Just to put it out there, I'm a guy and I hate shopping. But, my wife is the opposite. She was VERY excited about going to Milan and shopping. Having been there before, I warned her that shopping in Milan was fragmented and expensive. In my mind, shopping in New York City is better, easier, and (if you know where to go) cheaper. But, she wouldn't listen. So, it was very disappointing to her when she found that Milan was exactly as I had described it. If you want cutting-edge fashion, then Milan is probably as good as Paris but, otherwise, it's difficult if not impossible to find good bargains.
To the Milanese, the concept of an outlet mall is appalling - we actually had our hotel concierge recoil in dismay when we asked about the outlet centers around Milan ("But it's last year's catalog!!!"). Without question, everyone thought that the Serravalle center was the best outlet but we didn't want to spend 4 hours in round-trip travel so Vicolungo was the best second choice. We were staying in Legnano near Malpensa Airport, so the drive only took us around 40 minutes each way.
I can't tell you what we spent, but we literally filled the car with our purchases. There's a wide assortment of Italian goods, most at much better prices than you'd find in Milan (or even at the outlet centers in New York for the same goods).
Unfortunately, towards the end of our visit, my wife's wallet was stolen by an astoundingly good pickpocket. We don't blame Vicolungo - it could happen anywhere. But, we do applaud the center police for helping us to cancel her credit cards and guide us in what we should do. They spent a lot of time with us (my wife was, understandably, distressed), gave us access to their computers (to get contact info), and allowed us to call our credit card companies back in the States. Everyone was obviously unhappy that we had experienced theft on their "home turf" and went out of their way to help us.
We highly recommend Vicolungo. Just be extra-special careful with your money and ID - if you're buying as much as we did, your wallet is constantly being used and you're distracted by the shopping experience so the bad guys can have a field day if you're not especially situationally aware.
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