If you love shopping and would like to treat yourself/friend/family while travelling in Italy, Florence is the place to go!
There are 2 luxury brand outlets near Florence (both about an hour away from Florence) called SPACE and The Mall.
These are probably one of the best outlets I’ve been to (compared to the ones in Asia, North America, and in Europe).
You can buy Italian luxury brands like Gucci, Ferragamo, Prada, etc. for prices that are 50% or more cheaper than it would be in other parts of the world.
On top of that, if you are a non-EU resident, you can get a tax refund if you spend more than 155 EUR at a store. The refund amount is usually about 12% of your purchase – but it depends on the brand and the type of product you are buying, so you can ask the sales person at each store for the tax refund percentage).
I did a comparison/summary of the two outlets below..
1) The Mall
- Address: Via Europa 8, 50066 Leccio Reggello (FI)
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 10:00 – 19:00 (During the months of June, July and August, THE MALL will be open from 10:00 – 20:00). For closures and special hours, click here.
- Brands at The Mall:
For a full list of the brands at The Mall, please click here. But please note that the website does not show brands like Prada (the shopping process at the Prada outlet works similarly to how it works at SPACE – please see below for details on the number ticket process) and Diesel, which is also at The Mall, but in a separate/detached building from rest of The Mall stores.
- How to get to The Mall using public transportation (you can also rent a car to get to The Mall)
- By bus: The buses to The Mall are operated by a bus company called ‘SITA.’ There is a SITA bus station near the Firenze S.M.N. train station (address of the bus station: BUSITALIA/SITA depot – Via Santa Caterina da Siena 17, Florence). Click here for the map with location of the station. The trip takes about 50 minutes one way and costs 5 EUR for one way trip (best to purchase a round trip ticket if you will only be going to The Mall and coming back to Florence, instead of going to the Prada outlet below). The bus runs every 30 minutes. For details of the bus schedule, click here. The buses get sold out easily, so best to go ahead of time to buy tickets for the bus time you want.
- By train: From Firenze S.M.N train station, take the train to Rignano Sull’Arno station. Train ride is 2.50EUR one way. Once you get to Rignano Sull’Arno station, you have to call a taxi (note: there are not very many taxis at the station and there are no payphones around the station. So you will have to use your own phone to call a taxi). Taxi ride from the train station to The Mall is about 5 minutes.
- Bus vs. Train? I recommend taking the bus as it is more convenient and takes you directly to the Mall, as opposed to taking the train then taxi.
- Global blue tax refund office: If you will be leaving the EU within 21 days from your date of purchase at the Mall, then you can obtain your tax refund directly from the Global blue tax refund office at The Mall. Please make sure to bring your passport to process the tax refund.
- Address: LOC. LEVANELLA, S.S. 69, 52025 Montevarchi
- Brands at the outlet: Prada and Miu Miu (they carry both mens and womens products)
- Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 10:30am to 7:30pm; Saturday: 9:30am to 7:30pm; Sunday: 10:30am to 7:30pm
- How to get to SAPCE using public transportation (you can also rent a car to get to SPACE):
- By Train: Take the train from Firenze S.M.N. station to Montevarchi station (5.80EUR one way). Once you get to Montevarchi station, you will see lots of vans with the “SPACE” sign. You can share the van with other people that are going to SPACE – the cost per person if 4 people are sharing 1 car/van will be around 3 EUR/person.
- By Car:
- How the number ticket process works: When you get to the SPACE, they will give you a ticket with a number. This is the number you need to use for purchasing items at SPACE. Once inside SPACE, when you find an item you like, you show your number to the sales person and the sales person will save that item under your number. When you are done shopping and ready to pay, you take your number to the check out desk and they will bring all of the items under your number. Usually, people line up before the opening time, so it is best to go early to increase your chances of getting the item you want as the popular items will be available in limited quantities.
- Tax refund: they don’t have a global blue tax refund office at SPACE. To get the tax refund, you will have to go to a tax refund desk at the airport of your last EU destination. But you will still need to bring your passport to SPACE to process the tax refund.
FAQs (based on what I was wondering before I went to these outlets – but hopefully, these will be helpful for you too!):
1. I only have limited amount of time in Florence, but want to go shopping – is it best to go to The Mall or SPACE?
>> If you know you want to buy something from Prada or Miu Miu, then it’s best to go to SPACE as they have more products in stock than the Prada outlet at The Mall. However, if Prada is not the main brand you want to shop for, then it would be best to go to The Mall as The Mall has Prada (although the selection is not as big as SPACE) + other brands. Also, it’s best to go when they open for better selection of products.
2. If I want to go to both The Mall and SPACE, what is the best way to get from one outlet to the other?
>> There are lots of taxi companies that operate between the two malls. So you can call a taxi for pick-up.
From SPACE, there are lots of people who will also be going to The Mall. So you can make new friends and share the ride to The Mall :)
Also, if you will be going to both of these outlets, I recommend extending your stay in Florence for an additional day as this shopping day will take a full day, including the transportation time.
3. What are the prices like at these outlets?
>> At the SPACE, women’s leather purses start around 550 EUR (non-leather purses are cheaper), women’s leather wallets are around 250 EUR, men’s leather wallets are around 150 EUR (prices vary depending on the style and material). Prada prices at the SPACE vs. The Mall are the same, but the product availability/range varies.
>> At the Mall, non-leather Gucci purses start around 250 EUR, Gucci men’s wallets are around 120EUR, Ferragamo shoes around 160 EUR, and Burburry trench coats start from around 550 EUR.
>> The above are example prices and the actual price ranges depending on the style and material