From iconic culinary fare to world-renowned historic sites, Italy is a country of many talents. And the shopping here is no exception; the boot-shaped nation boasts everything from authentic food markets to chic boutiques. Milan, in particular, is heralded as a high-fashion hotspot and a must-visit for any budding couturier, while Rome’s Via del Corso is famed for its retail therapy. Shopping in Italy is almost as legendary as tucking into a plate of cacio e pepe in Rome or polishing off a margherita pizza in Naples, so read on for our handy guide…


The city centre of Milan is a fashion Mecca, with many of the world’s most well-known designers establishing their flagship stores here. Head to the Galleria – one of the world’s oldest shopping malls – for luxury brands galore in an architecturally magnificent setting. Even if you’re only there for the window shopping, it’s worth perusing the four-story arcade and seeing where Prada first opened its doors in 1913. The Quadrilatero d’Oro della is another top-notch spot for shopping in Italy, and possibly the city’s most well-known shopping district. A quaintly cobbled quadrangle of streets, roughly bound by Via Monte Napoleone, Via Sant'Andrea, Via Senato and Via Manzoni, the district is synonymous with elegance and wealth. Again, the window displays and people-watching opportunities warrant a visit here, even if you don’t intend to splash some cash. For more affordable shopping options, head to Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Corso di Porta Ticinese and Via Torino.


From high-end fashion to handmade crafts, the Italian capital is a great place to get your shop on. The most renowned streets are Via del Corso – lined with high-end boutiques and classic department stores – and Piazza del Popolo – home to some of the most prestigious fashion brands, including Gucci, Prada and Armani. For more budget-friendly purchases, head to Via Cola di Rienzo (for high-street stores) or Via dei Coronari (for vintage shops). And if you’re in search of holiday keepsakes, Via del Governo Vecchio is the perfect spot to browse. More authentic crafts can be found at the Porta Portese market, the city’s largest and most colourful flea market, selling everything from jewellery and handbags to books and antiques. Finally, if you’re more foodie-inclined, Rome isn’t short on food markets; check out Mercato Trionfale, Mercato Testaccio or Mercato Campo de’ Fiori for fresh produce and tasty snacks.


Florence – touted as the birthplace of the Renaissance – is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, world-class museums and architecturally stunning art galleries. And when it comes to taking a piece of the Tuscan capital home with you, the city is well-known for its crafts, textiles and leather goods. Across the Arno, in the Oltrarno district, you’ll find various artisan workshops and boutique stores selling hats, shoes and jewellery along Via dei Serragli. Via Giovan Battista Zannoni is the main leather market and the place to go for high-quality, handmade leather goods, including jackets, bags, shoes and belts, while the jewellery district can be found near the Ponte Vecchio. The city has its fair share of designer goods too, and Via Roma, Via dei Calzaiuoli and Via de’ Tornabuoni are the key streets to frequent for high-end brands such as Miu Miu, Armani and Luisa via Roma.


Traditional Venetian glass and handmade textiles (like silk scarves) are the souvenirs to look out for in the ‘Floating City’. Le Mercerie in the San Marco District, which stretches from the iconic Rialto Bridge to the historic St. Mark’s Square, is the main shopping area. Shops and stands here sell everything from clothing and jewellery to souvenirs and the ubiquitous Venetian masks. The famed glassblowing island of Murano is another must-visit while shopping in Italy; see skilled artisans at work, crafting stunning glass vases and ornaments, which you can then purchase. And if you’re after foodie goods, the Rialto Market is a bustling hub of fresh produce, seafood and local specialities.


A must-visit shopping destination in Bologna is the historic Mercato di Mezzo, a traditional indoor market with a variety of offerings, including fresh produce, cheese and handmade crafts. Once you’ve stocked up on Italian gastronomic treats, head to Via dell’Indipendenza, one of the northern Italian city’s central streets, for high-end boutiques and department stores.


Naples’ central shopping hub is the historic Via Toledo, a trendy street lined with high-end boutiques and department stores. As the birthplace of pizza, the city understandably prides itself on high quality food ingredients and Mercato di San Gregorio Armeno provides just this. The traditional indoor market sells fresh produce, cheese and handmade crafts, with both tourists and locals flocking here.

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