Let’s Meet at The Mall
No stay in Florence is complete without hopping in either the shuttle bus or a chaufered car and spending three hours or more at one of the numerous shopping outlet sprinkled in the Tuscan coutryside. These are the places where one can find incredible bargains, especially at sales time, when the outlet prices are reduced of half or more.
One of the two main options is the Space outlet in Montevarchi, stocking some Helmut Lang and Jil Sander besides the Prada men, women, children and accessories collection. One either is driven there or takes a train from the beautiful Santa Maria Novella station, then one of the cabs waiting at your destination (set price 12€). There is a nice café with some basic lunch fares and prosecco to celebrate your findings.
The other option is Leccio’s The Mall, reached by bus (a few euros) or by shuttle (35€ per person for the round trip). Once there, one has to be very unlucky not to find something to one’s taste in the 34 luxury brand shops, more being in construction at the time of writing.It’s a shop-till-you-drop wet dream, with fantastic fashion to be grabbed from either the current collection at outlet prices (far less than the retail price), the previous collection for which the outlet price is discounted, or for older items which can be down to 20 or even 10% of the original price. By using the outlet shuttle service you will get a voucher for 5 or 10% more discount on a selection of “carry-on” items providing you spend more than 500 or 1000€ in one shop. There is a café with an outdoor terrace and a restaurant churning out basic food.
If you are ready to queue with herds of excited Chinese under the Tuscan sun, the biggest shop is by far the Gucci one, including yet another rooftop café. There is a decent Prada shop too if you wish to limit your shopping to half a day, which is by far the best option in one’s opinion. The list of other shops is available by clicking the link below. In some of them extravagant items can be found which sometimes really cracks one up (see next post!).