For the pinnacle of shopping experiences, it has to be Milan. Nowhere else does one find that critical mass of major-brand flagship stores, multilabel emporia, and quirky style mavericks. Another advantage is that it's all so close at hand: Every brand that's any brand will have a foothold in the Quadrilatero d'Oro, the "golden rectangle" northeast of the Duomo, formed by the long parallel arteries of Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga and the streets in between (Via Santo Spirito, Via del Gesù, Via Sant'Andrea). Armani, Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Versace, Ferragamo, Valentino, Gianfranco Ferré, Roberto Cavalli, MaxMara, Trussardi, Alberta Ferretti—they're all here, alongside new kids on the block like Alberto Aspesi and Viktor & Rolf (whose upside-down boutique on Via Sant'Andrea needs to be seen to be believed). Most shops are open 10 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, though some are closed on Monday morning. (Sunday openings are still a rarity except during the sales in January and July.) Budget-conscious shoppers should check out the city's stock houses, which offer last season's clothing at last decade's prices. Of course, shopping in Milan is not just about fashion: The regional capital of Lombardy is also Italy's furniture design hub—a status that is celebrated not only by the slew of cutting-edge design stores around Via Durini and Corso Europa but also by the organized madness of the Furniture Fair in mid-April, when shows and parties take over the entire city. For the main fashion-industry dates, see Fact Sheet.