Almost every Italian city is evacuated in August. I would bet shops like Cappelli are closed in August, perhaps even bigger operations like Rubinacci.
Milan: Brief Thoughts (also now featuring Naples reports) - Page 8
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gets a bit chilly here in August certainly.
My, and most other cities close down in terms of factories etc in August but of course the shops are open generally, chains etc . Many families escape the concrete heat of the cities - away to various (typically) Italian beaches. The roads are gloriously empty...
There are some exceptions for family-owned places and restaurants, particularly off the tourist trail. My favourite trattoria closed two weeks ago till September. Porca troia!
Sounds lovely! I suppose it's around sales time, yes. I actually don't really know about the language barrier since I spoke Italian the whole time. I know Patrizio Cappelli speaks English, since he wrote his email to me in English. Mina and Dino speak English. But if you find yourself without a common language, just try hand gestures and unless you're looking for something complicated you shouldn't have too much trouble.
Another pointer is to read the writeups that Derek has done for the StyleForum blog - especially if you're looking for more mid-range stores.
I was in Milan for two days. It was not a great shopping experience. Got two shirts from Kiton store at 40%. The price was still much more than virtualclotheshorse. The good thing is the sales man shared his insights about shirt and jacket sleeves length. He told me that there's a proper shirt sleeve length (that he took measurements) and for the jacket sleeves however there's no rule, it's a personal thing... which, in my opinion, makes sense.
I don't know if Italians should wear socks or not in the summer but in my opinion, they should try to be more respectful to each other.
I'm very happy with my fabric choices. In the spoiler you can see some of the various construction options, ranging from three fold to seven fold, one unlined.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The Cappelli tie has quite a distinctive silhouette. The outline is more curved and bottle-like rather than straight. Here I've laid one out next to a Drake's and a Hober so you can see the difference: