Via Montenapoleone is a key spot in making Milan a fashion and design capital. This ancient street is located in the historical centre of the city and forms with other 3 streets – Via Della Spiga, Via Sant’andrea and Via Pietro Verri - the fashion rectangle. The name of the street is due to the financial institution of Monte di Napoleone which was located there. The street follows the path of the ancient roman walls and of the Seveso river flowing under the street.
Since the end of the 19th century it started to become a luxurious street with the first jewellery stores opening here such as Buccellati, Faraone and Pederzani. After the second world war via Montenapoleone started to become one of the most famous worldwide fashion streets, which contribute to 12% of Milan’s GDP. Indeed, here you will find the home of the most famous fashion brands: Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Etro, Dior, Iceberg, Bulgari, Cartier and, more recently, Burberry to name a few.
Milan’s historical centre is rich with historical bars and bistrots. At number 8, via Montenapoleone you find Pasticceria Cova. Now an institution and open since 1817 it sits directly adjacent to Teatro alla Scala. It was also a hangout for patriots such as Mazzini, Garibaldi, Cairoli, and Boito and bombed in 1943. In 1950 it moved to the elegant via Montenapolone.
Another historical bistrot is Il Salumaio which opened there in 1957; now located in the nearby Palazzo Bagatti Valsecci, a refined restaurant frequented by people such as Maria Callas, Audrey Hepburn and Eugenio Montale.
Via Montenapoleone is open to cars and you can get there by Metro line 3 at metro stop Montenapoleone.