GUCCI, PRADA, PINKO or CK? So you hear that the outlets are a must see place upon arrival in Italy, right? Well, let me give you the dirty downlow- but keep it quite guys!
Barberino Designer Outlet, half an hour away from Florence and less than an hour from Bologna. More than 90 shops featuring the best brands with fashion products from previous seasons at prices cut by 30 to 70% all year round. In the heart of Tuscany, Barberino Outlet is located less than a mile from the main italian highway 'Autostrada del Sole', crossed by 90000 vehicles. Shopping is a completely different story at Barberino. A pair of fashion shoes? Breathtaking lingerie? An item for home? Here you will be able to find something truly exclusive, choosing among the best brands. The prices? Discounted all year long 30% to 70%! Don't miss it!
The area, covered by Bologna and Florence airports, enjoys excellent links with Florence, Pistoia and Prato through ordinary motorways. There's also a daily shuttle bus from Santa Maria Novella, Florence main railway station, to get there (just exit on the right of the station and you'll see the bus stop near the green area).
Address Barberino Designer Outlet: Via Meucci - 50031 Barberino di Mugello (FI)
INFOLINE: 055 842161
The Prada outlet, as it is frequently called is actually called SPACE and it is home to not only Prada. Other names such as Helmut Lang, Miu Miu and Jill Sander. The prices are spectacular- it is really flooring. A few years ago, the prices were even better when the Lira was in action, however, prices for PRADA have remained the same, unlike other Italian fashion houses. Make sure you take at least half of a day for your journey. Trains leave to Montevarchi, where the outlet is located, throughout the day. Once you get there, you hop in a cab and you are zipped right to the all white intimidating building. After you press the button for your personal number- get ready. Among the many aisles of ornate bags, intricate ties, and gleaming shoes, you can find some great deals.
SPACE (Prada) - Località Levanella, 52025 Montevarchi (AR) - Tel : +39 055 91 901
Opening hours : Normally seven days a week. Please call ahead to check opening hours as they are subject to sudden changes. Saturday is the busiest day. Admission is possible until 1/2 an hour before closing time.
How to get there:
By train, take the train to Montevarchi station and then get a cab (about 15 minutes).
By car: take the A1 autostrada - Exit 'Valdarno', Out of the toll turn right and follow signs for Montevarchi or Centro. At the big round about that has an IPER - COOP supermarket exit left. Then continue towards Arezzo. Pass through Montevarchi and 'Località levanella' after the village pass a gas station and then follow signs for I PELLETTIERI D'ITALIA in the 'Zona Industriale' on the left. The sign for the outlet is at a traffic light. On your left is a huge grey factory that is all Prada and the out let is in the back of the main factory complex. Prada is the hardest to find but the most worth the effort. Do not hesitate to show local people the address to get a direction, they are quite accustomed to lost fashionistas. During the off seasons, you can basically go to the outlets at anytime. However, during summer hours, all of Japan and California flock to that stainless steele ticket dispenser to get their ticket and wait...and wait...and have a cappuccio at teh chic bar next door....and guess what...wait some more until their number is called. Don't lose your ticket. If you liek an itme, a sales associate will stow it away under your personal number. After your 10 or 15 sweeps around the store, it time to check out. You tell them your number and they ring you up. Hurry before the exit lines get big. Some people buy large and keep going. There is always something here worthwhile to buy!
The Gucci Outlet, is also located outside of Florence at THE MALL. It is actually pretty expensive to get there and the prices are not anything to drop your cheeseburger for.
The other stores at THE MALL are Agnona, Bottega Veneta, Emanuel Ungaro, Ermenegildo Zegna, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Loro Piana, Hogan, La Perla, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tod's, Sergio Rossi, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent. All have older styles with high prices, however, you can always snag a good deal here and there.
Tel +39 055 8657 775 Fax +39 055 8657 801
THE MALL address: Via Europa 8, 50060 Leccio, Reggello Firenze
Opening hours : from 10 to 19 non-stop Monday to Saturday and 15-19 on Sunday.
Please call ahead to check opening hours as they are subject to sudden changes.
How to get there: The mall provides a shuttle bus to collect clients from their hotels and take them to the out let. Seats may be reserved by calling THE MALL information desk.