Along with London, Paris and New York, Milan and Rome are on the list of the famous fashion centers of the world. When you are on your Italy vacation you may not be able to help yourself but to indulge a little in this aspect of Italian culture. By all means make sure you visit the rolling hills of Florence, take a gondola trip through Venice and visit a vineyard in Tuscany. But don’t forget that you are in the country of the likes of Armani, Versace, Fendi, Prada and Valentino. If this at all interests you do find out if your visit coincides with any fashion exhibits or public fashion shows in Rome or Milan.
When you are in Rome make sure you visit the Vatican City but you must go to the original stores of all the Italian designers. You will not only see little old ladies in Italian villages while on vacation in Italy but when you arrive you will quickly realize that Italians have a very high fashion sense, care very much about their looks and are very sophisticated especially in Rome and Milan. You must visit the famous shopping strip Via Montenapoleone in Milan. Here you will find boutiques for Chanel, Dolce e Gabbana and Fendi along with numerous others. Even if your budget does not allow you to purchase anything, this will make for an unbelievable window shopping experience during your vacation in Italy. Many of these boutiques are open from 10 am till 7 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays with shorter hours on Mondays and are closed on Sundays.
Italy is especially known for its high fashion industry or “haute couture” and the runway fashion shows that the designers use to debut their new collections each season. The houses of Valentino and Fendi originated in Rome while the houses of Prada, Versace and Armani originated in Milan. With near perfect craftsmanship, Italian fashions are said to rival those of France and many people even feel the Italian fashions are superior.
During your Italy vacation you may hear of AltaRoma, an organization that has been responsible for putting Italian designers on the map over the years through its yearly fashion shows. These fashion shows feature established designers as well as new designers. They are closed to the general public but AltaRoma also organizes another event that is open to everyone. If your Italy vacation is in mid July the Donna Sotto del Stelle is worth catching. It means “Woman under the Stars.” It is an open air fashion event that takes place at the Piazza de Spagna in Rome and features several newer designers.
To further take in the couture culture during your vacation in Italy, you should also visit the most prominent fashion school in Rome. This school has produced some very talented new designers and usually has fashion exhibits and shows open to the public. Valentino also opened a fashion school in 1990 which also hosts some fashion and art shows open to the general public.