It’s January, and the sales have started across Italy. If you’re okay with crowds, the January and July sale periods in Italy are a fantastic time to shop. (Last time I went during the January sales I actually witnessed a fist fight in the parking lot over a parking space – which was interesting, considering that cars were parked wherever they would fit, including on medians, on the sidewalk and in a line in the middle of the road.)
There are hundreds of outlet stores around Italy, but here are 6 outlet malls in particular that I would recommend if you want to shop. Note that these “malls” are not indoors, so dress accordingly (since sales are in the coldest and hottest times of the year).
- Serravalle Designer Outlet has 180 stores and a huge parking lot (site of aforementioned skirmish). Open most days from 10 am to 8 pm, but hours are sometimes limited on Mondays so check opening times on the website. Drive to this mall, or go with a bus tour.
- FoxTown outlet is near Milan but it’s actually in Switzerland. It has about 100 stores and is open daily from 11 am to 7 pm. Get there by car or take a bus tour from Milan or Bergamo. Tip: if you’re undecided on whether to go to Serravalle or FoxTown from Milan, remember that you’ll be spending Swiss Francs in Switzerland so checking the exchange rate may help with your decision.
- The Mall is 30 minutes outside of Florence (and pretty close to Lucca) and smaller than other outlets, with about 20 stores.
- If you’re a fan of Prada or Miu Miu, visit the Space outlet in Montevarchi (drive, or take a train + taxi). They only let 100 people in at a time, so take a number, order a cappuccino at the bar next door, and wait until your number is called. Open daily from 9.30 am, but call ahead to check opening hours. Address: Località Levanella, 52025 Montevarchi (AR). Phone: +39 055 91 901. Tip: if you don’t like crowds, avoid Saturdays.
- The same company that runs Serravalle near Milan also has a big outlet mall near Florence called Barberino, with almost 100 stores. For info on how to get there by car or by shuttle from Florence, opening times, stores, and a map, check the website.
- Castel Romano is owned by the same company that owns Serravalle near Milan and Barberino near Florence. It’s got 110 stores, is open 7 days a week from 10 am to 8 or 9 pm, and is about 30 minutes outside Rome.
- Noventa di Piave is about 30 minutes from Venice, and has about 50 stores. Open from 10 am to 8 pm seven days a week, it’s accessible by car or by shuttle from the San Dona’ di Piave bus station. For a map of the stores, address and phone numbers, download this pdf.
Photo by Sanjay
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