As Italy’s financial heart and one of the fashion capitals of the world, Milan attracts an incredible amount of visitors each year • along with their voracious appetites for tax-free designer goods. Milan Malpensa is one of the region’s three main airports and the second largest in Italy.
Milan Malpensa is about 30 miles northwest of the city. Terminals 1 and 2 are completely separate, with shuttle buses running between the two every 20 minutes. Terminal 1 handles international flights, with Terminal 2 dedicated to short-haul, low-cost carriers including EasyJet and Flybe. The airport doesn’t have a reputation for being particularly slick and Terminal 2 can feel as ‘no frills’ as its flights, but at least you get to spend the cash saved on designer fragrances, sunglasses, watches, perfume, alcohol, cosmetics and other tax and duty-free luxuries.
Getting between the terminals or indeed to and from Milan can be time-consuming. Inter terminal shuttles are ever 20 minutes. Set aside at least 30 minutes for an express train into central Milan stations, or up to/over an hour by bus. Thankfully, the airport’s fashion, cosmetics and giftware concessions are far more attractive than its location.
As such an important Italian and international hub, a huge number of airlines operate out of Milan Malpensa, from local and budget airlines to giants like American Airlines, Lufthansa, Alitalia, Cathay Pacific and Emirates. For most, though, the airline is merely the vehicle and it’s the airport’s luxury retail offerings that create the real buzz.
Italian (and often local Milanese) boutiques to explore include Ferrari; Gucci; the refined tailoring of Boggi; the superb contemporary jewellery of Bulgari; and the leather bags, shoes, accessories and clothing from Giorgio Armani, Brunello Cucinelli, Bruno Magli and Ermenegildo Zegna.
For style inspiration from around the globe, consider the glamorous ranges from America’s Guess and Brooks Brothers brands. If elegant British tailoring is more suitable, make the new Burberry store in Terminal 1 your first port of call.
In terms of Duty Free, Milan Malpensa has three Dufry outlets; two in Terminal 1 and a third in Terminal 2. With their ‘last-minute’ and alcohol outlet in Terminal 1, Dufry stocks everything from fashion and luxury chocolates, to alcohol and electronics. So whether it’s a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch, Ricard or crystal clear Smirnoff Vodka or accessories for your Apple, Olympus or Samsung hi-tech gadget • Dufry has it all.
If you’re on the hunt for a sweet-smelling bargain, perhaps as a romantic gift or simply a treat for yourself, Dufry’s decadent range of perfumes and eau de colognes includes the latest from market leaders like Bvlgari, Thierry Mugler, Lancôme, Emporio Armani, Carolina Herrara, Hugo Boss and Calvin Klein.
Italy is incredibly beautiful country…to match its beauty, why not visit Milan Malpensa’s tax-free cosmetics counter. From the anti-ageing products of Clinique, Sisley and Clarins to the cosmetics and nail polish ranges of MAC, Maybelline and Too Faced, you’ll soon be giving Tuscany a run for its money in the picture-perfect stakes.
Dufry’s designer watch store boasts tax-free timepieces and exquisite jewellery. With watches becoming as changeable as your shoes, why not buy two? Consider top brands like Ice, Fossil, Avalanche, Sekonda, Armani Exchange, Aviator and Diesel. On the jewellery front, many design houses are now crafting travel retail exclusives, so look out for lesser-spotted gift and box sets from Crislu, Police and Pierre Cardin.
If such top-end lines are a little out of reach, Bijoux Terner has a dazzling range of colourful costume jewellery, bangles, earrings and accessories, all at one set price (around $12.99USD per item). For sunglasses, experiment with a fashion statement from Versace or Prada, or stick to a classic pair from Ray-Ban, Fendi, Burberry or Bollé.
Whilst in Italy, though you might throw some coins into Rome’s Trevi Fountain or pay through the nose to be wowed by the Sistine Chapel, be sure to save some pennies for the prestigious goods on offer at Milan Malpensa on your way home.