Chapter Wanderlust: The Mall Florence Factory Outlet (Prada Outlet)

I believe this would be something that many people would be interested in! Especially the shopping fanatics or those who have a keen eye for branded leather goods. In fact this place is so tempting that even those who are prudent in spending, will spend! You definitely can’t resist yourself if you are here. Of course, for those who specifically make a trip here, you already know what you want! The Mall Florence is one of the most famous factory outlet in Europe or Italy where many famous brand were from. This include brands like Gucci, Prada, Miu Miu. In fact I would say that 90% of the people come here just to get their hands on Prada or Gucci! They are also the one that have the largest presence at The Mall!

Another great attractive point of The Mall is its location! It is considered one of the closest factory outlet to the city! Located in the lush Tuscany countryside, it is located only 30 mins away from Florence. Now for the ways to reach here. You are able to reach the factory outlet through Driving, Taking a bus or by the train. I will definitely choose to come here free and easy as it means that you have the most flexibility and you will not be rush. While I was here, the roads were fairly manageable and empty, so I will say that if you have a car, it will be nice to come here. Another way is by the train, where you can take to Rignano Sull’Arno Station then you can call a cab. While you can also take the local bus to The Mall which is cheaper, it takes a longer time and much more confusing!

Instead, this is what I will recommend, take the official bus service from The Mall! This is definitely the best and most fussless option for the travellers. It takes you from Firenze S.M.N Train Station directly to The Mall. In fact it drops you right outside Prada and Gucci. Say about that! It cost 7 Euros for a single trip or 13 for a return. I will recommend you to buy the ticket online also. Everything is made easy! If you buy the return ticket and wants to return earlier, you can just board any earlier return bus with your ticket too. You get direct transport with comfortable seatings in 30 mins.

There are ample space on the bus for all your loots and furthermore the seats were comfy. There is power plugs, wifi. It feels like the bus is especially catered to the looters like us. On my journey there, it was pretty funny, I sat with three other malaysian americans, who live in New York City. It is nice that we all spoke hokkien, how nice is it to finally speak in that dialect after 2 months! They gave me some contacts and tips for NYC as well. We even had lunch at the Gucci Cafe later on!

Now for The Mall. The Mall is open 7 days a week from 10am to 7pm and in the summer they even have extended timings. Trust me, the queue outside Prada goes long before 10am. It sure was a sight to see! People rushing in to give their money to these brands when the gates goes up! There are numerous brands that you can find here, Prada, Gucci, Armani, Burberry, Bottega, Jimmy Choo, YSL, Versace and many more. I will share a little on my experience at the Prada outlet, since there is where I spend most of my time. When I arrived at around 9.40am there was around 20 people in front of me outside Prada. When the gates goes up at 10 sharp, everyone rush in. The most popular counter are at the wallets section, especially those where you can find the popular prada leather.

This is how it works, when you enter, you are given a paper slip with a number, when you walk around the outlet, tell the salesperson which product you want and they will tag it to your number, they will keep the product for you at the cashier. They will keep around 90 mins to 2 hours for you, depending on the crowd on that day. P.s the staff told me that this is one of the slowest day that they have seen. On the busy one, the cashier q is about an hour or longer. I’m thankful! I hate to q for things. Now for a little insight that I have discovered. There are new pieces at the outlet, in fact all my loots are new, the only thing is the color of your products. While many people have said that they are unable to find the typical prada products here, I was able to. You just have to compromised a little on your color and stuff. PRICES HERE ARE AMAZINGLY GOOD! I WILL PLAN ANOTHER TRIP TO FLORENCE IF I NEED SOME MORE PRADA! Those female long wallet were going off at 290 Euros, compared to the 600 Euros that you find in the city or 1000 if you are buying outside Europe! Mens wallet were at 190 Euros. I got my mum a bag at 700 Euros! And I couldn’t resist that sunglass that was only going for 120 Euros. Hell, I wish I got more money!

I will say that all these pricing are still before tax refund! So you get another 11% off these prices. Heck! What a good deal it is! In fact, they even have tax refund counters at The Mall, so you can do it here rather than at the airport!

I also got a snack at The Gucci Cafe. While it was more glam than cuisine, it was still a pretty nice experience. I have to say that the food prices here are more expensive than outside. So bring a bottle of water with you at the minimum. The options here are also pretty limited. The Croque-monsieur and latte cost me 9.20 Euros.

Hope all the shopping addicts love this place! Especially the Prada fans! Come early! Let me know how your experience at The Mall is!

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