(If the first thing that comes to your mind is Versace, I really hope you pronounced it properly)
Italy is known as one of the most famous fashion hubs in the world, thanks to designers like Versace, Gucci, and Dolce and Gabbana. Although many of us dream about owning a designer piece, there are endless numbers of fabulous brands that can still help you achieve a classic Italian look that suits your budget. I always recommend trying stores that you can't find at home, whether it's Italian or other European brands that you're not quite familiar with. That way, every item you buy is so much more special, as it has that attachment to a memorable trip. You also want to have a general idea of where the good stores are, so that you can plan your trip a bit better.
If you're heading to major cities in Italy this year, here's where you gotta go:
Milan: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II The Galleria is one of the most iconic landmarks in Milan. Just steps away from the Duomo (Cathedral), this high-end shopping mall is absolutely worth seeing. Whether its window shopping at Versace, or a cappuccino at the Gucci Cafe, you NEED to experience this Galleria. Corso Vittorio Emanuele II is walking distance from the Galleria, and you'll find more budget friendly shops from Italy, and all over Europe.
Rome: Via Del Corso. This street is known as the go-to shopping strip in Rome. Just five minutes from the Spanish Steps, you'll find familiar stores such as Puma, Aldo, Mango, and Ralph Lauren. My best advice I can give, is to use the Spanish Steps and Via Del Corso as your guiding points, and explore the side streets in between. You'll find just about anything from high-end designers, to more affordable Italian, and American brands.
Florence: Via dei Calzaiuoli, Via Calimala Like many other places in Italy, the best way to find shopping in Florence is to explore side streets around the Duomo. Just steps away from the Duomo, you'll find Via dei Calzaiuoli, a fantastic shopping strip with a good mix of Italian high-end designers such as Luisa Spagnoli, to more affordable brands such as Tezenis. There are also American brands scattered throughout to make the shopping experience more tourist friendly. Via Calimala is more further out towards the Ponte Vecchio (the medieval stone bridge in Florence), and meets with Florence's leather market. On the strip, you'll find more familiar Italian brands like Geox, and American brands like Zara. NOTE: Be careful when shopping for real leather in the market, as some pieces may be sprayed with leather scents to have them mistaken as real.
Here are my recommendations for stores in Italy:
Tata Italia. If this place only shipped to Canada... I discovered this shoe store while I was in Siena, and I absolutely fell in love. What's fantastic about this brand is their comfort! It's not something you would expect for such a trendy brand, but I've purchased a pair of really CUTE sandals, heels, and slides from Tata, and they've saved my life! https://www.tataitalia.com
Bata. I would describe this place as a super trendy Aldo. They have seasonal accessories and outerwear, and on-trend footwear that'll fit your vibe. You'll find this store just about everywhere in Italy. https://www.bata.it
Cuoieria Fiorentina. One thing my aunts taught me is that if you go to Italy, you need to buy leather. This has now become a tradition of mine, and if there's one brand I can recommend for unique, and authentic Italian leather (that won't break the bank), it's this one. Cuoieria Fiorentina products are handcrafted in Tuscany, and have unique designs that scream "I bought this in Italy". I've purchased two wallets, and a bag from this brand, and they're some of my favourite pieces I own. https://www.cuoieriafiorentina.it
Alviero Martini 1A Classe. If you're looking for the perfect statement piece to add to your look, you have to check out this brand. The signature design of this brand is map print. You can find bags, shoes, and other accessories with a printed map of countries all over the world. This is a brand Italians love, and you'll notice tons of manufacturers trying to replicate the design in leather markets. I have a black and grey cross body bag with a map of Europe, and it's such a unique and special piece. https://www.alvieromartini.it/it/
OVS. I would describe this store as a next level H&M. They have very similar styles that you would find in an H&M back home, and they also have a wicked beauty section. You can find brands from Makeup Revolution, Essence, Shaka, and more. If it's an eye mask, highlighter, or jacket that you need, OVS has got it. https://www.ovsfashion.com/en
Bershka. This brand is found pretty much all over the world except Canada. It's a Spanish brand that does well for tourists in Italy because of its American feel. If you're looking for a good in between, Bershka is the way to go. https://www.bershka.com/us/women-c1010193132.html
Coin. Italy's main department store. Coin has everything from fashion, to skincare and more. If you're looking for a one-stop-shop for Italian and International brands, this is where you need to be. https://en.coin.it
Yamamay. This store is absolutely everywhere in Italy. The brand offers swimwear, lingerie, and sleepwear for men and women. They usually have reasonable sales as well, so you won't be able to miss it. https://www.yamamay.com/it_en/women/swimwear/
Wycon. It's becoming a trend now that every trip involves a stop at this store, and that's because it's my favourite cosmetic brand in Italy. I initially also found this store in Siena, while looking for an eyebrow product, and I left with a hell of a lot more. Their formulas are absolutely incredible for lipsticks, eyeshadow, eyeliners, and my favourite, mascara. Wycon always has crazy sales, and their prices are out of this world. https://www.wyconcosmetics.com
Kiko. Kiko is another popular cosmetic brand, and you can pretty much find them everywhere. I'm pretty sure I saw at least three in a ten minute walk through Rome. Kiko also has incredible sales, so you can always find last-minute gifts for your friends and family, or stock up for the rest of your trip. https://www.kikocosmetics.com
I hope you find this helpful, and you try some of these stores on your next trip to Italy! The travel bug is starting to kick in, so stay tuned for more similar posts!
Fa la brava,