Summary: Today top Italian brands are just a flight away, and exciting shopping is to be found in abundance throughout the country.
So where are the best shopping opportunities to be had in Italy? Read on to find out.
Florence was the fashion capital of Europe prior to the rise of Milan. Today it is still a great destination for those seeking out designer wear and stylish fashion. There is also a vast outdoor market around the streets of the San Lorenzo district every Thursday with plenty of bargains and bric-a-brac.
Head for the streets around the Santa Maria Novella district if you are looking for designer labels, and gorgeous leather goods can be found on the Ponte Vecchio or the nearby Mercato Nuovo. Near the Duomo there are a number of exquisite stationary shops, while Piazza della Repubblica is another smart label location. The Piazza Santo Spirito is ideal for vintage clothing and antiques.
Milan is recognised as a fashion city and, therefore, a shopping capital too. The centre to this wealth of designers is the magnificent Gallerie Vittorio Emanuele, an elegant old shopping arcade and a must for shopping aficionados. Louis Vuitton or Prada can be found here, along with plenty of small boutique stores, mini art galleries and great places to eat.
The popular fashion streets are the Via della Spiga and the Corso Vittorio Emanuele where you will pick up oodles of luxury brands and labelled items. The height of high street fashion is the Via Montenapoleone, which is where many of the most famous fashion houses base themselves. Milan is just a cheap flight away from many UK city airports so fashion enthusiasts can find their way to the city relatively easy.
Venice has lots of fashion and boutique shops to browse around but glassware is its speciality. The nearby island of Murano is packed with furnaces, glass blowers and cutters on display. Visitors to the city will find shops everywhere, exhibiting everything from expensive glass chandeliers to colourful glass wine stoppers on every street corner of Venice. This is a magical city that can be explored easily by foot due to the absence of road traffic.
You would be mad to miss out on shopping in Rome, with its vast arcades, wonderful variety of products, and great sights to see too. Fashionistas who choose to stay in the city should head for the Spanish Steps and the streets around the Via Condotti as this is where the big names gather like Valentino, Gucci, Prada and Armani.
The Via del Corso stretching between the Piazza Venezia and the Piazza del Popolo is scattered with brands like Ferrari, Benetton and Diesel. Bargains, while antiques can be found in the Trastevere district. The Via del Babuino is teeming with little shops, outdoor stalls and bijou stores selling almost anything a visitor could desire.
Italy is famous for its food and Verona excels in selling tasty morsels and delicious bottles of wine. The shops, markets and stores are full of spicy sausages, vast proscuitto hams, salami, great selections of Italian cheeses, peppery olive oil and almond flavoured pastries. There are also lots of fashion outlets, antique warehouses and fleamarkets but its wonderful array of food and wine shops make shopping in Verona a foodie’s delight.