Posted by: debrakolkka | August 9, 2011


I’m not referring to the Renaissance here, I want to tell you about the department store in Milan. Department stores are not all that common in Italy. Italians seem to prefer to shop in stand alone stores. I hope it stays this way, I prefer it too. However Rinascente is an excellent place to shop in Milan, especially if you want to wander and browse on several floors full of wonderful things.

All the major brands are represented in clothing, shoes, accessories and homewares and the basement floor has a great selection in interesting gadgets – I can’t think of a better word.  All sorts of quirky and unusual things can be found here for your home, and life in general. There is also a lovely cafe to stop for a coffee and a delicious snack. The colour theme when I was last there was purple and each table had the most beautiful purple orchid.

delicious strawberry tart at the basement cafe

the orchid is real

One of my favourite floors in the store is the top floor, which is devoted to food. There is a delectable food hall where you can buy exotic things to take home as well as several different places to eat, offering a great selection. Best of all, there is an outdoor cafe which overlooks the Duomo. You get a fabulous view of the roof of this amazing church. It is worth going up there for this alone, but the food is good too.

the view of the Duomo from one of the indoor restaurants

the view from the terrace restaurant

looking into the roof of the Duomo

the bread basket

delicious lunch

There is a smaller Rinascente in Florence which also has a little cafe on the top floor. The outdoor terrace offers a fantastic view of the magnificent Duomo, the rooftops of beautiful Florence and across to the Boboli gardens and beyond.


the cafe on top of Rinascente in Florence

not a bad view

The one in Rome has recently moved locations to make way for an enormous Zara shop. I haven’t been in yet, but I will check it out when I am next in Rome.


  1. I love Rinascente! I can report back that I’ve just been in the new Zara shop where R used to be in Rome, & of course Zara is fabulous.
    Rinascente in Rome is now in The Galleria in Piazza Colonna – just another block along on Via Del Corso.

    • I have seen the new store in Galleria, but I haven’t been in yet. The Zara shop is huge!!!

  2. I love Rinascente too! My favourite lunch place is Obika, the mozzarella bar on the top floor!

    • I haven’t tried that one – next time.

  3. And the lunch looks pretty yummy too 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to leave a comment – appreciated 🙂

    • Lunch was very good. You have a great blog.

  4. I love La Rinascente in Florence. I always go there.

    • The store in Florence is very good. It is not too big, but has a good selection and the cafe is a lot of fun.

  5. What beautiful views! And interesting that they don’t like shopping in department stores. I love boutique shopping too 🙂

    • Department stores have their place, and Rinascente does an excellent job.

  6. my goodness everything about this post makes me feel jealous!!

    • I think you need to go to Italy soon.

  7. Wow, Deb, the view from the roof is stunning. I also love that you focused on the food available above and below. You are a woman after my own heart, as I love, love, love to eat–much to the delight of my waistline!

    • You must eat! When it Italy it would be wrong not to enjoy the delights on offer.

  8. I went this year… i loved loved loved Florence. Your pics are great – alot of different angles I didn’t get to see the Duomo from =)

    • You must go back! I ma yet to see Florence from the campanile of the Duomo – perhaps in October.

  9. i didnt even know that that this existed. this is why i love your site. thanks for that.

    • A friend told me about the views from Rinascente – I thought I should share.

  10. Hmm, I saw Rinascente from the roof of the Duomo instead of vice-versa. 🙂

    • I have been up into the roof of the Duomo too. It is amazing.

  11. Loved this post, and love how Italians live, still!

    • The food hall in Milan’s Rinascente is just wonderful.

  12. Great post! Love it. By the way, going up on the roof of the Duomo is sensational!

  13. Sorry I just realised you have mentioned this…..late and tired you know.

  14. One day, I will see this for myself. Italy is still a dream for me right now. 🙁

    • You will love Italy and you will get to practice your Italian.

  15. Given the parlous state of Europe’s and Italy’s economy they clearly need a representative from Australia’s ‘robust economy’ to get stuck in there and eat and shop. I am willing to do this.

    • How marvellously altruistic you are Jan.

  16. I can only say, amazing pictures, I loved Florence, want to go back.

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