Ph: Roman Drits – @Barnimages
A journey into the past between custom-made hats and luxury watches, handcrafted products and instruments of yesteryear: the “historic shops: in the center of Milan, called by this name due to their long histories, are jewels to preserve and get to know. We have selected 5 from among the oldest and most admired of the center, where customers can breathe the history of the city while purchasing authentic Made-in-Milan cadeaux.
Since 1900, this historic shop, just steps from the Duomo – has witnessed the “cultural and artistic currents that have ignited the history of Milan throughout the XXth century” (as written on their website) – offers splendid pocket watches, table clocks, wristwatches and wall clocks in an exclusive and rarefied atmosphere where charming cuckoos and antique boiserie meet the high-tech innovations of the timekeeping world. Open every day from 10am to 1pm / 3:30pm to 6:30pm (Sunday and Monday afternoons only).
Address: Via Bergamini 7, Milan / Tel: +39 02 58304415
For an unconventional gift there is a place in the Porta Vittoria area that performs an antique trade, that of shoemaker, a timeless art: Alvisi. Specializing in the resoling of English and American shoes, this vintage shop also sells exclusive products like the French brand “Famaco Paris 1931” for the care and polishing of luxury shoes, or monogrammed shoe trees stamped in gold on leather (upon client request). Open every day (8:45am to 12:45 / 3pm to 7pm) except for Saturday and Sunday.
ANTICA FARMACIA DEL LAZZARETTO
The oldest pharmacy of Milan (and all of Lombardy) has a history going back to 1750 and fame precedes it: the Lazzaretto to which the name refers is the same that Manzoni wrote about in I Promessi Sposi, and the Latin phrase aegrotantibus salus (“the health of the ill”), set in the ancient shelves and precious ceramics, demonstrates this mission. Here, in the Porta Venezia area – where the famous “Amaro Medicinale Giuliani” was invented, well-known herb-based digestive tonic – visitors can purchase innumerable wellness products, as well as participate in make-up application classes and analysis of the skin, hair and colour-type. Open every day (9am to 7:30pm) except for Sunday.
Address: Via Castaldi 29, Milan / Tel: +39 02 29526633.
Among the oldest shops of Viale Monza, this Milanese milliner and leather shop from the 1920s celebrates a century of history: the interior is a cordial and colourful environment where visitors can purchase hats and accessories of the best brands available, with an eye for the excellence of Made in Italy and the possibility of customizing top hats, bowlers, Homburgs and every type of cap or formal wear hat to bring home a tailor-made item. Open every day except for Sunday (9:30am to 1pm / 3:30pm to 7pm, Mondays afternoons only)
Address: Viale Monza 20, Milan / Tel: +39 02 2614 5175
Founded in 1964, this Milanese violin maker has served passionate music fans, from beginners to concert performers, for more than fifty years: within its walls, in addition to repair and restoration services, customers can choose from a wide selection of instruments from all over the world, such as bowed instruments (violins, violas, cellos and double basses), hand-made Neapolitan mandolins and modern Spanish guitars to exotic stringed instruments, percussion instruments and antique Italian made guitars Open Tuesday through Saturday (5:30pm to 7:30pm), closed Sunday and Monday.
Address: Via Giulio Cesare Procaccini 63, Milan / Tel: +39 02 3492284