Luxury Outlet Mall may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you visit Tuscany, however with an education in fashion design and a love of shopping, how could I resist?
I first came across The Mall a few years ago, it's located in Leccio (about 40 minutes outside Florence). At that time it was truly an outlet of luxury brands - you had to dig through a lot to find what you were looking for but when you did it really was a fantastic deal! Since then, the popularity has soared and some of the stores aren't as much an outlet as a location to sell last season's items at a slight discount. But don't let that detour you, I was still able to find some really great deals!
You can find all the high-end brands you might expect: Prada, Gucci, Balenciaga, Valentino, Dior. You will also find other brands not necessarily on the list of shops but have presence within walking distance: Diesel, Officine Creative, and many more.
It's a beautiful place to walk around even if you are just window shopping. The grounds are uber manicured and you're surrounded by Tuscan hills. You can grab a bite at the Dot Com Cafe or the Gucci Caffe, both truly have delicious food, great views and you can even grab a glass of wine or cocktail (also great place for significant others to rest while you finish up shopping!).
You can easily purchase round trip bus tickets from Florence. Buses run at least every hour and The Mall is open Sunday - Saturday. If you're staying in Tuscany and have a car, it is also very easy to navigate to.
If you want to experience a designer shopping experience that's just off the beaten path, I highly recommend!
Story by Dionne Foote