Oh, sure. Florence has Michelangelo’s David. And it’s got the amazing Uffizi Gallery (where Mark and I discovered we were very on trend as Madonna and her toyboy sexy boyfriend visited the gallery in July). But if you’re after some serious shopping in Florence, including one of the best luxury outlet malls you ever will see, read on.
Shopping in Florence
Yes, most importantly to some, Florence has shops. Shops, shops, shops. Leather, leather, leather. Local boutiques and the all important The Mall Outlet Centre.
And what I learned while shopping in Florence is that you can learn a lot about your partner. You can learn that when it comes to shopping, you and your significant other are worlds apart.
Shopping locally in Florence
Mark isn’t a huge shopper, but he liked the small leather shops. There are gazillions in the backstreets of central Florence. I find them interesting but many are overpriced. If you’re after a leather jacket, there is a huge array of styles, and I must have tried on at least 54. And if I’d found one that was completely flattering and a bargain to boot I would have been more onboard.
Designer discount shopping in Florence, Italy
The truth is that when it comes to overpriced shopping in Florence, I’d rather go designer. But what I really like is underpriced designer, and when it comes to designer discount shopping in Florence, this famed Italian city of culture and art excels. So after Mark and I wandered through most of the gazillion leather shops in the small streets of central Florence, with a number of breaks for pizza, Chianti and gelato, and he bought a nice (enough) jacket that wasn’t (too) overpriced, I convinced him that he’d like to visit The Mall, a designer outlet mall just outside Florence – a 30-minute drive away. Hey, it was on our way as we were driving back to Umbria anyway.
The Mall Outlet Centre in Florence has Prada, Gucci and Roberto Cavalli, to name a few. When it comes to Italian designer discount shopping what more can you ask for?
How about Burberry, Balenciaga, Emilio Pucci, Ermanno Scervino, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Stella McCartney and Salvatore Ferregamo and Valentino? As far as luxury outlet malls go, this has to be the motherland.
Shopping in Florence – an excellent haul
At The Mall outside Florence I liberated a Gucci purse from languishing in a designer discount store for less than $200! And then, because my heart was filled with so much joy at finding a Gucci bag a good home, I liberated a second one for less than $300!
And then, not because I was trying to liberate a Gucci watch, but because my 10-year old Gucci watch was stolen in Rome (except I found it at the bottom of my suitcase when I got home) and it’s important to know the time, I got a new Gucci watch – for less than I paid 10 years ago.
I wanted very much to also liberate a Burberry leather jacket for about $600, but Mark was going slightly green in the face and I had to think about how much I could bring across the border and how much Mark could carry across the border for me, and finally I had to get back in the car. So eventually my shopping at The Mall in Florence time came to an end – even though I hadn’t even started on Balenciaga.
The moral of the designer discount in Florence shopping story
The moral of the story is that shopping in Florence is be productive for everyone, whether you prefer boutique shopping or designer deals. And if you need to buy a new suitcase to hold your new bounty, rest assured, you can buy that in Florence, too.
Essential travel tips for shopping at the luxury discount Mall in Florence
Where is The Mall Outlet Centre in Florence? It’s 30 minutes outside the city in the Tuscan hills at Via Europa 8, 50066 Leccio Reggello, Florence, Italy.
How to get to The Mall Outlet Centre from Florence by public transportation: There is a daily bus to The Mall Outlet Centre from the centre of Florence with departures at least hourly, and usually half hourly, between 8:50 a.m. to 6 p.m. Bus leaves from the BUSITALIA/SITA depot at Via Santa Caterina da Siena 17, Florence, not far from the central train station. One-way ticket cost: 5.00€.
How to get back to central Florence from The Mall Outlet Centre in Florence: Buses run from 9:45 a.m. to 7:20 p.m.
How to get to The Mall Outlet Centre from Florence by car: Take the A1 motorway in the direction of Rome. Exit at “Incisa-Reggello” and continue to the right towards Pontassieve until Leccio. The Mall Outlet Centre is on the left just after Leccio.
Read more about travel to Italy: about the Top Cities to Visit in Italy
Read more about the best places to visit in Europe: Top Destinations in Europe