Milan is Heaven on Earth for shopping lovers. You can find the best of everything in this city, especially everything connected with fashion and design. Milan has a wonderful history as a laboratory of creative ideas: The Polytechnic and the Accedemia di Brera have trained fashion designers and other designers who are famous worldwide. They exhibited their creations for the first time in Milan, often creating scandal and revolutionizing fashion with their own personal style, never going unobserved. Armani, Versace, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Pucci, Gucci and many more took off on Milan’s runways. Fashionistas make a pilgrimage here to shop at the designers’ flagship stores in the Quadrilatero d’Oro (Golden Quad). Boutiques stocking emerging labels, and chic concept shops also line the city’s streets, while discount outlets selling samples, seconds and last season’s cast-offs are a bargain-hunter’s Holy Grail. Milan is also the world capital of furniture and homewares (the beanbag is a Milanese brainchild), and a hub for risk-taking contemporary art. By night there’s an avant-garde theatre scene, a fabulous aperitivi scene (extended ‘happy hour’ with platters of bar food laid on) and hip, hot clubs. Fashion and finance aside, Milan’s other religion is, of course, calcio (football). The city is home to both AC Milan and Inter, two of Italy’s top teams, and passionate crowds pack San Siro stadium on Sunday in season. The city also harbours some lesser-known attractions such as the Navigli’s canal-side cafés and old-fashioned gelaterie (ice-cream shops) and the funky design district of Isola.