Shopping: the best places in Italy
Shopping in Italy: for some it is a life-long dream, for others a regular practice. And it is quite understandable as most of exclusive luxury brands originate from Italy. Italy has become the place to buy luxury items at lower prices. However, if you wish to combine holidays and fruitful shopping it’s better not to go on shopping tours; more likely you will only be able to buy certain lines from restricted stock. Its better, if you can, to go on an independent shopping adventure to Milan, Rome, Venice for example. Another alternative is making the most of personal shopper services, that will save you time and money.
Seasonal sales in Italy
Italy is famous for its sales, or as the Italians call them sconti. There are two sales per year winter and summer. Before the sales dates were set up by the local authorities and could start earlier or later depending on the city. However, since 2011 the dates have been determined by the government and are the same throughout Italy. During the sales you can get between 15-50% off depending on the brand and the shop location.
Summer sales dates: 7th-10th July until 31stAugust
Winter sales start on January 6thor 7th.
The dates are determined in advance and announced officially through different media. If a shop starts the sales earlier, it can be fined. But there are exceptions. My clients can exclusively take advantage of the sales a whole month earlier!! Only my clients get access to the crème de la crème, that means that they can buy the best international and Italian brands such as Dolce&Gabbana, Prada, Jimmy Choo, Emilio Pucci, Gucci, Miu Miu, Valentino and many more with incredible discounts.
It’s mainly shopping malls prerogative to offer regular sales. It is quite difficult to get discounted items with reduced prices at designer boutiques as discounts are usually reserved for their most loyal customers. You can find clothes with reduced prices throughout the year in an outlet; but, outlets sell items from older collections – items that were not sold even during sales. As you can imagine they are not designers most successful creations…
The most famous outlet chain is McArthurGlen (Noventa di Piave in Venice, Serravalle near Milan, Castel Romano in Rome). It is impossible to get a fully functional wardrobe from places like this, but you can certainly find a bargain there with discounts of 30-70 percent.
Where is it best to go shopping?
Geographically Italy can be divided into three areas:
- North – Milan, Venice, Florence, Bologna and Torino
- Centre – Rome, Rimini
- South – Bari, Napoli, Sicily, Sardagne
There are exclusive boutiques selling the latest collections in all the main cities. The product range can vary according to the area – classical elegant pieces are usually sold in the North, the South is known for fakes – so watch out. In the South everything is usually more expensive because of the number of tourists visiting this part of Italy annually. As previously mentioned, 30-50 percent discounts are only available during the sale season and mainly for the loyal customers, very rarely for tourists. The rest of the time boutiques only offer discounts to trusted partners, such is myself – your personal shopper.
Places for shopping, more specifically
- Rome – Piazza di Spagna and via dei Kondottiand nearby streets
- Milan – the fashion triangle between Via Monte Napoleone, Andrea, Via Gesùand Via della Spiga
- Venice – San Marco squareand the area around it, Mercería
- Naples – Piazza Amedeo, Piazza dei Martiri, via Kalabrittoand via dei Mille.
Please be aware that in Italy the shops are open from 9 to 10 am to 12h30 pm and 3h30 pm until 7 pm or 8 pm. Apart from big malls, most shops are closed on Sundays and Mondays. It’s always better to go shopping on a week day when the Italians are at work and the tourists are busy sightseeing.
The peculiarities of Italian sales (information correct as of summer 2018)
It is often said that it’s only worth going shopping the first week of sales, as it is impossible to find the right size and interesting items afterwards. This is not entirely true.
Yes, you’ll indeed find crowds and long queues in big tourist centres. And if a shop happens to announce a clearance sale, policemen are even called to safeguard the entrance. But the discounts are usually quite low, and the products are only partially on display. The best accessories are doubtlessly sold the first week of sales even with minimal discounts.
What’s more shops are usually so crowded during the first weeks of sales that it is impossible to get in to a fitting room. So more often than not peoples buy clothes without even trying them on.
However; with me – your personal shopper – your experience will be completely different. I’ll show you around exclusive boutiques hidden away from the tourist hoards, you’ll get the best discount and all that a month before the official sales date. You are not a tourist any-more but the client of a reputable personal shopper. You’ll spend minimum time shopping and you’ll have time to spare for travelling and entertainment. Summer 2018 sales are expected to be hot so book your place with no further ado!