Crowds of people shopping on Via Monte Napoleone Street, Milan (Photo: iStock)
From textiles to jewelry, shoes and fabrics to ornaments and designer wear - Italy arguably has the best shopping experiences on offer for the stylish traveller. We've got a round up of some of the best shopping destinations across this ancient land well-known for its pizzazz country - so much so that on the map its even shaped like a stylish boot, complete with a spur tip.
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Milan - Via Monte Napoleone
Milan oh Milan you seductress you. You temptress of luxury and the high life. Milan is one of the world’s top fashion capitals and walking around the streets, seeing the stylish locals sashay about is sure to leave you feeling inspired - and keen to do some shopping.
Well, you’re in luck, as you’re able to indulge in some of the finest luxury and premium shopping in the world at Via Monte Napoleone. Revered as being Europe’s most expensive street, it is the most important street in the Milan fashion district or Quadrilatero della moda, home to the most exclusive shoemakers, fashion designers and high-end boutiques on the planet.
From Alexander McQueen to Audemars Piguet, Giuseppe Zanotti to Valentino - Via Monte Napoleone has it all and more.
Venice - Mercerie
Situated between Rialto and San Marco is the most famous shopping street in Venice - le Mercerie. The main commercial artery of the city of Venice has been the core of commercial activity since the beginning of the Republic of Venice. It was the location of the market where goods, arriving from distant locations were sold.
Today it maintains its commercial culture with a coterie of various shops selling everything from jewellery to leather goods, footwear to costumes. Don’t miss out on a chance to enjoy the best in shopping in Venice at le Mercerie.
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Naples - Via Toledo
With over 1.2km of high street to explore, travellers on a shopping sojourn to the city of Naples are in luck as the ancient street of Via Toledo offers a plethora of great shopping experiences. Starting at Piazza Dante and ending near Piazza del Plebiscito, you’re sure to delight in shopping in one of the most vibrant cities in Italy. From department stores and boutiques to massive chain stores, the options on Via Toledo are as varied as the street is long.
Florence - Via Giovan Battista Zannoni
Florence, the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, yet another great, storied Italian city with iconic sons and daughters that have left a fine history for the intrepid explorer to enjoy.
With masterpieces of Renaissance-era art and architecture - you may find yourself distracted and unaware of the exuberant shopping experiences on offer. With prestigious leather shops, Via Giovan Battista Zannoni offers shoppers top quality. Check out Michelangelo’s Florentine Leather for the best, made-in-Italy, accessories, bags, jackets and more.
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Rome - Via Del Corso
If you find yourself in Rome and are seeking out an incredible shopping experience, you simply must head to the main street in the historical centre of Rome.
As Rome’s main thoroughfare, Via Del Corso cuts through the length of the city from Piazza Venezia in the south to the Piazza del Poplo in the North. With small piazzas, narrow meandering alleys and a host of designer, international and local brands, cafes and other shopping experiences available - Via Del Corso is the perfect place to enjoy an evening stroll or passeggiata in this iconic city.
Genoa - Via Garibaldi
Steeped in history and aflush with elegance and old-world charm and beauty, Via Garibaldi in Genoa in north-western Italy is one of the best centres for shopping in Italy. Built by Genoese aristocracy during the Renaissance, taking a stroll and perusing the wares at one of the great shopping outlets will make you feel like nobility. You can find great deals on food, great eateries and more on Via Garibaldi so don’t miss out!
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Verona - Via Mazzini
Say a prayer for your carta di credito as you walk on this top shopping destination in Verona! Joining the two most important city squares Piazza Bra and Piazza Erbe, Via Mazzini is not only Verona’s largest pedestrian zone but also a shopping destination straight from the heavens.
With a lovely array of shops, restaurants, cafes and boutiques - travellers will have more than enough to keep them occupied. Pledge your love to the shopping gods and then head off into a side street where Romeo pleaded to his beloved Juliet.
Turin - Via Paolo
Turin is a city with a rich culture and history, known for its Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical and Art Nouveau architecture.
Beyond that, the city is host to one of the best-pedestrianised shopping locations in Italy - Via Polo. The street encompassed modern chain stores to older local boutiques.
Meander along and you’ll find your senses (pleasantly) assaulted from all angles as the scents and noises of eateries and business linger in the air. This street is particularly great if you’re looking for books, antiquities and old-fashioned items.
Bologna - Via Rizzoli
Often overshadowed by Milan and Rome, Bologna has plenty of great shopping experiences available to the traveller.
Linking the heart of the city, Piazza Maggiore, with the Two Towers, Via Rizzoli is an ancient street that was already in existence over 2000 years ago. Walk along this piece of human history and enjoy its modern image with cafes, jewellery and clothing stores.
Portofino - Streets near the Harbour
The tiny fishing village and holiday resort for the rich and famous is also a renowned shopping destination in Italy.
With its picturesque harbour and colourful buildings that line the shore, Portofino is a must-see for more than just shopping.
The streets that lead up from the harbour can be explored in its entirety in almost no time. In Portofino, you will find the best of both world shopping with goods on offer from local artisans to big designer boutiques.
From embroidered lines, cashmere to jewellery and leather goods - Portofino is a must-see stop on any shopping journey in Italy.