Making Our Way to The Mall
Today was pretty uneventful as we dedicated the whole of today to retail therapy at the outlet mall. There are several outlet malls in Italy. However, the one that was highly recommended by my friends who have been to Italy is located near Florence. I searched online and found The Mall Firenze houses major luxury brands such as Burberry, Ferragamo and Versace, among a list of luxury brands. However, not part of The Mall Firenze, other brands like Prada and Gucci are located within a few minutes, a walk from The Mall Firenze. There are direct bus services connecting Florence to The Mall Firenze. Tickets can be booked on the official website of The Mall Firenze (accessible here). The direct bus service to The Mall Firenze is located slightly outside the city, next to Firenze Santa Maria Novella Station. As we wanted to maximise our time in the outlet mall, we booked the first bus (8.50 am) to The Mall Firenze and the last bus back (7.20 pm). We headed to the bus terminal after breakfast at the hotel. As we left slightly later than planned, we almost missed the bus. Fortunately, we made it in time for our bus to The Mall. The bus ride to The Mall Firenze took about 50 mins.
And the Shopping Begins
We arrived at The Mall Firenze just before the shops opened for business. I thought taking the first bus was a good idea as there weren’t many people taking the bus nor would there be a crowd in the shops. We did a scan for the shops and their locations upon reaching The Mall and came out with a shopping plan. We would visit the shops further away from The Mall, followed by those within The premises of The Mall. Shops in The Mall Firenze open at 10 am. We visited Prada and CK and found some excellent bargains. By lunchtime, we had visited about 50% of the shops. Generally, we were pretty disappointed with the goods on sale in the shops. We found that most shops, such as Balenciaga and Ferragamo, have a very small shopfront. Consequently, the goods on sale were very limited. Some brands occupy larger retail space, such as Burberry and Gucci. However, we did not find anything worth purchasing at Burberry, while Gucci sells mostly full-price items. There is only one cafeteria at The Mall selling food. However, the
Foreign shoppers outside the EU can obtain early tax refunds of up to €999.50 from the Tax-Free Lounge at The Mall. We wanted to eliminate unnecessary wait at the airport when we left Italy and went to the Tax-Free Lounge to obtain an early Tax refund. The process was straightforward. All of us got our early tax refund within 20 mins. After sorting out our tax refund, we decided to check out Versace, located below the Tax-Free Lounge and outside the bus pick-up point. We managed to get some good deals on Versace. After Versace, we took the 7.20 pm bus, headed back to Florence, and had dinner at a Chinese restaurant opposite our hotel. Afterwhich we rested early today as we would be visiting Pisa the next day.