During our trip to Italy last year we gave each of our kids a budget of pocket money to spend at their will…
Our daughter seemed to spend her entire budget on Beanie boo toys – the first being bought at the first petrol station we stopped at and the last at the airport on our way home! I’m sure there were a few other trinkets too, but the majority came home in the form of fluffy toys!
Our son, on the other hand, decided to spend his entire allowance on clothing from Superdry (the current “cool” brand amongst his peers!) However, on our first to a Superdry store in Florence we were quick to realise that his modest Rand budget would not go very far on the Euro.
Fortunately some Google research prior to our departure meant that I had discovered that there was a few Superdry outlets stores scattered across Italy. After mapping out our route on our “Italian Trip” Google Map, we discovered that the one that would make the most sense for us to visit given our tight schedule was the one located at the Barberino Designer Outlet Mall just 30 mins outside of Florence.
We decided to head out to this Superdry outlet store on our last morning in Florence as we knew we had just a few hours of time to squeeze in a trip because it was actually in the opposite direction to the one we were planning to head. This little detour also meant we would have to forgo a visit to a beautiful wine farm or quaint village – but as we were travelling as a family we knew we had to also prioritise the kids and allow them to enjoy the trip to by doing a few things that THEY wanted to do.
And our son REALLY wanted to buy some Superdry – parents of teens will understand!
We left Florence early and managed to follow the Google map directions along the freeway and to our surprise found the right turn off and followed the clearly marked sign boards to discover a very well kept and rather empty parking area. It helped that we arrived just before opening time and our visit also happened to take place mid-week. I would recommend both as top tips for visiting Barberino Designer Outlet Village near Florence.
Located in the Mugello valley, 30kms from the centre of Florence, the Barberino Designer Outlet is part of the McArthurGlen Group and has over 100 shops, including major brands of Italian and international fashion designers.
The Outlet can be reached easily by car or by bus/shuttles in about half an hour. If you are visiting Florence without your own transport you can book a tour to the Barberino Designer Outlet and enjoy a day of shopping.
Buses depart every day from Piazza Stazione in Florence and will take you straight to the Outlet and back to the starting point. Meet 20 minutes before departure at the City Sightseeing Experience Visitor Center, located inside Florence Santa Maria Novella Train Station’s main ticket hall. The Santa Maria Novella station is easily accessible from major Italian cities with high-speed trains (Bologna: travel time 35 minutes; Milan: travel time 1h 40m; Rome: travel time 1h 30m).
There are four bus times to go to the Outlet and return to Florence:
Departure: 9:30am / 11:30am / 2pm / 4pm
Return: 1pm / 3pm / 6pm / 8pm
The tour includes transportation by bus equipped with air conditioning and a special shopping card that allows you to get an additional 10% discount in selected shops. Costs start at 15€.
The Barberino Designer Outlet is a shopping village: located in a suburban area, it looks like a small town with many “houses” side by side that lodge the shops. It really is a very pretty shopping experience. Clean and neat, with wide walkways and a series of footbridges connecting stores across the River Sieve surrounded by greenery all adding to the relaxed atmosphere – not a “shopping mall” experience at all!
We parked easily in the free parking and arrived just as the doors were opening, grabbing a layout map at the entrance and then heading straight to the Superdry store. It happened to open a half hour later, so my daughter and I popped in to GAP first to get a few basics for her, leaving my son and husband waiting for Superdry.
My son was ecstatic. He managed to pick up a tracksuit hoodie, socks, a cap and a variety of t-shirts. All of the prices were about half the usual store price with a few items that were marked down even more. In comparison to the South African Superdry prices he probably scored about 75% off! Even I managed to pick up a great quality hoodie that I have lived in during cold weather ever since.
After finishing our shopping at these two stores we also popped in at a couple of the other outlets. Not all of them had such great discounts, but there were some recognisable brand names with significant discounts. I so wish my budget had extended to a Michael Kors handbag (hopefully one day!!) I did spend a fair amount of time browsing that particular store!
Other Italian and international brands with outlets at Barberino Designer Outlet Mall include Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Cavalli, Patrizia Pepe, Furla, Marc Jacobs, Timberland, Guess, Desigual, Hugo Boss, Nike and Adidas.
As I mentioned we were on the Rand so we didn’t end up spending at any of the other stores but for the Superdry alone – and the smile on Ben’s face – it was worth the time and effort.
Most of the stores promise discounts of 30 to 70% compared to the selling price in ordinary shops and often there are more special promotions. We were there early so didn’t stay for lunch but there are a number of restaurants as well as a playground for younger kids who need a break.
A visit to the Barberino Designer Outlet Mall may not be at the top of your things to do in Florence, but if you’re shopping with a teen or two that need to have something to make them smile, or are in the market for a few high end designer items without the exorbitant price tag, then I recommend this detour!
Tips for a self-drive visit to Barberino Mall near Florence
- Follow Google maps to get to the right exit off the freeway
- Then follow the marked sign posts
- Arrive early – We arrived around 9:30am and the mall officially opened at 10am
- Visit during the week
- Plan your essential shops in advance using the map on the website
- Head to your favourite store first
- Allow extra time to browse
- Shop according to a budget, but take your credit card just in case!
Barberino Designer Outlet Mall, Florence
Via Meucci, Barberino di Mugello
10am – 8pm every day including public holidays