Bargains and quality can co-exist in the
country of Italy. Factory outlets and stock houses scattered all
over the country have made possible the emergence of a true shopping
paradise. Shopping centres are being developed at a much faster
pace since the permit process has been eased for shops smaller than
250 square meters although local authorisation is required for building
of stores between 250 and 2,500 square meters.
One of the biggest shopping centres in Italy
is the I Gigli in Florence which is a hypermarket with 120 shops,
a mobile market, restaurants, a bank, a post office and a nursery
for children among its many features. Ample parking is available as
it can accommodate 6,000 cars although it can be reached by public
transportation. Another is the Shopville Le Gru in Turin, a shopping
centre that started out with tenants that were mostly local traders
but have now become a top-ranking location of international retail
chains making their mark in Italy.
Via Veneto, one of Rome's major shopping streets.
is a shop that offers a vast selection of CDs, and DVDs. Upim is
a branch of one of the country’s large department stores offering
clothing for all the members of the family at incredible low prices.
Panorama is perfect for those who want to do some serious shopping.
Coin offers a whole range of quality items from fashion to home
products. Centro Commerciale Esselunga has a laundry shop, flower
shop, sports shop, shoe shop, bank, pharmacy, travel agency and
post office aside from its well stocked supermarket. Cinecitta Due
was the first big shopping mall to operate in Rome. The I Portici
shopping centre is located in an industrial site transformed into
a convenient place for shopping, attending conferences and visiting
exhibitions. Centro Torri was the first shopping centre in Parma
that became popular because of its competitive prices and high-standard
shops. Sposa 2000 is a shop that carries everything needed by brides.
Other noteworthy shopping centres are the Auchan dei Laghi in Milan,
La Grande Mela in Verona, Orio centre in Bergamo, Auchan in Ban,
Meraville in Bologna, Valecentre in Venice, Le Piramidi in Vicenza
and the Citta Fiera in Udine. Most Italian shopping centres are
small compared to those of its neighbours in North America and Europe.
This has caught the eye of foreign retail real estate developers
and investors who are now deep into development in partnership with
Fashion is one of the biggest things when shopping
in Italy. Its so-called streets of fashion in Milan, Naples, Venice,
Florence and Rome continue to attract scores of clients that are
into originality and quality. There are traditional shopping districts
in these areas where designer boutiques are conveniently located
in one exclusive area. Designer outlets deal with one particular
brand or designer. Bargain shopping from these factory outlets may
consist of buying end of season pieces of that brand only.
A good alternative to shopping is the stock
houses. Stock houses sell an enormous range of brand name merchandise
from previous seasons or acquisition from boutiques that have closed
down. One possible downside is that these stock houses tend to be
scattered throughout a city and are located considerably far from
each other. There are some though, that can be found in traditional
shopping districts. This is especially true in Milan.
Rows and rows of fine boutiques of every kind
line the ancient streets of Venice. Big name labels have found a
fitting home in this place. Naples certainly has its own share of
big names in fashion. However, the most delightful finds are those
that are made in Naples and can be found in shops that are usually
operated by its owners. Florence’s finest boutiques can be
found along the Via dei Tornabuoni highlighted with the presence
of two of its famous sons, Ferragamo and Gucci. There are three
key streets housing Roman fashion and these are Via dei Condotti,
Via Borgognona and Via Frattina. It is in Rome where the oldest
dressmaking workshop — that of Sorelle Fontana is located.
Online shopping is quite new in Italy. There are
existing Italian shopping sites offering various products such as
baby products, household paints, speakers, books, computers and
accessories, ceramics, wines and foods, supermarket items, frescoes,
lingerie, appliances and electronics, mozzarella, CDs, DVDs, olive
oils, house wares, souvenirs and of course, clothes.