Designer Shopping in Italy: Via Condotti


This particular fashion shopping street and those around it are just full of temptation!   Via Condotti is like New York’s Fifth Avenue but narrower…making you so close to all the gorgeous displays of current obsessions and wishful possessions!

I strolled  salivated my way through these roads and found that some goods are actually not bad, proving cheaper than Dubai and the US.

To give examples, an LV Neverfull MM goes for EU595, a Montorgueil PM for EU690, and a Trevi PM would cost EU1430.  The Gucci Heart Continental wallet costs EU340.  Don’t forget to factor in the tax refund (about 12%) and you’re down to an even lower price.

With the Euro down, tourists having multiple purchases are not uncommon.  One saleslady told me they already kind of expect that with the Chinese, Japanese, and Russians.  No wonder they treated us like kings!  Since everyone deserves to be treated like royalty,  shop (or window-shop) on weekdays when sales staff are at their best.  Friday nights and weekends are so busy it can turn the King into King Kong.  Happy shopping 🙂


Bargain Shopping in Italy: Via Sannio

Via di Sannio

Metro Station: San Giovanni

This is a flea market.  Beware, not for the faint-hearted.  I found some street vendors very touchy pulling me to see their wares.  I learned the trick is to walk fast and never respond to their greetings.  To me they tried everything from “Hello” to “Konichiwa”.  You’ll be surprised at the linguistic abilities of these people!  I just smiled politely and pasted a look on my face that said, “I am from Mars and I don’t understand a thing”.

When I finally got to the tent, the atmosphere was quieter.  The more aggressive vendors are out on the street.   The tent was filled with brand new and used items.  More of used actually but I zeroed in on this shop that had brand new high street clothes.  I got to purchase brand new Massimo Dutti and Mango tops! In my size! With no obvious damage.  For 10 Euros each! What a score!

Other available brands were Zara, Desigual, Armani but in (very) large sizes.  Several locals were alongside me going through heaps of shirts, suits, skirts, and pants.

Stocks change frequently and you cannot be assured of brands or styles, or of sizes.  Some prices are fixed, others can be negotiated ;p.  Here I purchased a silver pendant, a handmade leather belt, an ultra-feminine wool hat, a good-looking tri-colored Massimo vest (picture shown), a few basic Mango tops–all brand new and all with very low price tags.  Great buys!

Outlet Shopping in Rome

My hubby and I are not really big on brands but share the joy of getting “buon affare” (a good buy). Beyond the walls of Rome you’ll find the popular Castel Romano and Valmontone Fashion Outlets.  But given that fashion boutiques hold huge sales twice a year—January and July,  and it was November, we just decided to stay in Rome.

Here are two outlets we found in our area:

Outlet Gente

Via Cola di Rienzo 246

Metro Station: Ottaviano

It was really hard to spot a good find.  The price points are still quite steep with (YSL, Prada, Gucci) boots going for around 500 EU a pair.  You can find some Tory Burch shoes for 100-300 EU and Prada, DSquared pants for 50 EU, but already very out-of-style.  You would just be buying the logo!  This being my first experience here, I am not sure if it’s always like this.

The staff were not very friendly either.  They have a general look of boredom and you’re-just-going-to-look-but-not-buy-anyway attitude towards people which made me think they get more onlookers than customers.

Discount Dell’ Alta Moda

Via di Gesu e Maria. Metro Station: Flaminio

Via Viminale 35. Metro Station: Termini

With two branches in the city, stopping at this outlet makes it more convenient after a tourist spot visit.

The staff is more upbeat and friendlier than the previous outlet.  You can pick through racks of half-priced men’s and women’s clothes, shoes, belts, and bags on labels like Armani, Salvatorre Ferragamo, Ferre, and Fendi.

Dolce and Gabbana soft leather shopping bag sells for 625EU

As with most outlet shopping centers, you have to spend an adequate amount of browsing time.  You won’t have this season’s items, but you will not have its matching price tags, either.  Shop wisely 🙂

Mad About Deals

Guess what I got?? Vouchers! Oh joy! My heart does a little leap when I receive things like this.  I consider myself a smart shopper.   A good find for me is of great design, decent workmanship, unmistakable durability, and well, not pricey or at least not overly pricey.  A good find gets even better if you get them on sale. Or discounted as with these vouchers.

I browse through it quickly.  There are over 100 offers to be redeemed.

Shop More Spend Less on Weekdays is valid from Sunday (yes Sunday is a weekday in Dubai) to Wednesday, 10:00am to 3:00pm. The Booklet includes “Special Sundays”, offers valid exclusively on Sundays from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

My husband found them at the lobby of our apartment building.  Just there on the table next to local newspapers and fastfood delivery pamphlets.

I’ve probably just bypassed it before.

If you enjoy deals like I do, check to see if you have these in your area.  For those who cant find these red little booklets in your apartment lobby, I made a quick call to The Dubai Mall for you and found out that this is also available at Guest Services.  Just go to the information desk at the main entrance (near Cartier) and ask for your complimentary booklet 🙂

In addition, I’ve also subscribed to groupon and cobone for more Dubai deals.

Since we’re already at it, get yourself a copy of The Entertainer too.  Everything there is buy one get one free! Ahhh! I can’t believe I don’t have one yet.  This has been advised to me by newfound Dubai friends but in the middle of our move, I forgot all about it.  My sis reminded me just now when I told her about my little red booklet. I will get one stat!