Winter Sales in Rome
Shopping sales (saldi)
Are held twice a year, the dates of which are government regulated. Sales are held once in summer and once in winter. In Rome, winter sales begin sometime the first week in January.
In the U.S. any shop owner can declare a sale whenever he or she wants to. Sure, there are major sales around holidays, but if an individual shoe shop owner wants to have an annual sale on on a particular day he chooses, that’s fine. Not so in Italy. There are two official Italian sales periods each year – winter and summer – when every shop has what can amount to clearance sales for 6-8 weeks.
Many tourists will stay away from Italy in January simply because the weather isn’t conducive to the picture they have of an ideal Italian vacation. If you like shopping, however, January may be one of the best times to go – it’s winter sales season.
SALDI is the word you need to know. You’ll see it everywhere, so you’ll learn it quickly. It means “sales,” so it’s plastered in every shop window along with whatever percentage discount they’re currently offering.
Everyone puts inventory on sale – and I mean everyone, including those high-end designers.
The winter sales period starts in January, usually the 5th, and lasts through mid-February or until inventory is gone. You will find the best opportunities at the beginning or in the first two weeks of the sales season, in particular, if you want to buy shoes.
Typically, the prices continue to drop during the sales period, so some shoppers will hold out until the bitter end to get the best deal. The trade-off, however, is that the selection dwindles, too. You might find a killer deal on a pair of shoes, for instance, but only find it comes in one size that’s way too big for you.
When you’ve got Italian designers on the brain, but can’t burn more on that handbag than you did on your flight over here, there’s a solution: Italy’s outlet malls. Stores discount up to 50% and outlets up to 70%.
Sales are although actually for outlets malls, this means that the reduced price will be further reduced. Italians love their outlet malls, and they go nuts during the two official sales periods in Italy.
How to reach and where to find the Outlet malls
Outlet shopping malls are scattered throughout Italy, many of them on the outskirts of big cities like Florence, Milan and Rome.
It takes some time to get there, but if you like shopping it might be an opportunity. Attention: on the week-ends and during the sales the Outlet Malls are often crowed.
Castel Romano Designer Outlet
Open from Mon. – Thurs. 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Located at Via Ponte di Piscina Cupa, 64, Castel Romano.
It’s got: 140 stores, including Valentino, Roberto Cavalli, Furla, and Patrizia Pepe.
To get there from Rome: By car (20 mins), take the SS 148 south toward Pomezia and take the Castel Romano exit. By shuttle bus (40 mins), take the bus from Via Marsala just outside the Termini station, at 10am, 12:30pm, or 3pm, for 13 euros round-trip.
25 km from central Rome you can find the shopping village CASTEL ROMANO DESIGNER OUTLET – with outlet shops Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Salvatore Ferragamo, La Perla, Zegna Outlet, Etro, CK Jeans, Pinko, Guess, Diesel and The Nike Factory Store, among 100 others. Prices are discounted up to 60% off, and sometimes with sales and special offers. Luckily there are numerous cafes to revive you, the whole place is designed to be like a little city, with a piazza and streets, monumental arches and interesting shop fronts.
Another 150 boutiques can be found at Valmontone Fashion District, about 40 km out from Rome on the A1 Rome to Naples motorway. Outlets including Cerruti, Basile, Byblos, Luisa Spagnoli and Twin Set. Open Monday to Friday 10am – 8pm and weekends 10am – 9pm. Good news if you don’t want to drive, there is a “Fashion Bus” from Rome on the weekends.
Open daily from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, 10am-9pm on weekends. Located at Via della Pace, Pascolaro, Valmontone.
It’s got: More High Street than designer stores, including Calvin Klein, Intimissimi, Clarks, Ethic, Sisley, and Baldinini.
To get there from Rome: By car (45 mins), take the A1 toward Napoli, then the E45 to San Cesareo and exit at Valmontone. By shuttle (50 mins), take the shuttle from the Terracafe at Via Marsala 29 outside Termini at 10am, 5 euros return (call 06 45473194).
For more info: The telephone number is 06 959949. Click here for more information on the Valmontone Outlet.
Love jewels? The Bulgari Outlet on the outskirts of Rome 1052 Via Aurelia; (+39)06-661-7071 sells the luxe label’s overstock including diamond jewellery, watches, scarves, sunglasses and even small leather goods and perfumes. The Bulgari building is unmarked, so needs a determined luxury lover to find it. http://www.bulgari.it
Interestingly Sotirco Voulgaris began his career as a jeweler in his hometown of Paramythia in Greece, in 1881 he moved to Rome where he became popular with the wealthy for his designs combining Greek and Roman art. The logo is written “BVLGARI” in the classical Latin alphabet where V = U. His original flagship store is in Via dei Condotti
If you are interested in shopping and want to experience a part of Romans daily life the Commercial Center Galleria Porta di Roma might be a good option.
A bit of a schlep from the center of Rome is one of the largest shopping malls in the Eternal City. Galleria Porta di Roma has over 220 stores and restaurants.