When you’ve got Italian designers on the brain, but can’t burn more on that purse than you did on your flight over here, there’s a solution: Italy’s outlet malls.
Outlet shopping malls are scattered throughout Italy, many of them on the outskirts of big cities like Florence, Milan and Rome. They can be a little bit of a hike to get to, so they’re not the most time-effective thing to do. But when you gotta shop, you gotta shop!
Which are the best, and how do you get there? We’ll tell you.
(Please note: We’ve used the most current information available, but opening times and exact stores can change! Please call ahead, or have your hotel call, to make sure that you won’t miss out on your favorite stores).
Open Mon. – Sun. 10 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. During the months of June, July and August, The Mall will be open from 10 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Located at Europa 8, Leccio-Reggello.
It’s got: Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Dior, Ermenegildo Zegna, Fendi, Armani, Gucci, Pucci, Ferragamo, Valentino, and more.
To get there from Florence: By car (30 mins), take the A1 motorway toward Rome and take the exit marked Incisa; stay right until Leccio, and after passing the center, you’ll see The Mall on the left. By train (35 mins + 5 mins taxi), take the train from Santa Maria Novella to Rignano sull’Arno, then grab a taxi. By public bus: Take the Florence SITA bus from Via Santa Caterina da Siena 17, near the train station. Buses leave at 8:30, 9, 11, 12:35 Mon-Sat. and 3pm Mon-Sun. By shuttle: Call 055 8657775 to arrange a pickup at your hotel.
For more info: Click here for more information on The Mall.
Space Factory Outlets (Prada)
Open Mon.-Fri. 10:30am-7:30pm, Sat. 9:30am-7:30pm, and Sun. 10:30am-6:30pm. Located at Via Levanella Becorpi, Localita Levanella, S.S 69, Montevarchi.
It’s got: the Prada line stores—Prada, Miu Miu, Helmut Lang, Prada Sport and Church.
To get there from Florence: By car (50 mins), take the A1 motorway toward Rome and take the exit marked Valdarno; take the 1A to Via Poggilupi/SP11, then a right to Strada Lungo l’Arno/SP59 and then a left to Strada d/Arno/SR69. Turn left onto Via Levanella Becorpi. By train (35 or 55 mins + 5 mins taxi), take the train from Santa Maria Novella or Campo di Marte to Montevarchi, then grab a taxi.
For more info: The phone number is 055 9789481.
Open from Mon. to Sat. 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. and Sun. from 11 a.m.- 7:30 p.m. Located at Via Pian dell’Isola 66/33, Rignano sull’Arno, Reggello.
It’s got: Everything Fendi.
To get there from Florence: By car (35 mins), take the A1 toward Rome, get off at Incisa, and take a right toward Pian dell’Isola. By train (25-35 mins + 10 min walk), take the train from Campo di Marte or Santa Maria Novella, then walk or take taxi to the outlet.
For more info: The phone number is 055 834981.
Dolce & Gabbana
Open from Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sun. from 3 p.m.- 7 p.m. Located at Via S. Maddalena 49, Pian dell’Isola Rignano sull’Arno.
It’s got: Two floors of D&G shoes and clothing, including past collections, front-line stocks, samples, and seconds.
To get there from Florence: By car (30 mins), take the A1 south toward Rome and get off at the Incisa exist. Turn right and follow the SS 69. Follow signs to the outlet. By train (30 or 40 mins + 5 min taxi), take the train from Santa Maria Novella or Campo di Marte to Incisa, then take a taxi.
For more info: The phone number is 055 8331300.
If shopping after your day tour through Milan’s fashionable Brera district isn’t enough, try some of Milan’s nearby outlet malls to get your shopping fix.
Serravalle Designer Outlet
Open from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily. Located at Via della Moda 1, Serravalle Scrivia.
It’s got: 180 stores, including Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Trussardi, and Guess.
To get there from Milan: By car (1 hour), take the A7 toward Genova/Bologna/Venezia and take exit Serravalle Scrivia. By train (1 hour 20 mins + 10 min taxi), take the train from Milano Centrale to Arquata Scrivia, then a taxi to the outlet. By shuttle bus, take the 10am bus from Milano Foro Bonaparte with Zani Viaggi, 20 euros return (call 02 867 131).
For more info: The phone number is 0143 609000. Click here for more information on the Serravalle Designer Outlet (run by the McArthur Glen outlet chain).
FoxTown Factory Store
Open every day from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Located at Via A. Maspali 18, Mendrisio, Switzerland.
It’s got: 160 stores, including Armani, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Prada, Valentino, Versace, and La Perla.
To get there from Milan: It’s not recommended to go by car, because you’ll have to buy a yearly permit once you cross the border into Switzerland. By train (1 hr), take the train from Milano Porta Garibaldi to Chiasso, Switzerland, then take a shuttle bus or taxi (10 mins) to the outlet. By shuttle bus (40 mins), take the Zani Viaggi bus from central Milan, 20 euros return (call 02 867 131).
For more info: The phone number is +41 (0)848 828888. Click here for more information on the FoxTown Factory Store.
Open from 3 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Mon. and from 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Tues. to Sat. Sunday hours are 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Located at Via Fratelli Bronzetti 16, Milan central.
It’s got: Selections from various designers in one store, including Alberta Ferretti, Armani, Balenciaga, Burberry, Cavalli, Chloe, Dolce & Gabbana, Emilio Pucci, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Moschino, Prada and Versace.
To get there: Take the public bus number 60 or 62 to the Bronzetti-Archimede stop, or bus number 92 to the Piceno stop.
For more info: The phone number is 0276 110328. Click here for more information on Il Salvagente.
Open Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. -2 p.m. and 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Closed on Sundays. Located at Via Provinciale per Bregnano, 12, Vertemate con Minoprio.
It’s got: Everything Armani.
To get there from Milan: By car (40 mins), take the A9 toward Lake Como, take exit Fino Mornasco for the SP27, turn right onto the SS35, and take exit 1A for Via Provinicale per Bregnano. By train (40 mins + 15 mins taxi), take the train from Milano Nord Cadona station to Fino Mornasco, then a taxi to the outlet.
For more info: The phone number is 031 887373.
Castel Romano Designer Outlet
Open from Mon. – Thurs. 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Located at Via Ponte di Piscina Cupa, 64, Castel Romano.
It’s got: 140 stores, including Valentino, Roberto Cavalli, Furla, and Patrizia Pepe.
To get there from Rome: By car (20 mins), take the SS 148 south toward Pomezia and take the Castel Romano exit. By shuttle bus (40 mins), take the bus from Via Marsala just outside the Termini station, at 10am, 12:30pm, or 3pm, for 13 euros round-trip. By pick-up service (30 minutes), 29 euros return, you can be picked up right at your hotel by calling 3490836551 the day before your trip.
For more info: The telephone number is 0650 50050. Click here for more information on Castel Romano Designer Outlet, run by the McArthur Glen outlet group.
Open daily from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, 10am-9pm on weekends. Located at Via della Pace, Pascolaro, Valmontone.
It’s got: More High Street than designer stores, including Calvin Klein, Intimissimi, Clarks, Ethic, Sisley, and Baldinini.
To get there from Rome: By car (45 mins), take the A1 toward Napoli, then the E45 to San Cesareo and exit at Valmontone. By shuttle (50 mins), take the shuttle from the Terracafe at Via Marsala 29 outside Termini at 10am, 5 euros return (call 06 45473194).
For more info: The telephone number is 06 959949. Click here for more information on the Valmontone Outlet.