Wandering elegante Brera, un quartiere storico in Milano

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Brera is known as one of Milan’s most elegant neighborhoods; it is old Milan, and the beautiful ancient buildings are vibrant with color and architectural detail.

In this bellissimo quartiere of central Milan, each cobbled road is a photo-op. For the most part, cars are not allowed, leaving the mix of wide and narrow vie to the chic Milanese who live, work, shop, eat, and play in this lively, historic neighborhood. Restaurants are situated one right after another, all competing for passersby with tempting outdoor tables. At night, these ‘restaurant rows’ are packed with aperitivi-seeking Milanese. The city is incredibly social; when the sun begins to set on the golden buildings, Brera brims with locals who enjoy the night. They like to be out, surrounded by friends and soon-to-be-friends, glass in one hand, wild gestures simulated in the other. Their conversations are without gaps; it’s all rapid-fire speech and laughter. As we walk by, careful not to twist an ankle on the cobbles while simultaneously taking care not to get run over in the center bike line, we take mental notes of their effortless style so that we may attempt to emulate their flair and urbanity. From the hair to the jewelry to the shoes, the Milanese do not dare step foot outside of their palazzi sans modus operandi. That is to say, you will not find them tromping around these cobblestones in lululemmons and running sneakers.

Beyond nightlife, Brera is one of those very special neighborhoods that offers everything in one: beautiful boutiques with Italian merchandise not found elsewhere, tea shops meant for lingering breakfasts and afternoons with a friend, art galleries galore, historic buildings and captivating architecture, a university, a library, and bohemian-like vintage shops. Walk slowly down the poetically curved Via Madonnina, and you will get a sense of the neighborhood as it was in the 18th century, lined with workshops and manufacturers. Let your eyes gaze upwards at the ornamental buildings- the arches, wrought iron balconies, decorated cornices, and the vivid colors. Stock up on Italian cashmere and wander into an art gallery or two.

Don’t miss:

Manee: Unique footwear

Barbara di Davide: Cashmere sweaters and well-priced leather bags designed and sold by Barbara, one of the sweetest and most classy shop-owners in all of Milan

Lunaria Cashmere:  Luxurious cashmere sweaters and scarves

Dr. Vranjes: Candles and diffusers used in many of the five-star hotels all over Italy, also known as scented decor 

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A fuori di Luisa Beccara a Brera

Milan

Look up. Giallo, blu, e verde.

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Suits in Brera and a fortune teller in the background.

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Outside Manee, a famous unique footwear store on Via Madonnina

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Via Madonnina in Brera, un quartiere di Milano

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Boutique shopping in Brera

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Colors, balconies, arches, and a lot of stone in Brera.

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Shopping in beautiful Brera

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Via Madonnina, Brera.

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Cashmere sweaters at Barbara di Davide on Via Madonnina

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Shopping at Barbara di Davide in Brera

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I adored this beautiful negozio, and Barbara is the warmest, loveliest shop owner. At Barbara di Davide.

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Just enough whimsical and plenty of ladylike at Barbara di Davide

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Femininity e fiori at Barbara di Davide

Brera

All kinds of wheels in Brera.

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At the elegant Lunaria cashmere store in Brera

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Lunaria Cashmere in Brera

Shopping in Brera

Beautiful displays at Lunaria Cashmere in Milan’s Brera district.

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Scarves, sweaters, and coats at Lunaria Cashmere

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The beautifully designed Lunaria Cashmere store.

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Lunaria Cashmere in Brera

shopping in brera

My favorite (and apparently most of Italy’s favorite) scent diffusers at Dr. Vranjes.

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