The concepts of “trip to the Apennines” and “shopping in Italy” are inseparable, and a rare tourist will return home without buying anything. But unlike many other countries where it is customary to buy trinkets in memory of the trip, quite practical things can be brought from Italy, and some even manage to completely update the wardrobe during a short vacation.
Being in the country of eminent couturiers, the question is "what to buy in Italy"seems rhetorical. In addition to luxury brands and exclusive expensive brands of clothes and shoes, Italy is also famous as the birthplace of numerous prêt-à-porter brands in the middle price segment.
Shopping in Italy: what to buy
Talking about what to buy in Italy, you can not ignore the leather products and, in particular, bags. As one of the main areas in this category, where private craftsmen make beautiful and high-quality bags, Florence is famous. The city even has a special leather market, where at reasonable prices you can pick up a very decent "souvenir".
In Italy, expensive brands get along well with the middle price segment
Few people know that you can bring beautiful and elegant fur products from Italy: specialized production and shops are especially common in the north of the Apennine Peninsula. Among the worthy brands, Annabella, Vladimiro Gioia, etc. should be singled out. As for the directions in the economy and medium segments, it is worth paying attention to Florence, Bologna and Rimini. In Milan, prices for furs are already "biting", and the Fendi laboratory in Rome is famous for the most expensive and beautiful fur coats.
You can also bring from Italy: evening dresses, wedding dresses, business suits (women and men), linen, knitwear, underwear, swimwear. Not to mention the accessories, the variety of which is surprising in any more or less significant city.
Shopping in Italy: geography for a shopaholic
Whatever region of Italy you prefer when planning your trip, there are shops everywhere that can grab attention and encroach on part of the budget. In large cities, these are department stores, boutiques, shopping centers, outlet brands and non-brands, wholesale stores and even open-air markets. In small towns, the choice is, of course, more modest, but wise Italians build their boutiques exactly at the intersection of hiking trails. Therefore, it often happens that a small dot on the map will please a very decent assortment.
Shopping in Italy may be limited only by budget. If the latter does not constrain, and the dream of new products does not allow you to sleep peacefully, then you will be taken to branded boutiques and galleries. For budget travelers, making purchases is much more profitable in the markets, in small shops (where you can and should bargain), and, of course, in sputches and outlets. About outlets in general and how to find them in Italy, we have already written here.
Shopping in Italy does not at all involve the acquisition of Italian designer clothes exclusively in expensive boutiques. Almost every haute couture house has spats and outlets where goods from last season can be bought at discounts of 30 to 70%. In addition, here you can also find goods of the current season, delivered directly from factories.
The capital of Italian fashion - Milan is distinguished by perhaps the richest assortment. In addition to luxury brand stores located in Milan's Golden Triangle (Via Senato - Via Alessandro Manzoni - Via Monte Napoleone), you can also find some good Italian mid-priced brands.
Shopping in Rome good in that it can be combined with an excursion program, and as for the choice, it is not inferior to Milan. The more expensive boutiques on Via del Corso are also adjoined by more affordable shops, which, at times, can be a very good bargain. BlogoItaliano already wrote about purchases in the "Eternal City" in the post Souvenirs and Shopping in Rome: what to bring, and therefore, now we will not focus on it and go further - along less "well-trodden" routes.
In addition to monobrand outlets (for example, Gucci, Armani or Dolce & Gabanna), recently outlet centers (multi-brand outlets) have become increasingly popular. As the name implies, this format involves combining many brands under one roof at once. Such outlet centers or, as they are also called, Outlet Mall may well be both a multi-storey shopping center and a whole "village" with numerous fountains, sculptures and, of course, shops.
More and more popular among shopping enthusiastsRiminiwhere shopping can be combined with excursions and relaxation on the Mediterranean coast. In addition to the standard set of designer boutiques and mid-range stores, here you can buy at discounts up to 40% even items from the current collections of brands such as Roberto Cavalli and Fendi. The popularity of Rimini is determined by its proximity to the matches from the factories of Baldinini, Pollini, Vicini, Sergio Rossi. And to the Marche region with a whole area of matches (from the factories Prada, Fabiani, Fabi, TODs and many others) from Rimini is only 1.5 hours away.
Florence - the city of the first fashion show in Italy in the twentieth century, the birthplace of the Pucci and Ferragamo brands - is also able to please shopping lovers with a variety of outlets and matches from factories. Shopping in Florence, of course, inferior to Roman or Milan, but, in the end, - this is a direction for a "cultural" holiday. And shopping in Florence is already a "highlight on the cake."
Shopping and art coexist everywhere in Italy
Sales in Italy - discount shopping
There are no seasonal restrictions for purchases in the country - even markets are open-air and they operate all winter. But there are times when shopping in Italy is especially attractive.
Unlike many countries where stores can conduct sales when they like, sales in Italy strictly regulated. They are carried out twice a year (winter and summer) in specially designated periods, each of six weeks in length. And, although specific dates may vary, winter sales start, as a rule, in early January, and summer sales - in early July.
Not only shopaholic tourists, but also many Italians are specifically waiting for the start of the sales season to buy expensive designer clothes or furniture. Therefore, the beginning of each season of sales in Italy is accompanied by a surge in activity throughout the country with long lines and excitement.