Shopping in Italy

By Tatyana Kogut

Among the things you can buy in Italy there are: leather footwear, jackets and bags, designer clothes, knitted wear, millinery, china, crystal, jewellery and knick-knacks, souvenirs and old-fashioned frames

Advice on how to shop: -Shops selling manufactured goods are usually opened Monday – Saturday from 8 am till 8 pm, with a break from 1 pm to 3.30 pm. Each season is ended with sales periods. -The best place to buy elite clothes and footwear is Rome, with its famous Via del Corso shopping street, Gucci and Armani boutiques by the Spanish Steps and Valentino boutique on Via Condotti. Best leather jackets and coats are sold in Florence (not far from Santa Croce church). In addition to designer boutiques there are lots of fine stores found on Italian coast. Better not shop at flea markets since the quality of goods is much worse and you might be swindled. Italians do not usually cheat, but a foreigner should always be beware of shortchanging etc.

Tuscan wines are among the best in the world. The most popular is Chianti. Veneto is famous for its Cabernet. But the main Italian wine-making region is Lazio, renowned for its Frascati wine. If the label is marked with a DOCG sign, this means highest quality is guaranteed.

If you buy things in Europe Tax-free Shopping stores, you may be able to get some of your money back in the form of a VAT (value-added tax) refund (if the goods are new, of course).
The procedure is rather simple. When making a purchase ask shop assistant for a Tax-free Shopping Cheque. When leaving Italy you will have to go to Customs office in the airport, show the goods you buy, Tax-free cheque and a receipt from the shop. After that go to Tax-free Cash Refund office (usually situated in the airport Duty Free shops) and get your money in cash.

Sales season is called "Saldi" and lasts in Rome from the middle of July till the middle of September plus during the period from Christmas till the first week of March. This is the time when leader designers cut prices for their goods. Most cheap clothes are sold in shops under the less known brands; footwear and accessories are also on sale. Mind that each cut-price article should have a price label with its original price mentioned on it. Total sale, Liquidazioni, usually means the lowest prices. Other signboards like Vendite promozionali (promotional prices) and Sconti (discounts) are usually placed in a storefront just to attract buyers. Entrata libera signboard means “Just drop in”.

the city centre, where the quality of goods is also high, but the prices are lower. There are also shops selling last season’s “pret-a-porte” goods, sometimes even designer ones. Those are also cheap and nice.

Milan suburbs. One of the most famous Italian shopping centers is found in Serravalle Scrivia, 108 from Milan. Designer McArthurGlen is a huge outlet 32 thousand sq. meters big. The outlet is filled with about 150 shops selling last season’s designer clothes and accessories for cheap.
Rome. McArthurGlen outlet in Castel Romano is the second Italian largest outlet in Italy, and the thirteenth in Europe. They sell trendy clothes, underwear, accessories and what not.

You can go to Rome hotels reservation to book a room in Rome hotel. Milan hotels - Milan hotel reservation.

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