|Posted by Dovile
Date: 13th September 2010
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Location: Start in Milano
Outlet shopping in Italy in combination with holidays
When going to Italy, despite of friendly atmosphere and fantastic foods many of us are also thinking about the stylish shopping. When your target is not only to renew your wardrobe, but also do it at affordable prices, head straight to the specialty of Italy – designer outlets. Our aim was to combine both into one week: sightseeing, relaxing and outlets. Have a look at our route and might be It will serve you some ideas for the next holiday/shopping Italy tour.
The very first step to do is to go there on the “right” time. For us this time was sales period, when even the outlets have 50-75% discounts on the “discount prices”. Sales periods are the same as in the shops in most of the countries: after New Year Winter season sale and mid July Summer season sale. The exact dates when they are starting you can simply check on the net.
Our choice was to go for Winter sale and to combine it with winter holidays. This influenced some special atmosphere also, as it was absolutely not a holiday season for Italy and we could enjoy “fancy” places at affordable rates We arrived to Milano, where we got our rented car. As outlets are usually in the middle of nowhere, having car is really a must. You also need a place for all the purchase, right? The first overnight stay we arranged next to the Vicolungo outlet www.vicolungooutlets.com. It gave an impression to be medium level outlet, hosting about 130 shops. In general this outlet is interesting for those looking for medium level brands as United Colors of Benetton and similar. Honestly, we would not go there next time, as selection of the shops they have was not something special.
Having not enough, our next stop was the biggest outlet in Europe – Seravalle www.mcarthurglen.it/serravalle. That is heaven for the true shopper! 180 shops, several restaurants and even TNT office from where you can send your purchase back home if you think there might be troubles with overweight. There we found all the brands we were looking for and they had real nice offers in the shops.
Even Outlets are open 352 days per year, we found out that it is still important to choose the right day in order to have most comfort. If you have a possibility, do not go there on Sundays. As this is the time when most local people are coming. Therefore at the shops of most popular brands, you might have to stand in the line for getting in. That is little fun, when all you want to do is SHOPPPING. Seravalle outlet we definitely loved, even it was slightly too big to check out each shop, but is that a problem? The general tip when you go to an outlet village, as the ones mentioned here, plan a full day for it. This is really what you need for comfortable shopping.
After the 2 full shopping day, it is time to have some rest and we headed towards a fantastic town Santa Margarita. It is a posh holidays place during summer and a cozy fishermen’s type village in winter. Being on low season we could afford a superb hotel called Regina Elena Dependance, having balconies with sea views. I doubt if that could be a case in summer…. It is very convenient to visit legendary Portofino, when you stay in Santa Margarita. That was what we did the very next day. I do believe that Portofino has much more special atmosphere in summer, as now it looked a bit pale and sleepy. Nevertheless, following the rules, we had our most expensive coffee throughout the entire trip. There were no trouble at all to park and we did it in the paid underground parking. From what I read on the net, this again is a completely different story in summer, as all the parking’s are crowded.
Our next destination in the holiday’s part was national parque Cinque Terre. A must see in Italy! By the way, very convenient and easy to travel in winter. You can read as much as you with about Cinque Terre on the internet, so I will only mention that this it is combined of five seaside villages, connected by a train or walking paths. For our stay we have chosen Riomagiorre, from what we understood, the easiest to be reached by car. Attention! Be prepared that not all the hotels and restaurants are open on the low season. Another important moment is that you have to park at the beginning of the village and then go down by feet to the hotel. Think about it when taking belongings from your car. The owner of B&B took our things up by car when we were leaving. It definitely saved lots of our power !
Following our holiday route next destination was Florence. No need for further comments On the way we made some short stops in the pictures small towns of Tuscany. You can find their names in any travel guide and choose the ones you like.
Besides of an unforgettable sightseeing, Florence has a lot to offer for shopping freaks. Starting with open air shopping and going up to all the famous Italian brands. Florence would not be really visited without eating a Florentine steak. Prepared to finalize our travel with one more good shopping, on the way we had a plan to visit Modena and Parma. Places well known for their gourmet specialties.
Nice experience was our overnight stay near Parma in the Lamborghini hotel. Yes, you well understood, the interior of the hotel was designed by the famous car designer. This hotel is outside Parma near the fair place. So, if no fair is going on at the particular time, you get a design room for a fair price. Much better deal than staying in Parma itself.
And the last, but definitely not the least outlet Fidenza www.fidenzavillage.com. Not too big, not too small. We felt cozy there, it was not too crowded and had nearly all our favorite brands. Besides of the shops, a must to visit there is cafe Obika, serving buffalo mozzarellas. You will love it!
That was the last point in our holiday/shopping trip. If you want to have more shopping and less holidays, here are some links that might be useful.