Luca Finardi, General Manager at Mandarin Oriental, Milan, on where to buy those last-minute, exclusive Christmas gifts in town – and why


1. Van Cleef & Arpels (Via Monte Napoleone 10). Their collections are all about love and passion. They have timepieces that feature figurines, set with Paris in the background, which meet up when the clock strikes midnight. For something a bit more unique, they have a watch whose mechanism is built around an actual piece of 5,000-year-old meteorite.

High jewellers Van Cleef & Arpels

High jewellers Van Cleef & Arpels

2. Larusmiani (Via Monte Napoleone 7). Shopping in the oldest boutique on Via Monte Napoleone is an experience on its own. They have a tailor on duty who travels around the city and beyond, and that is simply extraordinary. Production is still rigorously Italian.

Handmade Milanese style at Larusmiani

Handmade Milanese style at Larusmiani

3. Studio Dimore Collection (Corso Italia 1). When the super-rich are looking for that special object or simply a particular piece for their über-accessorised homes, this is where they turn. They have an impressive selection of vintage furniture and exclusively handmade objets trouvés.

Vintage furniture at Studio Dimore Collection

Vintage furniture at Studio Dimore Collection

4. Pasticceria Cucchi (Corso Genova 1). Operated by the third generation of the family, this is where the Milanese go to sip an espresso between shopping stops and buy their panettone for the holidays. Their recipes are among the oldest in Milan, and strictly guarded.

Pasticceria Cucchi

Pasticceria Cucchi

5. Antica Officina del Farmacista Dr Vranjes (Via Fiori Chiari 24). They create fragrances for the home and the body based upon your individual taste. The experience is pretty unique!

Buy bespoke fragrance at Dr Vranjes

Buy bespoke fragrance at Dr Vranjes

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