Looking for Gucci, Prada, Versace, Valentino designer outlets in and near Milan, Italy,

Whether you’re looking for Gucci, Prada, or Versace, when it comes to designer outlets, there are so many to choose from.

Shopping Tours

Outlet Shopping More Dash than Cash

Author Roberta Kedzierski let’s us in on a few of her favorite secret outlet shopping spots near Milan…

When it comes to designer outlets, everyone has their favourites, I guess, where they find the things they like at a price they like. Some people swear by Viale Papiniano market on a Saturday but I hate that kind of crowd scene and, to be honest, have never found the stalls in question. I am told they are at the Sant’Agostino end. If nothing else, the metro station is right there (Sant’Agostino, in case you needed telling) and so one could swoop in and out again.

My favourite outlet in Milan is Salvagente, which means “life-saver” in Italian, and is at 16, Via Bronzetti (tel: 02 76110328,www.salvagentemilano.it). As well as offerings from Prada, Armani, Alberta Ferretti and other top names, there are keenly-priced boutique-level clothes, including trousers, skirts, dresses, and sweaters. Also handbags, shoes, belts, and scarves. A small men’s department too. The end-of-season sales (end December and early-July) are great: 20% or 30% discount rising to 50% or 60% off until everything is cleared. You can spend the equivalent of $50 and come out with three or four items. To get there, take the 60 bus. This links the Duomo with the central Station, and vice-versa of course. Get off in Via Bronzetti at the stop nearest the corner with Via Archimede. Finding the place can pose a bit of a challenge. If you are coming from the direction of the station, just after the bus-shelter, and before you reach the hairdressers, you will see a green iron gate with a bronze sign on it that says (surprise, surprise) Salvagente. This tells you that the place is open 10.00-12.30, and then 15.00-19.00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, you can shop right the way through from 10.00 to 19.00. As with many stores in Italy, Salvagente is closed Sunday and Monday morning. Note that they take cash only. Don’t despair, there is an ATM at the bank after the aforementioned hairdressers, on the corner with Via Archimede.

Although I have never been to the Prada outlet at Montevarchi (tel: 055 91901; www.prada.it), I have been toThe Mall which is in the same neck of the woods. Some 35 km from both Florence and Arezzo, The Mall is at Reggello and features Gucci, Loro Piana, Sergio Rossi, Armani, and Bottega Veneta. Open 10.00 to 19.00, Mon-Sat; also Sundays in summer. By car, just take the A1 southbound from Florence, turn off at Incisa, and then head for Leccio on the road to Pontassieve. Alternatively there’s a shuttle bus service from Florence. For details, call 055 8657775, fax: 055 8657801.

I recently picked up La Guida agli Spacci by one Marina Martorana. Published by Sperling paperback, and available in Italian only, this is the third annual edition and costs 9.80 euro. It’s not by any means great. Listings are by region. So, for example, you have to know that the Prada outlet is in Tuscany. But then, it is listed not under “abbigliamento” (apparel) but under “pelletteria” (leather goods). Worse, not under the P-word, but as IPI. Which is great if you know that the company’s other name is I Pellettieri d’Italia. But otherwise?

Scalo Milano Outlet & More

Just 15 minutes from downtown Milan, at Scalo Milano you can save up to 70% on fashion and design brands. The “I Visit” Card will give you access to additional savings as well as special events and private sales invitations. FREE shuttle buses reach Scalo Milano Outlet & More from P.zza Della Repubblica, 3 corner Via Turati (newsstand) and P.ta Romana M3, every day, with 3 daily departures. Free shuttle bus/ S13 metro.

If there is a good printed guide to designer outlets, I have not found one, in either Italian or English. There has undoubtedly been a boom of this kind of store — until a few years ago, Salvagente used to have the market more or less to itself — and, let’s put it this way, some outlets are more interesting than others. So many listings feature every place that offers cut-price clothing. One risks wasting time on something that is not worthwhile, the more so that many of the outlets are off the beaten track. What’s needed is something that offers an impartial assessment of strengths and weaknesses. A place may be worth going twelve stops on the metro to. We just need to know.

Article: Roberta Kedzierski

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