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!
From the time of Richelieu, plucked from the pages of Dumas’ Three Musketeers right up to the present day, the world as we know it is shaped, sculpted and seduced by many a Grey Eminence working behind the scenes. No one will see him, no one will even be aware of his existence, but his influence is immeasurable. The work of a professional stylist is akin to the work of a Grey Eminence; a veritable secret counsellor with professional ethics comparable in seriousness to those of a lawyer or cosmetic surgeon.
That’s why no one will ever see photos “ Michelle Obama trying on her dress before the inauguration” or “Kate Middleton trying on a hat with her stylist in preparation for Ascot.” – it all stays behind the closed doors of luxury boutiques and walk in wardrobes.
That’s where the real magic happens, where history is being made, where look, style and taste have become a means of achieving a dream. Only occasionally can we catch a glimpse who’s hiding behind a celebrity’s look on the the evening news, for example. And suddenly the spell is broken. We are faced with the reality that celebrities are sometimes not as innately glamorous as they seem, they simply put on something that had been pre-selected and prepared for them. But a bigger question comes to mind – where to find THE stylist. In which magic world do these magicians dwell?
The general public can only guess who’s dressing first ladies and royalty. We sometimes get hints from the media that a certain dress was chosen by a certain mysterious N, but “the secret councillor” is secret for a reason, he will always stay in the shadows.
Many stars have been born as the result of a stylist’s meticulous work. An expertly chosen dress for a very important event can mark the beginning of a new chapter in ones life. I often witness this. Clients come back to me and tell me that their life has taken a dramatic turn after their wardrobe transformation. For some this can mean a promotion at work and new found popularity with colleagues. For others it can herald the a new era in a romantic relationship that had faded into despair, and sometimes it means finally finding the ideal partner and starting a new life. For some, it can mean all of the above.
Undoubtedly change comes from within. More often than not all that is needed is a leap of faith, putting ones trust in the capabilities of a stylist and being ready and eager to change your life. Even the rich, famous and successful turn to a knowledgeable and thoughtful stylist to explore new facets of their character, make a step forward, cultivate a new dimension or shift their limits and borders.
No matter who you are, what your story is or might be a stylist is the caring hand who will put the final touch to the sentence: You are simply the best.
If you plan on going clothes, shoe or anything else shopping abroad, it is often quite difficult to get the best opinions on which shopping centres, shops and boutiques are worth visiting.
Especially if we talk about popular shopping destinations in Italy such as Rimini or Milan.
Help is indispensable.