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Tuscany is known for its leather goods and crystal, terra cotta and lace, but few realize that it is also home to Prada, Gucci, Armani, Fendi, and other factory outlets.
Italian factory outlets, the MonteVarchi and Incisa Spacci are like none you have seen before. With Gucci, Armani, Bottega Veneto, Prada, Fendi and Dolce & Gabbana heading the lists, these stores offer the real thing at ridiculous discounts along with a suitably designer environment and good service.
Whether you like bargains or souvenirs, art or antiques, these guides will help you avoid the run of the mill. With discounts often exceeding 50% of retail, a day in the shops could pay for your whole tripHow can so many Italians afford to be dressed always in Prada and Gucci? Simple.
1) They only have a few outfits which they wear often, and...
2) They own a little book called Lo Scoprioccassioni (Italian language version) or designer bargains in Italy. One of the best kept secrets in Italy, this book is a road map to the best shopping treasures in Italy, North and South, and is available in all major book stores through out Italy In English or Bilingual editions.
‘Lo Scopri Occasioni’
Published by Editoriale Shopping Italaia S.R.L.
Casella Postale 263 - 20120 Milano (MI)
Tel: 02 706 34605 - Fax: 02 706 38088
Out let shopping is hit and miss. You could luck out big time, you might not find a thing to buy, you might find some thing you'd never thought of. Nothing is certain. Even the staff at the out let cannot be sure from day to day what stock they will have.
Sending this type of merchandise abroad would breach all trade agreements and undercut the flagship stores. If you want out let prices, you must make the effort to go to the out let.
Yes, they will also know all international sizing.
The closest airports to the Prada and Gucci out lets are, in order; Florence, Pisa, Rome.
Getting around by public transport is possible but not optimum. Take a train from Florence or Arezzo to Montevarchi. From there take a taxi to the out lets. You may want to ask it to wait for you whilst you shop or arrange for the same taxi to return for you at a fixed time as the outlets are all in quite remote areas.
We can help you with car hire, click here for more information http://www.intuscany.net/guides/car_rental.htm
The outlets are so close to Florence that it is best to stay in town. After all you will need a chic restaurant to wear your new gear to that evening.
For accommodation in Florence we suggest Antica Torre Tournabuoni 1: http://www.intuscany.net/hotels/tornabuoni.htm. Right on via Tournabuoni you can check out the retail stores for what’s current and hot before hitting the out lets. The manager there can also arrange a chauffeur driven car to take you there and bring you back. The out lets are about 30 minutes from Florence by car or taxi.
During sale periods (Early January and early July onwards) the bargains in the stores are almost as good as in the out lets. The out lets never have sales.
We have visited very good outlets near Como lake (Armani, Fendi, Iceberg) and Lago Maggiore (mainly pottery, china and kitchenware) and in Legnano (mainly shoes, Fratelli Rosetti etc.). As we haven’t been there recently, we cannot give reliable first hand information. The best idea is to buy Lo Scoprioccasione for addresses and contact numbers.