Italy is one of the best places in the world for shopping, particularly for designer goods. But what if you can’t afford — or don’t want to pay — retail prices?
If you are visiting in January or July, you can take advantage of the twice-yearly saldi (sales). Many stores slash their prices as much as 50% at the beginning of the saldi to make way for new merchandise. The discounts continue for about a month, getting better as time goes on. Of course, the best stuff goes fast.
For the rest of the year, consider visiting Italy’s designer outlets or factory stores. Italy has outlet malls on the outskirts of most of its big cities. These outlets and factory stores offer year-round discounts on the latest styles. But they also participate in the twice-yearly saldi. So, if you time your visit right, you could see substantial discounts on clothing and accessories from big-name Italian and international designers.
Below is a constantly evolving list of factory stores and outlet malls in Italy. Most of these outlets offer shuttle bus services, making it easy to fit in a shopping excursion during your Italy visit. Many, if not most, also offer the possibility of arranging a private transfer or booking outlet visits for groups.
Top Shopping Tours in Italy
- Florence 3-Hour Private “Made in Florence” Shopping Tour. Shop for local artisan goods without leaving Florence.
- Castel Romano Outlet Shopping Tour. A full-day outing to one of the best designer outlets near Rome.
- Milan Franciacorta Wine Tasting and Shopping Tour. This shopping trip from Milan stops for a short vineyard tour on the way.
Outlets Near Florence and Bologna
Barberino Outlet, by the McArthur Glen Group, has a variety of Italian and international stores, including A. Testoni, Aniye By, Adidas, Furla, Gap, Gallo, Geox, Les Copains, Polo Ralph Lauren, Vans, and more. A shuttle bus is available from the Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence.
The Mall Luxury Outlets offers, as the name implies, one of the more luxurious outlet experiences in Italy. Here you can find significant discounts on famous names like Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Chopard, Dolce & Gabbana, Emilio Pucci, Etro, Givenchy, Gucci, Valentino, and Versace. The Mall’s Shuttle Service must be reserved, but it will pick you up at your hotel in Florence. Ask your concierge for assistance.
Space, in Montevarchi near Arezzo (Tuscany), is dedicated to selling last season’s clothing, shoes, and accessories from Prada and Miu Miu.
Outlets Near Rome
Castel Romano is another McArthur Glen-owned property featuring designer looks at deep discounts. There are 150 stores here, including Camper, Coach, Ermenegildo Zegna, Gallo, Hugo Boss, Jimmy Choo, Karl Lagerfeld, and Moschino. Rome brands David Saddler and Valentino are also here. Castel Romano is in the area south of Rome known as the Castelli Romani and has a shuttle bus at Termini Station.
Valmontone Outlet, also south of Rome, is a 180-store outlet popular with Romans and Neapolitans as the shopping center is located on the A-1 about halfway between the two cities. Shoppers come here for brands such as the AS Roma Store, the Lazio Store, Empresa, Gattinoni, Sandro Ferrone, and Trussardi. Like most outlets, Valmontone has a shuttle. However, it is available only from Rome.
Outlet Shopping Near Venice
Noventa di Piave is the largest designer outlet mall near Venice. Among its 150 stores are Italian brands including Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Missoni, Valentino, and quite a few others. It also has 10 restaurants to help fuel you for a day of shopping.
Noventa di Piave Designer Outlet is about 30 minutes outside of Venice. There is a shuttle bus from several points in the Venice area (e.g., from Venice Mestre train station and from the airport). Public transportation by train and bus is also available.
Outlets Near Naples
In addition to the Valmontone Outlet, listed above, there is another outlet near Naples that is worth a visit.
La Reggia Designer Outlet is located approximately 30 minutes from downtown Naples. A McArthur Glen property, this outlet contains stores from brand names such as Armani, Furla, Karl Lagerfeld, Coccinelle, Frette, Gutteridge, L’Oreal, Luisa Spagnoli, Bialetti, Maje, Moschino, Michael Kors, Pinko, Roberto Cavalli, The Bridge, Twin Set, Versace, and more. A shuttle bus from Naples is available from four different points in the city, including the main train station (Napoli Centrale). There is also a shuttle pick-up in the town of Caserta.
Outlets in and Near Milan and Turin
McArthur Glen Serravalle was the first and is the largest all-in-one outlet mall accessible from Italy’s fashion capital of Milan. Seravalle Outlet has more than 300 designer brands under its roof, and you can find discounts on last season’s hottest styles from Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Fratelli Rossetti, La Perla, Bulgari, Nike, and more.
Franciacorta Outlet Village, also known as the Land of Fashion, is an elegantly designed shopping destination where you can find up to 70 percent discounts on items from Adidas, Nike, Puma, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Pinko, Boggi Milano, Romeo Gigli, Geox, K Way, and many more. In October 2018, the outlet village completed an expansion of 5,000 square meters, adding 30 new retail stores, a children’s play area, and a regional tourism information center.
Franciacorta Outlet Village is near a beautiful area, the wine region of Franciacorta, an itinerary in itself. If you’re just in the mood to shop shop shop, the mall offers a daily shopping shuttle, picking up from Largo Cairoli in Milan and departing Franciacorta in the evening at 6:30. Yet another shuttle, departing at 2 and returning in time to catch the Milan shuttle, takes guests on a local wine tour. What a great way to integrate some local history and culture into a shopping outing!
Vicolungo The Style Outlets house 150 stores in a pavilion 30 minutes outside of Milan in the Piemontese province of Novara. Brands here include favorite sportswear brands – Adidas, Puma, Vans – and other Italian favorites like Colmar, Intimissimi, Iceberg, Twin-Set, Liu Jo Uomo, and more. Armani Outlet and Missoni are also here.
Outlet Shopping in Italian-Speaking Switzerland
Head over the border to get tax-free deals in Switzerland.
FoxTown Factory Stores is an outlet center in a post-modern building 15km across the Swiss-Italian border. There are more than 140 top Italian and international brands, including 1a Classe, Coach, Coccinelle, Dolce & Gabbana, Furla, Gucci, Jil Sander, La Perla, Maje, Michael Kors, Missoni, Prada, Superga, Valentino, and Zadig & Voltaire.
One way to reach FoxTown is by train, as the outlet offers discounts to participating stores through its Green Pass initiative. This being Switzerland, the train is punctual and accessible, being only a two-minute walk from the Mendrisio San Martino stop. The train takes about 1.5 hours from Milano Centrale (with at least one stop) or about 30 minutes from Varese.
FoxTown Factory Stores are 50km by car from Milano on the Milano-Lugano highway. There is also a round-trip shopping tour from Milan available from Zani Viaggi.
Note that if you plan to visit Switzerland, you will need to secure your Swiss visa beforehand. If you’re not sure whether you need a visa for Switzerland (European and U.S. citizens don’t), read this resource on Schengen visas.
Outlet Shopping in Sicily
Sicilia Outlet Village, a centrally-located outlet mall near the city of Enna, has more than 140 stores selling name-brand clothing, accessories, and other items at more than 70 percent off retail. Just about every Italian luxury clothing brand is represented here, including Dolce & Gabbana, Fay, Coccinelle, Frette, Gallo, Gucci, Prada, Versace, Tod’s, Roberto Cavalli, and Salvatore Ferragamo. International brands include Adidas, Vans, Coach, Timberland, and Jimmy Choo.
Sicilia Outlet Village is closer to Catania and Taormina than to Palermo. But there are daily shuttle buses from these and other cities.
Italy Shopping Resources
For a more updated list of where to shop, with detailed descriptions of outlets and boutiques, check out Suzy Gershman’s Born to Shop Italy.
There are a ton of websites for learning more about outlet shopping in Italy, from search/review sites to niche blogs. A helpful site is Factory Outlet Shopping Italy, which lets you search by region or brand.