There are so many things to love about Florence: the food, the art and, ohhh yes, the shopping. As a matter of fact Florence is the birthplace of Italian fashion and couture. In the 1950’s it was the place where all the big Italian fashion houses showed their collections. It wasn't until the 1970’s Milan established itself as the capital or ready-to-wear.
For those who love to shop, there is no shortage of wonderful stores run by true artisans. With the euro back on our side, it's hard not overindulge. If you're looking for the most well known sale in the entire region, then you are going to have to head to the Prada Outlet. It's about a 40-minute train ride from the center of Florence and then a 10 euro cab ride to the designer's factory and outlet. (Make sure to get your taxi driver's card so that you can call him to pick you up once your done shopping.)
Before you walk in, take a number. This number will become your identity as you shop the store and have items kept at the register for you.
This isn't just any ordinary outlet. Space, as it is called, is huge and looks very much like a Prada store with lots of mirrors and "Prada green" walls. Men's and women's collections are divided; men to the left, women to the right. The store contains almost every item category sold at a designer store like, bags, jewelry, leather goods, nylon bags and accessories, clothing and shoes.
All items are discounted different amounts but the sections devoted to "Special Sale," are the best deals. Among the bags was a floral patent doctor bag reduced all the way to €805. The retail was close to $2000. A basic red leather clutch was €208 and most wallets were priced between €250 and €350. A red leather vault bag was €590.
Moving on to shoes, basic pumps raging in color from silver to patent pink were €215 and casual red line high boots were €280. This time around the women's department didn't have a huge selection of Special Sale shoes but the men's section had an abundance of sneakers for €75 to €150. (More pictures are right this way.)
In the clothing department there were lots of items designated "Special Sale," which are essentially samples. We found several skirts priced for €50 and dresses ranging from €50 to €300 with retail values going from $600 to $2500. Unfortunately, there were no more winter coats for women but there were a lot for men. Instead there were lighter weight jackets in a rainbow of colors.
Outside he "Special Sale" selection, prices were 30% to 80% higher. Seems like shoppers would do better just purchasing clothing at the boutique during sale season. Click here to see lots of pictures from our shopping trip.
As with any outlet, Prada's Space can be hit or miss, boon or bust. Just be sure to pack an additional bag to carry your purchases on the way home.
Mad-Spy Hotel Recommendations
Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, Firenze
Phone:055 264 5181
Portrait Firenze (The Ferragamo Hotel)
Lungarno degli Acciaiuoli
Phone: 055 2726 8000
For more information contact: Steele Travel