Whilst I was planning for this trip, I found out that there are couple of outlet malls near Florence. I wanted to find some gifts for our parents and a nice suit for hubby. The two outlet malls near Florence are:
- Prada Space/Outlet – This place is a giant Prada/Miu miu shop. It takes about an hour to get there from Florence by train to Montevarchi then a short taxi ride to the outlet.
- The Mall – This is an outlet mall complex with popular brands like Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Lanvin, YSL, Tom Ford, Ferragamo, Versace, Valentino, etc. This is where we decided to go to.
How to get to The Mall
The easiest way get there is to hop on the direct bus, leaving from BUSITALIA/SITA depot (Via Santa Caterina da Siena 17, Florence, which is located right next to the Santa Maria Novella Station) and drops you of at the bus stop right in the middle of the outlet mall complex.
One-way ticket cost: 7.00€.
Round trip ticket cost: 13.00 €.
After 50 minutes of bus ride we arrived at The Mall. We decided to go to Prada first, and noticed that people started to line up. You get given a ticket as you enter Prada and this is important as the items that you want to buy will be added on to your ticket number. This allows you to buy (and reserve) as many items as you want, without having to carry them around whilst shopping in Prada. This system also prevents people running around and hogging onto multiple items.
I’m not sure whether it is true, but I read it somewhere that Saturdays are often good days to visit as they have new stocks shipped in. We went on a Saturday morning and found that the selections were quite impressive! Just considering bags in Prada/Miu miu – there were plenty of options in terms of various colours, materials and styles…with a price that is a fraction of it’s original tag. Even Saffiano bags/wallets, which I’ve heard that they are hard to come by at the outlet malls, were available in different colours, style and sizes (however limited for one bag purchase per person).
Another store definitely worth visiting at The Mall is Gucci. The store is massive with both men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, bags, and accessories with great marked down prices. To this date, my husband talks about this scarf that we couldn’t purchase as our Australian credit card decided to not work all of sudden on that day…
Limited by our budget, we did look around at other stores but ended up spending only about 4 hours at The Mall. I’m sure if we had an endless budget we could have easily spent the whole day and shopped our hearts out!
There is a Global tax refund place located in The Mall. Remember to bring your Passport.
We were that much poorer by the end of the day but I was very happy with all of our purchases on that day. Is it worth the 50-minute bus ride? I think so! I’m sure you will find way too many great finds to spend money on. Just make sure you bring a credit card and back up credit cards!!