. The museum opened in 2010 and displays approximately 400 works, from international artists like Picasso and Kandinsky, to Italian masters such as Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo and Umberto Boccioni. You find inspiration in the ways the art can easily inspire fashion designers by way of movement, color, texture, or capture a unique shape formerly unnoticed. After celebrating innovative inspiration for fashion, you head to Via Clerici to witness fashion in action at the Milan Fashion Week trade show.
Excitement pulses through the city, drawing fashionistas, designers, enthusiasts, and eager audience members to the streets of Italy’s capital of style. The events and exhibits change annually but always leave visitors with a wide smile, captivated by the fashion-forward thinking of the industry and individuals populating the runway. Designers such Gucci, Cavalli, Fendi, and Vanotti provide breathtaking examples of the ways to shape the fashion industry for the upcoming year with intricate stitching, ripple effects, bustiers, or havelocks.
Besides the leading titans of the industry, young designers also set up booths and display collections for exposure to the greater world of high fashion. Beyond the thrilling atmosphere of the beauty and prestige of the show, you continue your evening at Milan’s famous restaurant, Cracco. The delectable dishes and exclusive ambiance make reservations nearly impossible unless booked far in advance. You can lounge like an elite fashionista in the attentive comforts of the staff and indulge in the aromas of parmesan cheese fondue and rice noodles with caviar filling the dining room.
Discover the importance of Italy’s most notable fashion designer with a visit to the Armani Silos after breakfast. The exhibitions celebrate 40 years of Armani fashion, which helped shape the world’s stylistic choices. The silos were originally built in 1950 as a granary for the Nestlé Company and span nearly 48,500 square feet. The museum encompasses four floors that include displays, a café, gift shop, and a digital archive. A posh aroma of spiced cedar fills the galleries and overtakes the subtle scent of freshly ground coffee beans drifting through the doors of the café. The digital archives contain collections of photos, sketches, drawings, and illustrations of collections over the years for deeper insight into the drafts that became fashionable realities.
The entire museum features approximately 600 pieces of Giorgio Armani’s works from evening dresses glowing with shimmering material to full outfits radiant with color. The Fondazione Prada unveiled its permanent location inside the Largo Isarco in 2015, transforming a former distillery into three distinctive structures. The organization began in the 1990s as an institute dedicated to contemporary art and culture. The permanent collection encompasses nearly 120,000 square feet of the new exhibition space. In the evening, you take a seat at the Armani Prive Club to sample the life of high fashion with premier cocktails, an electric ambiance, and luscious cuisine.
The heart of the Renaissance contains more than the mysteries of art and architecture during the rebirth of artistic perspective and instead captures the artistry of style and design in the exclusive collections of Ferragamo. You leave behind the city of fashion and industry on a scenic drive through the Lombardy region, eventually reaching the borders of Tuscany, a region famous for lush rolling hills, cypress trees, olive groves, and vineyards. Your private transfer guides you in a luxurious Mercedes to the heart of the historic city of Florence to relax in fashionable accommodations near the banks of the Arno River before an exclusive tour of the Ferragamo boutique.
The gorgeous city envelopes the store with dramatic stone facades, the elegant medieval bridge of the Ponte Vecchio supports jewelry shops, and the dome of the cathedral adds the climactic punctuation to the skyline. The luxury shoe designer is one of Italy’s most famous companies and has broadened its brand by producing a range of elegant clothing, handbags, and accessories. The company was founded in 1928 and acquired Palazzo Spini Feroni in the 1930s. The 13th-century mansion in Piazza Santa Trinita acts as the perfect contrast to the contemporary aesthetic decorating the interior. The sweet aroma of pears fills the gallery amidst the subtle background music emanating from the ceiling.
You enter a separate room for a private fashion show modeling the latest designs of the Ferragamo brand away from the wandering eyes of passersby on the main street. Sip a traditional Negroni, an Italian aperitif of gin, vermouth, and Campari garnished with an orange peel, as the models highlight the contours, colors, unique styles of each shoe. After the show, you continue down the stairs to the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, which features a rotating display of shoes dating back to the 1920s until the present. You feel completely separate from the crowds of Florence as if you’ve stumbled into a style-Renaissance displayed in a palace of high fashion.
The beauty of fashion is that it accommodates a variety of senses, associating sound, touch, and scent beyond the obvious sense of sight. At breakfast, you stray from the usual strong and slightly bitter flavor of espresso for the sweeter taste and more frothy texture of a delicious cappuccino. You meet your guide in the hotel lobby after the meal, eager to embark on a distinctive excursion for your sense of smell by visiting a perfumer’s workshop.
The hidden perfumeries around the city pay homage to the days of the Renaissance when scientists funded by the Medici family attempted to understand the ways humans can extract scents from plants. The perfumer’s workshop is located inside a 18th-century palace and holds up to 1,500 ingredients to produce nearly any aroma imaginable, and some scents that are hard to imagine. The elegant interior blends a contemporary aesthetic with the historical context of the art and architecture. Your guide offers you a number of fragrances to sample.
You inhale deeply, listening to the instructions in an attempt to detect the different layers creating an excellent perfume. A great fragrance not only contains depth but also interacts with the natural oils on a person’s skin, making the perfume or cologne emanate a slightly different scent on different people. You absorb the unique properties of the herbs, flowers, and fruits on display to help pinpoint distinct aromas and to discover which scents are considered overpowering. Your instructor guides you through the process of mixing the different scents, making you feel like a 18th-century alchemist and rewarding you with a 50ml bottle of your own special fragrance.
Your private transfer greets you in a lavish Mercedes after your perfume workshop and escorts you into the hills of Tuscany to enjoy the comforts of Il Borro, an estate connected to the Ferragamo family since the early 1990s. Spend the remainder of the day at your leisure taking the time to bask in the infinity pool and classic décor or stroll through the charms of the surrounding medieval village.
Shopping in Italy is its own destination and reward, equivalent to the masterworks decorating the historic cities in the way true fashion enthusiasts understand that style is a wearable art. The heart of the Renaissance contains more than the mysteries of art and architecture during the rebirth of artistic perspective and instead captures the artistry of style and design beyond the exclusive collections of Ferragamo. The medieval village surrounding Il Borro villa returns to quiet life in the morning. The scent of espresso drifts through the doors of the dining room. The small bakery in town fills the air with the sweet scent of fresh brioche.
The luxury destination known as The Mall is located in Leccio, surrounded by the iconic visions of the Tuscan countryside. The herbaceous aroma of fresh grass punctuates the entrance to Italy’s largest luxury fashion center featuring exclusive designers, high fashion, footwear, jewelry, and accessories. The famous shops present designer wares such as Gucci, Cavalli, Armani, Valentino, and international brands such as Loro Piana and Zegna. The outlet opened in 2001 as a center for high fashion products at more competitive prices.
The mall grew to include more brands in 2013, with each store showcasing their unique styles and featured clothing in the grand window displays. The walkways bustle with activity but inside, each shop contains a calm and collected ambiance emanating from the helpful and efficient staff. After your time basking in the iconic brands of Italy and Europe, you continue to an exclusive estate connected to the Ferragamo family since the early 1990s. The villa is located in the heart of a charming medieval village and exemplifies luxury and elegance inside rustic and historical architecture.
Rome bustles around the glinting marbles of the Spanish Steps. Fascinating high fashion window displays decorate the boutique shops lining Via Vittorio Veneto, a legendary street that was immortalized in Federico Fellini's 1960 classic film La Dolce Vita. Artists set up easels and chairs in Piazza Navona to capture the baroque images of the palace facades and fountains decorating the square. After breakfast, your private guide greets you in the hotel lobby, eager to lead you through an intimate interaction with the designers of global fashion based in Rome, beginning on the first floor of Palazzo Fendi, a boutique hotel associated with the style and prestige of the Italian luxury brand with a sensational store on the first floor.
The private suites in Rome reflect the proud character of the city’s traditional commitment to elegance and access to luxury for a unique and sophisticated experience. The palazzo once belonged to the noble Ludovisi family until it became the headquarters of Fendi in 2005 to blend sumptuous shopping and unparalleled accommodations. The ground floor hosts Fendi’s largest flagship store, promoting the design by French designer Gwenael Nicolas. The store and surrounding hotel promote Fendi’s particular vision of luxury through an aesthetic of rigorous and exuberant lines to the preserved five-arched window façade from the original 18th-century structure. A red marble staircase sweeps between floors, emphasizing the range of soft and bold clothing styles on display.
You find inspiration in the unexpected while browsing the contemporary art and design pieces filling the retail space. A gentle spice fills the gallery, adding warmth to the mixture of historical walls and contemporary aesthetic. The mirror Moon Ball sculpture dominates the entryway, and midcentury masterpieces are scattered around the floors. You don your most elegant shoes and graceful attire in the evening to enjoy a night at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, a sensational performance theater erected in 1880 and seats approximately 1,600 audience members.
The monuments of Rome consist of gorgeous icons such as the grandeur of the Trevi Fountain, the drama of the Pantheon, and the legends of the Colosseum, but the fashion of the city has created testaments to their ability to shape the culture of Italy and world heritage through design. The scent of fresh brioche emanates from the bakeries around the city and juxtaposes the slightly bitter aroma of the espresso along with the saccharine fragrance of the sugared fruits. Your guide greets you in the hotel lobby, ready to lead you through a private tour of the Italian Institute of Fashion, which first opened in 1987 under the guidance of Agata di Giannantonio.
Industry professionals provide knowledge and guidance beyond the aesthetics of fashion designers, offering courses in costume design, model making, fashion journalism, marketing, and also fabric design. The goal of the institution is to use personal creativity and professional competence to better shape the fashion world. After visiting the campus and discovering the different ways in which newcomers to the industry are shaping the future of fashion, you venture to Via Condotti to indulge in the Bulgari experience. The iconic boutique shop first opened in 1884 near the Spanish steps and moved to n.10 Via Condotti in 1905. The elegant features of the steps have become a symbol of the brand and a source of limitless inspiration.
Walk through the documented history of the luxurious style in the DOMVS, where unique pieces, photographs, and sketches decorate the galleries as part of the Heritage Collection. The cool air and subtle aroma of lilacs accentuate the magnificent beauty on display, featuring jewelry collections from Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, and Ingrid Bergman. The title “DOMVS” is Latin for “home,” and embodies the intimate and welcoming ambiance in the rooms at the heart of the Bulgari experience. An emerald and diamond brooch represents the glamour and imagination as a pendant for a fairytale necklace.
Residents of Rome would never admit that a place could be more fashionable than the capital city of Italy. Citizens and fashion icons draw inspiration from the streets, ruins, and masterful artworks decorating the museums, piazzas, and churches around the city. The restaurants, bars, and cafes teem with people throughout the day and fade to the soft lights of overnight flower stands decorating the corners with roses, tulips, and poinsettias. The angelic figures on the Ponte Sant’Angelo encapsulate the ways in which artists reutilize the past. Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed, sculpted, and oversaw the ten angels decorating a bridge first erected in the 2nd century AD during the reign of Roman Emperor Hadrian to connect the city center to the emperor’s mausoleum.
The majesty of traditional Italian hospitality accentuates the elegance of modern detail shaped by the baroque aesthetic of the former Roman aristocracy. Women and men wear fitted clothing, often tailored to their shape and size to better reflect the fashions of the capital accompanied by attractive footwear. Your private transfer greets you with a sleek luxury Mercedes and escorts you from the opulence of Palazzo Fendi to Rome Fiumicino Airport for your flight home.