January 10, 2010

SALDI -% SALE -% has started in Italy

This week the winter sale has started in Italy. In the news on TV the different starting dates by region were announced. In the Veneto the start for the sale (saldi) was January 4th. Of course I went on a little shopping tour with  my mother-in-law. This does not mean that we walked from shop to shop downtown. Italians like bargains (as the rest of us). But they really like to get a good deal and therefor they check out personally and secretly recommended shopping addresses in the darkest corners of industrial zones. They were also my best "customers" when I still lived in China regarding cashmere sweaters and pearl and corall necklaces.

So, first we checked an outlet store in Mestre (near Venice). In Italy outlet stores are very popular. They are selling designer pieces from the last season (and even the second last season) at 30 - 70 % off, while the luxury brands would not have a big sale sign in their shop windows downtown.

I only like shopping during sales (saldi )

The next day we drove from village to village between Venice and Padova and dropped in a few small leather goods producing family businesses. Here in this region many family owned leather factories still hand make shoes and bags for the big design labels in Italy, France, UK and the US.

Many years ago I found Jimmy Choo sandals for 80 Euro. I still love and wear them,  they are comfortable and of great quality. This time I came across some interesting gum boots by Burberry.  Gum boots were on my list as I need them to accompany my son to sometimes muddy playgrounds. Of course I did not entend to buy a brand name, nor I expected to buy some in Italy. In Germany (where I live at the moment) the weather is not that great and even when its rainy we would walk through the city or go on playgrounds (after the rain!) because otherwise we would have to stay home for days or weeks. So gum boots could be quiet practical - and in the last years it became even fashionable to walk around in gum boots, like a British aristocrat does (maybe?) .

My new gum boots, but not for acqua alta !

When I tried the boots on, the last pair, size 41, they fitted perfectly (when wearing thick socks). The price was down to 65 Euro (!). The saleswoman said: "e regalato" - that's nothing! And she also said: "non sono per acqua alta!" - they are not for the high tide in Venice! What a pitty! Because the boots had zips going down very low... Not very practical probably to keep the feet dry - maybe that's why they did not sell - but for that price I could give it a try, I thought.

After all, we bought so many items for "just nothing" that it summed up quiet nicely.
In another shop I found some shoes, and in a third shop a matching purse. The last one is my favorite family business, they do purses in LV Speedy and Hermes Kelly style in any leather and colour.  Please do not ask for the address, only my mother-in-law knows the way ;-).

It really worth shopping in Italy during the sale. This is no secret. Among Asian women especially the Japanese have found out long ago and fly in for the bargain hunt. Many good outlet stores can be found in and around Milano, the fashion capital of Italy, but also near other major cities.


  1. I would love to go shopping with you one day, Suzie. You seem to know all those hidden gems out there - and afterwards some nice pasta, no?

    Always enjoying your posts.
    Thanks for the Italian insights.

  2. That is one thing I never get right when I come to Italy - where to shop for the great stuff. Next visit - September. I will keep reading your blog for more tips. Thank you.