Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 673: Tuscan Rambles
By Doug Phillips from Canada, Spring 2004
Page 5 of 17: Day 4 – Tuesday May 4: Outlet Shopping
The Ape, found everywhere in Tuscany except the Autostrade
We had mediocre weather during our two weeks. It was cooler than normal and it rained part of many days. On Tuesday, it was raining when we woke up, the sky was black and the clouds weren’t moving very fast. So we decided, that is my BW decided and I agreed, to use the day to visit the outlet stores south of Florence.
After a late breakfast we headed north on the A1 and proceeded to the Prada store on SS69. Following are some very good directions, which I followed to get to the nondescript building. “Take the A1 Autostrada - Exit 'Valdarno', Out of the toll turn right and follow signs for ‘Montevarchi’ or ‘Centro’. At the big round about that has an IPER - COOP supermarket exit left. Then continue towards Arezzo. Pass through Montevarchi and 'Località levanella' after the village pass a gas station and then follow signs for I PELLETTIERI D'ITALIA in the 'Zona Industriale' on the left. The sign for the outlet is at a traffic light. On your left is a huge grey factory that is all Prada and the outlet is in the back of the main factory complex.”
We entered by a door in the back with a number dispenser on the side. I assume it’s for controlling the numbers in the store when it gets busy. It was hard work but my BW managed to buy a couple of purses. She wasn’t thrilled with the choice available, and I was amazed at the prices. There was a rather good selection of shoes and clothes, but the available small sizes made it impossible for me to even consider a purchase. I didn’t spend much time even looking at shoes or clothes during our trip. My BW is not able to make the same claim.
After a couple of hours at the Prada outlet, we returned to the A1 and drove north toward Florence, exiting at Incisa. Our goal was the multi-store shopping complex known as THE MALL. Directions from Incisa are as follows - Stay on the right towards Pontassieve until reaching Leccio. Soon after passing the center of Leccio, The Mall is on the left. The Mall includes several different outlets, a large parking lot and a nearby café. In May 2004, The Mall included the following retail outlets; Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Bottega Veneta, Sergio Rossi, Yves Saint Laurent, Loro Piana, Giorgio Armani, Emanuel Ungaro, Valentino, Ferragamo, Ermenegildo Zegna, La Perla, Tod's, Hogan, Pinco Pallino, Marni, Agnona.
The Fendi and Dolce and Gabbana outlets are in the same general area as The Mall on SS69, but I cannot remember the exact location. Look for a brown and yellow sign for Fendi and/or D&G on the left.
Back to Villa Nottola in the late afternoon, dinner in the apartment, and an early evening.
The photo on this page is of one of the three-wheeled vehicles found throughtout Tuscany, except on the Autostrade. The most common make is the "Ape"
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